Today’s French Artists: More Urban, Less Renaissance


Needless to say, French artists have been showcased in many different galleries throughout the years. Their long history of painters have decorated the most important museums worldwide. It should come as no surprise, then, that the National Gallery in London hosts quite a few French paintings by some renowned artists. But French artistry is more than classic paintings; it is music, film and street art.

At the end of last year, French artist DMV, part of an artistic group called Bom.k, took to the streets of London to work on a mural. It wasn’t the first time the artist decorated London streets. He had previously collaborated on a mural in Hanbury Street. However, this time he came back by himself to exhibit some of his outstanding street art work, giving grey London some colourful and much needed boost.

He isn’t the only French street artist giving the British capital a paint-over. The likes of Invader (who inspires his art on the 80s computer games), Thierry Noir (who utilises bold colourful faces), Zabou (who creates outstanding black and white pieces highlighting important elements in colour), or Guemy (who works with small stencil portraits) have all used London as a canvas.

Oh, La, La: French Modern Music

When it comes to music, the French are not left behind either. Just think of Edith Piaf and you already have the answer to how talented the French are when it comes to music. An icon of the 20th century, Edith Piaf paved the way for many future generations of musicians. However, mainstream French music has also become quite popular. The likes of Mika, David Guetta, Manu Chao or Alizeé have grazed clubs, parties and venues with their pop, electro-pop or ska music.

From Inventors to Masters

And what is there even to say about film? The Lumiére Brothers were the inventors of cinematography as we know it, and the French were pioneers in editing, special effects, and many more things. French cinema is so big still to this date, that French Film Festivals are often being held worldwide. In fact, this coming November, London will host the 24th French Film Festival which continues to promote francophone cinema.