French street artist C215, is the moniker for Christian Guémy (born 1973), who lives in Vitry-sur-Seine, Paris. He has been described as “France’s answer to Banksy”. C215’s street art name, was inspired by the 1970s New York graffiti artists, who referenced abbreviations of their street addresses in their tags. He uses the first letter of his first name; and the number of the room where he was living when he began his street art career, in the early 1990s.
- With over 30 years experience as a graffiti artist, C215 has been using stencils to produce his art since 2006. His work consists mainly of close-up portraits of people including his daughter Nina, who has also become a stencil artist in her own right. Cats are another frequent subject of C215’s work.
Growing up as an orphan, C215 has a true empathy with abandoned children and the dispossessed people of the world. His subjects are typically beggars, homeless people, refugees, street kids and the elderly. The rationale behind this is to draw attention to those that society has forgotten about. His works are often featured on the walls of street-side refuges as a strong social comment that can be understood globally.
- After many years managing a collective of 200 artists, C215 has worked extensively in France and the former French colonies of Morocco and Senegal. His stencils may be seen in cities worldwide including Barcelona, Amsterdam, London, Rome, Paris, Oslo and Colombo.
In addition to his street work, C215 also produces commercial artwork on wood and canvas, for galleries. He has had a number of solo gallery shows such as ‘Community Service‘, which was exhibited in Paris.
- Discover more about C215 and his work at this website.
“Is It Art?”