“I photographed all of his animal drawings on the walls of Rennes, but this is the first time I’ve seen War work! live “ Ewen, Rennais lives not far from 59 rue de Saint-Malo, where the street artist War! creates a fresco 27 m high. He is delighted to be able to take a selfie photo with the artist, much in demand by passers-by.
The street artist is on site for 15 days to cover the gable of a social housing building in Archipel Habitat with a fresco. He was selected from among 97 candidates in the call for projects launched by Rennes Métropole to paint this monumental wall. A wall visible at the crossroads of rue de Saint-Malo, not far from the Saint-Martin locks.
“It’s the biggest wall I’ve ever painted, 27m high by 15m wide, appreciates the street artist, who agrees to answer questions on the condition of always remaining masked with his famous balaclava and dark glasses. It’s a giant sequoia, a majestic tree that blends in well with the tall trees at the crossroads. »
“Incredible to be adopted like this by the people of Rennes”
Always with the same technique, a roller at the end of a pole and acrylic paint. If he often painted in the early morning or at night in the adrenaline of the forbidden, the height of the wall this time requires an imposing telescopic nacelle machine, which passers-by notice. “People come to see me to talk. It’s quite incredible to be adopted like this by the people of Rennes. » At the same time, the artist will offer workshops at the Échange college, with students from a 5th grade class and their visual arts teacher.
2022 is a big year for War! who participated in the creation of a projection for the site of the prehistoric Chauvet cave in Ardèche with the company Spectacular. Known for his frescoes representing animals, he also produced a fresco as part of a collective exhibition of international street artists at the Museum of Hunting and Nature in Paris. “It’s a rather surprising museum, which has quite a few works by contemporary artists and deserves to be known. »
War! is therefore increasingly visible beyond Rennes. “Since 2016 everything has been linked, I live full time from my painting. It is a great luxury! »
97 candidates, a budget of €21,000
The call for projects for the fresco at 59 rue de Saint-Malo was endowed with a prize of €21,470 for the winner and generated 96 applications. 16 projects were pre-selected, with equal numbers of men and women. A jury then met to debate and vote by secret ballot, awarding 3 points to the first, 2 to the second, 1 point to the third.
The jury included two experts in street art (the director of the regional fund for contemporary art Etienne Bernard and the artist Mathieu Tremblin), two elected officials from the city (Benoit Careil and Claire Lemeilleur), 2 agents from the cultural department, 2 employees of Archipel habitat, the principal of the college of Exchange and finally 5 inhabitants. “The place of the work in its environment, its duration count but in the end, it is an artistic gesture which moves which prevails, explains Benoit Careil.
Artists Annie Hamel from Montreal and Zoer from Paris, who came 2nd and 3rd, won €700 in prize money. “ I would have liked to give a chance to a little more unknown artist, a woman for example, but the inhabitants were very sensitive to the proposal of War!, indicates Benoit Careil. This is the first time that he has responded to a call for projects from the city. He does not become the official artist of Rennes for as much and does not wish it besides! »