Saturday, October 10, 2009

graffiti's glamour boy

It's not unusual for graffiti artists to achieve a certain level of fame and fortune later in their careers. Consider Kaws, Shepard Fairey (of Obama hope poster fame), Futura, and Slick, for example. Their art moved from streets and subways to hip galleries, fashion labels, designer vinyl toys and graphic design.

But among all of them, none lived a life more glamorously than the Parisian graffiti artist named André. After all, he's French. And handsome (see below, left).

This year, he became the star of the Belvedere IX Vodka campaign, along with Monsieur André (above, right), the character he made famous on the walls of Paris in the early 90s.

André's other early claim to fame was the "love graffiti" (above). He would paint the name of a lover over a random spot in Paris, on commission.

Because of his cool image, the Palais du Tokyo commissioned André to open a store (called Black Block) within the modern art museum. It sold everything hip, including toys based on his Monsieur André character (above) as well as global street fashion (below).

Later, André's partnership with high-profile friends resulted in a chain of successful clubs – Le Baron, Paris Paris, Le Regine (with Lionel Bensemoun) and La Montana (with Olivier Zahm). That's how he became the "it boy" of the Parisian club scene (below).

But the André style did not end there. Soon, he went into the hotel business with Hotel Amour (below, left) near Montmartre, probably the best "chic & cheap" hotel in Paris. I'd love to stay in one of its Bearbrick-decorated rooms! (below, right)

"Graffiti is not vandalism but a beautiful crime." – André

From artistic outlaw to lifestyle prince. I guess that's what happens when creativity combines with business savvy.
Who says street artists have to starve? :-)

(Top) The Monsieur André Bearbrick designed by André is part of the Bearbrick Worldwide Tour Set A, released in 2004.

Info/other pics from,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


Frances Ang said...

hi there!! congratulations!! :D said...

Hi, Fran! Thanks, I didn't even know what you were talking about until I checked your blog! I wasn't there at the PETA Theater last night – I was sick! Well, I still am... sorta. Good thing you're a diligent blogger! Thanks! :-)

Frances Ang said...

hope you're feeling better na! hooray for you!!

congratulations again!!

Jun said...

CONGRATULATIONS! Well-deserved.:-) said...

Thanks, Jun! Let's celebrate! :-)

genial said...

sorry if I'm OOT... just drop by to congratulate you as a winner of Best Hobby & Recreation Blog.. keep up the good work :) happy blogging friend:) said...

Thanks, Genial! :-)