Centre Pompidou and Street Art

Written by Alastair Sterns ’19 to recount Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Salut! Alastair here!

Wow! It’s hard to describe how wonderful of a day the French exchange had. C’était super cool!

The group explored the contemporary art museum, Centre Georges Pompidou, led by a knowledgeable tour guide. Every aspect of the museum, from the inside out, captivated us. We analyzed the use of color, brush strokes, and optical illusions in the work of many different artists, including the big (bull)dog himself, Pablo Picasso.

Afterwards we enjoyed a delicious lunch kindly provided by Saint Dominique and spent time on our own exploring the town surrounding the Pompidou. That afternoon, the group rode the metro to Menilmontant, where we met our hyper-chouette guide Chloé for a tour of the local street art. Chloé showed us the work of famous street artists that usually would not be seen at first glance. There are many individual artists and groups of artists who go out at night to do their work, despite the risk of a large fine if they are caught. Some local businesses, however, appreciate the artwork and even hire the artists to paint their buildings in order to attract attention. The work of the street artists include paper stickers, mosaics, plaster sculptures, and paintings ranging from the size of a hand to giant walls. Street art, for the most part, is an underground operation, but it is a big part of the Parisian culture.

The group took the metro back to Neuilly from Belleville, where we met our French students. It was another fantastic day for the French exchange. We are all looking forward to what our last few days in Paris will bring.