1973, France. Lives and works in Paris.
Painter. Born as Christian Guémy, the Paris-based French street artist known as C215 has swiftly moved into being one of the top stencil artists in the world. He is considered one of the top veterans still in the game. His work consists mainly of close up portraits of people. C215’s subjects are typically those such as beggars, homeless people, refugees, street kids and the elderly. The rationale behind this choice of subject is to draw attention to those that society has forgotten about. C215 says that the most important parts of the stencil are the feelings within, the expression of the eyes, and the story behind. He believes that “urban art” is simply the sharing of artwork with others against gentrification and standardization. Putting life in the streets through art is also part of adding to the aesthetic of the everyday. C215 is a prolific street artist and has practiced his art in cities all over the world. His stencils may be seen in the streets and galleries worldwide.
Shepard Fairey “OBEY” about C215
“C215’s art captures a light, depth, and humanity that is difficult and rare using stencils, his chosen medium. Stencils tend to flatten images and make them static, but C215 has developed a style of illustrating and stenciling that yields an impressionistic illumination of his subject’s character. Even though his technique is meticulously refined, C215’s work transcends the formal and seems to get to the core of compassion and belief in the human spirit. Encountering C215’s pieces on the street always makes me happy”
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada about C215
“C215 is one of those artists who is like his artwork: accessible, caring, critical and multi layered. Christian Guemy is the type of person that if you are lucky enough to have as a friend you will cherish it for life. A man with a quick wit and sharp assertiveness that has always shown me his generous
camaraderie. Christian is a great example of someone who follows his dreams against all odds. He has set the standard for the use of stencils in contemporary art through his fluid hand cutting, the gradation of the spray, the meticulous layering and his mastery of colour. His recognition and success are the result of a blend of a hell lot of work and pure talent. Driven, prolific and ambitious, he throws himself to create intense work, complex work, experimenting with new subjects and new scales without fear… and maybe the secret is not just a lack of fear but a combination with something else, which might come from his admiration for Caravaggio who always carried with him, engraved on his dagger, the words “Nec spe nec metu” (“neither expectation, nor fear”).”