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The Principality of Monaco, an international meeting point for art and culture, welcomed the first live performance of street art: Urban Painting Around the World. It was founded and organized by Welcome Service Monte-Carlo (WSM Events) with the creative direction of Speerstra Gallery. UPAW took place on Saturday, July 15th and 16th, 2017 on the Quai Albert Ier, with 10 walls built for the occasion on which the artists unleashed their imagination and drew on the theme of “Protection of Oceans”. 

Urban Painting around the world was the first live performance of street art by 9 international artists: Crash, Mist, Stohead, Sozyone, Jazi, Mr. One Teas, Blancbec, Kuznetsov and Etnik. They showed their talents on ephemeral walls on the theme of the Preservation of the Ocean. The paintings were auctioned by Artcurial. Three months after the event, the event planner Alberto Colman (WSM Events) and the artistic coordinator Willem Speerstra (Speerstra Gallery) have gathered the press at the Novotel in Monaco, in order to donate a check from the auction’s net earnings to the Vice President of the Fondation Prince Albert II, SE Bernard Fautrier. The donation, amounting to € 20,180, will be used to contribute to projects financed by the foundation. In the presence of Mrs. Isabelle Bonnal, director of the Education Nationale, we have announced that the wall signed by the audience and by H.S.H. Prince Albert II has been purchased by an art collector who has decided to donate it to the Education Nationale. The wall will be placed in a school in order to remind students about the power of art and collective work.




BLANCBEC (Belgium)

Blancbec began his career as a Brussels graffiti artist under the pseudonym VEKS. In the early 2000s, he directed his work towards new approaches. He developed his first paintings as compositions of geometric writings inspired by graffiti. In Barcelona in 2002, he discovered the work of pasted, hand-painted posters, this technique attracted him as it combines studio-based and street work. He adopts it! The original geometric writings are gradually transformed into characters and so the bird appears for the first time. Temporarily, the canvases are set aside to leave room for paper. In early 2003, the first posters of the bird appeared on the walls of the city; These are the first of its kind in Brussels.


The bird and the artist will be called Blancbec. Its specific geometrical construction and bright color range create its recognizable style. Since then, some bold characters have been added to his pictoral universe and he continues to display his work in new outlets and with new techniques. Blancbec still regularly appears in the urban Belgian environment and his work is exhibited in several galleries. He was invited ti participate in the event « Mons – European Capital of Culture » in 2015.


Follow him here: @blancbec_bxl

ETNIK (Italy)

Born in Stockholm, Etnik began his artistic career in Italy in the early 90s by practicing the art of «Writing». He will forge an artistic identity through extending the limits of classical graffiti, producing immense frescoes and organizing artistic events where Europe’s artistic elite rub shoulders.From 2001 onwards, his painting technique evolves towards geometric and architectural designs, still using lettering with a mix of urban landscapes. His inspiration comes from the city. He uses his volumes as an abstract composition that he sometimes declines in sculptures or installations. He now lives and works in Turin, multiplying his travels to make his frescoes around the world, and organizing his exhibitions.


Follow him here: @etnik_art


JAZI (Switzerland)

Swiss artist, Jazi began graffiti in the Geneva of the 80s. Today he is the inescapable artist of the Swiss scene, multiplying projects and collaborations while continuing his street work.His works are often used to illustrate publications and books, in the graffiti section. His mastery of graffiti techniques offers him an ease of style up to a breathtaking hyperrealism. Its aesthetics appealed to cities around the world (Geneva, Paris, Brussels, Toronto, New York) for the creation of large mural frescos. As a politically committed artist, his battle is the defense of nature and human rights. His compositions are inspired by these ideals, exalting the beauty of nature, and that of the human being.


Follow him here: @jazi_ch



New York graffiti ambassador, John Matos, aka «Crash» began his career in the heart of the Bronx. From the age of 13, he began to paint trains, then progressed to studio work on canvas in the ‘80’s. He participated in the first exhibitions devoted to the art of graffiti: first in New York at the Fashion Moda Gallery (1982), the Fun Gallery (1982), Sidney Janis (1983), and in Europe with the Yaki Kornblit Gallery in Amsterdam (1983) and at Speerstra Gallery (1984). European museums also devoted exhibitions on the same theme and presented the works of Crash: Boymans Museum in Rotterdam (Netherlands 1983) Groningen Museum (Netherlands 1984) Louisiana (Denmark 1984).


