The property developer ATENOR presents a new photo exhibition in Brussels: Art for Cities. Photographer BENOÎT FERON has captured the Street Art within eight European cities in which ATENOR has projects. A narrative in 50 photographs.
Street Art has long been likened to underground graffiti, the works of young people expressing their anger or their rejection of society by drawing on walls, often in abandoned neighbourhoods. Yet Street Art is also a way of life, an attitude, cultural codes and cities viewed as blank canvases awaiting colour enhancement.
Today, for most of us, Street Art has become a familiar backdrop, a way to dress the bareness of street furniture and to embellish our neighbourhoods.
In the past, graffiti artists worked in the shadows, hidden away. Nowadays, their frescoes attract more and more tourists from all over the world every year. Today, all European capitals make their façades available to street artists. Among them, Vhils, alias Alexandre Farto, for instance, works with chisels and explosives, to carve magnificent portraits of strangers on Lisbon’s dilapidated walls. Like Brussels, Düsseldorf gives its industrial wastelands a makeover, transforming them into open-air art galleries. Meanwhile, Warsaw is revitalising its neglected neighbourhoods and reviving its abandoned factories, as is the case with the quintessential SoHo Factory, which is now teeming with trendy restaurants and shops.
Colours in the city
But isn’t it also the developers’ role to revitalise neighbourhoods and industrial wastelands? In any case, ATENOR, a fervent defender of the city and its many forms of expression, considers this to be the case. Keen to take its role as an urban actor even further, ATENOR has teamed up with Belgian photographer BENOÎT FERON to tell the story of cities through a photo exhibition on Street Art and its place in each city.
Sent to eight European cities in which ATENOR has projects (Brussels, Paris, Luxembourg, Lisbon, Düsseldorf, Warsaw, Budapest and Bucharest), BENOÎT FERON spent the summer travelling extensively, returning with roughly 6,000 shots. Following thorough selection, 50 prints are on display in the Arthus Gallery space at Le Châtelain (rue Simonis, 33, in Ixelles) until November 9. The exhibition will then travel throughout Europe. From 2020, the cities of Budapest, Bucharest, Luxembourg, Paris and Warsaw will host the ‘ATENOR, Art for Cities’ exhibition.