A major artist of graffiti and the renewal of painting in letters, Steve Powers has chosen to illustrate the English expressions used in France and the borrowings made by Anglo-Saxons to french. Constantly open to the encounter and carried by the enthusiasm of the neighborhood, he also represented in letters and drawings some anecdotes drawn from the discussions he may have had on the spot, until the entire wall area is covered. The mural painting that you can observe today from the Cité des Arts was created by the American artist ESPO – Stephen Powers in June 2017, during the 7th edition of the festival Bien Urbain and following the call for project Oxymores 2. During his residency in Besançon, the artist chose to illustrate English expressions used in our common language and vice versa, until covering the entire wall surface available. Constantly open to new proposals and driven by the enthusiasm of the neighbourhood, He represented in letters and drawings some anecdotes drawn from the meetings and discussions he had with the inhabitants of the district and the curious passers-by.
A word from ESPO: “Every day I mumble thoughts, but today I cry across the universe from the city of Besançon, in the East of France. The beautiful people of this city have removed almost all the parameters that prevent me from painting, leaving me with only infinite possibilities to fill this wall to the maximum.But there is a crucial parameter: talk with and for neighbours and the city. As one of the locals told me, Vesontio Noster Victus: «We are (the ancient Roman name of the city) Vesontio». I think that’s what he said; my French and his English are rotten (Pardon my French)… But it was in this communication problem that I found all my possibilities.There are French words in everyday English and English words in everyday French.I say wrong not too often, right away too rarely, and pen name, as you can assume, is at the top of my resume.The English influence on French is much less poetic, but much more festive; OK cool weekend living room underground fun sexy quick open DJ chat blues non-stop happy hour dance floor jetlag rush. That is the best sentence I have ever written in French. So I draw from French, English and myself to do the work that makes me who I am; a line design for lines of communication that we share.Drawing in public offers the opportunity to draw people together. If the lines I draw connect on the wall and with the community, then this is rightly called the right word; The right word in the right place.“
Bien Urbain 7
1 month : From 20th may to 17th June 2017
Place : mobile
Associate artist : OX (FR)
13 guest artists : Alias Ipin (FR), Bla+ (FR), Ekta (SWE), Ericailcane (IT), ESPO Stephen Powers (US), Sasha Kurmaz (UA), Jordan Seiler (US), Diana Sirianni (IT), Cie Spina (IT), LN Surfil (FR), OX (FR), Olivier Toulemonde (FR), The Wa (FR)
Stephen Powers’s little routine phrases create two-way bridges between intimate and universal. A few words, sometimes accompanied by a drawing, evoke daily life’s little love words or the reflections that trot in our heads. Mythical artist of the period when graffiti opened on various tracks, and icon of the renewal of the letters painting, ESPO produces generous murals, which aim to synthesize a local mood.