Energy and colour are the attributes of his work. Crash is inspired by the art of the American Comics, he shapes his artistic landscape with graffiti lettering and figurative elements. Worthy heir to the Pop Art artists, the artist likes to merge epochs and icons. Crash uses spray paint, conic tool of all graffiti artists.


Follow him here @crashone



Alex Kuznetsov was born in Belarus – Minsk – in 1978. His painting analyses states of flux and impermanence of matter, in order to establish a comparison between the spatio-temporal universe and a sociological view of urban life.The abstract nature of his style is personified in the combination of intuitive gestural language with concrete goal achievement. This examines states of presence and remembrance by exploring a tension between control and chance. With family roots in Marc Chagall’s native town, Alex Kuznetsov was very interested in the history of art. Today, he lives and works in Moscow.

MIST (France)

Guillaume Lemarquier alias Mist, is a French artist living in Montpellier. He discovered graffiti in 1988 on his train journeys commuting to his Paris graphic art school. He quickly developed research work on lettering and tirelessly produced sketches in his little notebooks (Blackbook) before making them into murals. He achieves recognition in the early 90s and his style has been recognized and he is invited to participate in the first exhibition devoted to the art of graffiti in France: «Graffiti Art» at the Musée des Monuments français (Paris, 1991). While focusing on his career as a painter, he quickly became interested in sculpture.


Pioneer in the publishing of art toys, he was one of the first graffiti artists to develop his art in volume. His work focuses on the aesthetics of letters that he takes care to deconstruct until abstraction, moving away from the traditional representation of graffiti while preserving intact the original dynamism and spontaneity of the street. His mastery of color and pictorial technique enabled him to be presented for the first time this year at the Contemporary Art Exhibition «Art Paris» at the prestigious Grand Palais. His perpetual artistic evolution enables him to bring renewal to each exhibition whilst maintaining a coherent trajectory, both in the aesthetics and in the spirit that guides its creation. 

Follow him here: @mistomist


SOZYONE (Belgium)

Pablo Sozyone Gonzales comes from Brussels, born to a modest family fleeing Franco’s Spain, he feels free in his head. In 1988, at the age of 15, Sozyone discovers the universe of hip hop, begins his first graffiti whilst composing his first rap rhymes with his group «De Puta Madre». In a few years he became a reference throughout the Kingdom of Belgium for his music, his texts and his painting.In 2004, Soyzone exhibits his work for the first time in galleries. His studio work is inspired by the dark stories of gangs and big banditry, associating each of his portraits with a charismatic symbol.


His dramatic imagination is impregnated with aromas of poppy and gunpowder, the profiles often have broken noses and bestial eyes. The comic book ENEMIES, published in 2015, was inspired by his talents of illustrator and producer. His work appeals to museums and cities that order the production of large frescoes.


Follow him here @sozyone

STOHEAD (Germany)

Born in Germany in 1973, Stohead discovers graffiti on the walls of his city. Then aged 14, he began a fine analysis of this new urban calligraphy. In 1999, with a group of other artists, he throws himself into the production of gigantic mural paintings in the big cities of Europe. Very inspired by lettering and the power of words, he chose to share his messages in a hybrid composition inspired by both traditional calligraphy and urban influences. Eternally involved in the art of writing, he works his calligraphy in another dimension, sometimes abstract. His painting is enriched by musical and social references that are part of the collective unconscious.


It merges influences, and explores the dimensions of the composition of words. Always more imbued with technique, he develops his own tools and colors. Seduced by the impact of his works, European galleries have produced exhibitions around his work since 1999 (Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland).


Follow him here: @stohead

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MR. ONE TEAS (Monaco)

Mr. OneTeas started graffiti in 2005. Self-taught, he develops his style through travels, meetings and exchanges, leaving his mark on the streets of major international cities. His work focuses on planned obsolescence by giving another life to materials and consumer objects of the past while illustrating the evils of our society. He draws his inspiration from the media, political and cultural environments. By diverting images and the news, he offers us his critical vision of society, marked by humour and originality.

In 2019, he produced his first museum retrospective at the Galerie Lympia, a former prison in Nice, with the exhibition “Reality Show 2.0” dealing with various ills of current society, by putting the viewer face to face with many excesses of our reality.


Follow him here: @mroneteas

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