Levalet /   Charles Leval

France 1988

Street Art, Graffiti, Wheat Pasting


Charles Leval
March 31, 2014
Jean is researcher and author for Widewalls. jean.gallard@widewalls.ch

Street art has been taking a huge upswing during the 21st century and we’ve truly seen some rather astonishing pieces adorn the streets of the cities throughout the world. Recognised by the art world as a movement, it started appearing even within the gallery walls and many have gained critical acclaim in those circles. One such artist is Charles Leval, aka Levalet, who not only creates amazing street art, he develops it in a personal style. A French artist who takes advantage of Paris’ architecture, combining his knowledge of theatre and painting especially, with a keen eye for topography, Levalet produces site-specific scenes painted with Indian ink.

Levalet life page edition news
Levalet – Celle de Trop

Levalet and a Parisian Architecture

He was born in Epinal and spent his youth in Guadeloupe where he experienced urban graffiti culture. He trained initially in Strasbourg, studying painting and then animation. Interested in video installations located on the streets, Levalet developed a style which focuses on an interaction between the subject of the artworks and the dimensions and features of the space they’re in. For Levalet, urban art is part of the identity of the city, and the technicality of defining private property gives the idea of public space a new dimension. Inspired by the likes of Blek le Rat, Krzysztof Wodiczko, and Zevs, Levalet aims to explore the architectural diversity of Paris, favoring alleys and passages which create an immediate intimacy with the viewer. A lot of thought goes into location too as each piece usually interacts with its environment in one way or another. “Topography is very important for me, this is why I always check a place out before I work on it, I try to mix the world of representation with the real world by playing on the physical cohesion of the situations I put up. Architecture supports my work. Then I work on staging the artwork with photographs.

Levalet aims to explore the architectural diversity of Paris

Levalet life page edition news
Levalet – Reload

Levalet’s realistic street art figures

This artist injects humor into the streets of Paris by gluing animal and human-shaped paste-ups onto walls. Levalet also fills concrete recesses and jagged sidewalks with black-and-white figures. His paste-up people made in ink on white Kraft and then glued walls, first spotted on Colossal, end up interacting with their environments in interesting ways. In one work, two paper and ink fencers battle with a real umbrella, collapsing two dimensions into a single installation. Levalet has created realistic street art figures across the streets of Paris. His work was achieved by careful location of the perfect spots and accurate measurements as well as inspirations when drawing.

Charles Leval, also known as Tourist traffic, moves in the balance between poetry and social protest. His pieces are dynamic and dark paste-up tell everyday moments through paradox or aggravation, being critical and playful at the same time. His pieces, interacting with their environment, hide, climb, and often include three-dimensional objects transformed into urban installations.

Lavalet lives in Paris, France.

Featured image: Charles Leval. All photos credit Open Walls Gallery.
All images used for illustrative purposes only.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Recto-VersoGalerie Géraldine Zberro, ParisGroup
2016Du Noir au BlancLe Cabinet D’Amateur, ParisGroup
2015Black in town Galerie Joel Knafo, ParisGroup
2015Levalet Memorie urbane, LatinaSolo
2015Cheap, art festivalBologneGroup
2015Different strokesGeorge town, Penang Group
2015DRAWING NOW Salon, ParisGroup
2015Urban ArtArtcurial, ParisGroup
2015Bestiaire Le Paris urbain, Paris Group
2014Vis à visLe cabinet d'amateur, ParisGroup
2014Paysages intérieurs, Duo show (avec Pascal Vilcollet)Galerie Géraldine Zberro, Paris Duo
2014Figures Joël Knafo art Gallery, ParisGroup
2014Abomey-Paris-AbomeySalon Marboeuf, ParisGroup
2014Dali fait le murEspace Dali, ParisGroup
2014Nuart, art festivalStavangerGroup
2014Collective street 2, collective exhibitionLe cabinet d'amateur, ParisGroup
2014Keep calm and love street art, collective exhibitionGalerie Géraldine Zberro, ParisGroup
2014Croix rouge, collective exhibitionMaison de vente Fauve, ParisGroup
2014Memorie Urbane, art festivalGaëtaGroup
2014Bagages Le cabinet d'amateur, Paris Solo
2014Collective exhibitionKirk Gallery, AalborgGroup
2014Wall streetBastille design center, ParisGroup
2014Project M3, collective exhibitionMusée Urban nation, BerlinGroup
2014Singapore Art StageArt fair, SingapourGroup
20141,2,3 Enfance, collective exhibitionSpace Pierre Cardin, Paris (FR) (Fevrier)Group
2014Home Street HomeMontpellier Gallery, ParisGroup
2014Ink on kraft on hotel wallsStreet Hotel, Paris 11Solo
2014Project M/3Urban Nation, BerlinGroup
2014BUFFONNERIESThe Cabinet of Amateur Gallery, ParisGroup
2013Between Collage and CollabThe Cabinet of Amateur Gallery, ParisGroup
2013CARTE BLANCHEThe Cabinet of Amateur Gallery, ParisGroup
2013Black & WhiteThe Cabinet of Amateur Gallery, ParisGroup
2013Nuit BlancheThe Cabinet of Amateur Gallery, ParisGroup
2013Small is beautiful 3The Cabinet of Amateur Gallery, ParisGroup
2013Collective Street!The Cabinet of Amateur Gallery, ParisGroup
2013Corps @ CorpsThe Cabinet of Amateur Gallery, ParisGroup
2013Bestiarium UrbanusThe Cabinet of Amateur Gallery, ParisGroup
2013Hot sleepThe Cabinet of Amateur Gallery, ParisSolo
2013AllegoriesNunac Gallery, ParisSolo
2013InterventionsParis Meadows, ParisGroup