YZ - profile

YZ /   Yseult Digan

France 1975

Urban Art, Street Art


Yseult Digan
June 21, 2017
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YZ (correctly pronounced as eyes) is a pseudonym of a French street artist Yseult Digan known for her unique version of urban art that is absolutely full of raw emotions. Her art focuses on the problems that we face in the context of the modern metropolises that are able to eat on our humanities despite the fact they seemingly keep us together and connected. Although she employs a vast number of techniques in her projects, Yseult Digan is best known as a poster artist who creates her works on craft paper and puts them up on urban walls. These posters are usually very short-lived – a feature which puts an emphasis on the fast pace of urban lifestyle and the swift changes it brings.

YZ - Amazone, 2015
YZ – Amazone, 2015

History of Yseult Digan

Yseult Digan was born in 1975 in Chateauroux, France. She grew up in a small pottery village in the center of France, surrounded by a forest. Both of her parents were ceramist and sculptors, so Yseult grew up modeling clay in her mother’s studio, creating little pots and small houses. This is what was given to the young Digan as an example of exceptional living: creating. She was also very much inspired by music and therefore started a sound qualification, after which Digan did her first documentaries, learning the arts of the camera and directing. Right off the bat, YZ wanted to portray people’s lives. When she arrived in Paris in 2000, Yseult Digan started painting in the street with a friend experiencing different urban technics like spray paint, brushwork and stencils. She soon became enchanted by the works of Ernest Pignon-Ernest. In 2003, YZ did her first big street art project titled as Open Your Eyes.

YZ - Angel, 2013
YZ – Angel, 2013

YZ’s Street Technique

When making her posters, Yseult Digan uses Indian ink painted on silk paper, often relying on natural brown paint. Furthermore, this author also uses materials found on the streets, picking up metal, wood, zinc, slate, brick and some recycling materials before applying them to her pieces. For that reason, many state that Digan’s methods are as close to sculpting as a street technique can get. YZ thinks that the texture, the color and the subject matter are what makes her work unique, as well as the fact everything she creates is underlined by a note of fragility and poetry. The prevalent theme in her works is the role and figure of a woman, freed from modern-day stereotypes, as shown in her Women from Another Century project, for example. This is a series of portraits of both famous and regular women from the past, for which YZ drew inspiration from the 1920s photograph style. Yseult continued this ode to female power with Amazone, a series of posters dedicated to Senegalese warriors that were trained to fight the French in the First Franco-Dahomean War.

Because she frequently uses found materials in her artsitic manner of urban posters, many state that the work of YZ is as close a street practice can get to sculpting

YZ - Empres Sakha, 2017
YZ – Empres Sakha, 2017

Why YZ and Her Urban Art Function so Well

Yseult Digan’s artworks have become parts of exhibitions at the Grand Palais and Fondation Cartier in Paris, and she has been made an artist resident at Centre Pompidou as part of project In-Situ. These successes, which will undoubtedly be followed by even more accomplishments, are a result of the fact every project YZ works on is strongly related to her personal identity research, making her art as honest and open as possible. Furthermore, this intimate note allows her to get the absolute most out of her work, a feature that will unquestionably serve YZ very well in the long run.

This artist is represented by Magda Danysz Gallery – Shanghai and Magda Danysz Paris.

Yseult Digan YZ lives and works Paris, France.

Featured image: YZ – Photo of the artist – Image courtesy of Yseult Digan
All images courtesy of the artist.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2017 Eternelles AmazonesFondation Blachère Solo
2017 Lost in the city Galerie Pictura Solo
2016 AmazoneDak’artGroup
2016 Art from the street CAFA MuseumGroup
2016 DongdongMD GalleryGroup
2016 Walls in MotionParisGroup
2015Works on paperGalerie Zimmerling & Jungfleich, Sarrebruck, AllemagneGroup
2015Urban Art BiennaleMusée Völklinger Hütter, Völklingen, AllemagneGroup
2015Masters of Street ArtGalerie Magda Danysz, London, UKGroup
2015Ride the wallGenèveGroup
2014Nuit BlancheParis, FranceGroup
2014A London AdventureGalerie Magda Danysz, Paris, FranceSolo
2014Lost in the cityFrench Art Studio, London, UKSolo
2014Street (Art) InvasionLe Carreau, Cergy, FranceGroup
2014Look ThroughGalerie MD, Shanghai, ChinaGroup
2013La femme du dernier étageCroix Baragnon, ToulouseSolo
2013Silent LadiesXin Art, Ile de Ré, FranceSolo
2013AngelCentre d’art de l’Ile Moulinsart, Fillé, FranceSolo
2013Les BainsGalerie Magda Danysz, Paris, FranceGroup
2013ExsituCentre Pompidou, Paris, FranceGroup
2012FantasticLille 3000, Lille, FranceGroup
2012ContexteLa Lune en Parachute, Epinal, FranceGroup
2012Paris Street ArtThe French Art Studio, London, UKGroup
2012Inside WallsMusée Dupuy Mestreau, Saintes, FranceGroup
2012Le MUR de l’artEspace Blancs Manteaux, Paris, FranceGroup
2011Back to the RootsLe Théâtre, Auxerre, FranceSolo
2011Mix’artFondation Clément, Paris, FranceGroup
2011Women from another centuryGalerie La Tour, Paris, FranceSolo
2011Regards CroisésMaison Folie de Moulins, Lille, FranceGroup
2010Back to the RootsMairie de Sainte-Rose, GuadeloupeSolo
2010Biennale de Moscou, RussiaMoscowGroup
2010I love AmericaGalerie Pierre Cardin, Paris, FranceGroup
2010Les 3 ans du MUREspace Blancs Manteaux, Paris, FranceGroup
2009Né dans la rueFondation Cartier, Paris, FranceGroup
2009Stepanska Street ArtFrench Institut, Prague, Czech RepublicGroup
2009SeyzeItinerrance Gallery, Paris, FranceGroup
2008Stencil History XHalcyon Gallery, New York, USAGroup
2008MAI 68Fête de l’Humanité, Paris, FranceGroup
2008MAI 68Maison des Arts de Bagneux, Bagneux, FranceGroup
2008Stencil History XInoperable Gallery, Vienna, AustriaGroup
2007Stencil History XPalais de Tokyo, Paris, FranceGroup
2007YZ … Open Your EyesItinerrance Gallery, Paris, FranceSolo
2007la rue est à nousUnivers Gallery, Paris, FranceGroup
2007C215’S MASKS ATTACKInoperable Gallery, Vienna, AustriaGroup
2006DITES 33Espace Les Blancs Manteaux, Paris, FranceGroup
2006B girl SummitIntermedia, Minneapolis, USAGroup
2006Fall downAsterix Gallery, New York, USAGroup
2004Group ShowProjet 101, Paris, FranceGroup
2003Paris PochoirsGalerie Electron Libre, Paris, FranceGroup