We have been following the fascinating stencil creations of MonkeyBird for a long time and finally we have the pleasure to engage with them. The French duo crew, based in Paris, have progressed hugely in the last couple of years and have brought to the public, some jaw droping, wall creations. Their large scale works, combined with an idealistic content include animals and symbols that offer to by passers an alternative to todays massive industrialisation offering new ideals! If you havent heard already… here is MonkeyBird Crew!
(ISSA) – Hi guys, What will you choose to drink? Coffee, Tea, Beer, Soda or something else?
(MonkeyBird) – Two long coffees with a half sugar please sir!
-Please introduce yourself to us!
We are Louis and Edouard, 28 and 27 years old, we are French stencil artists. We live in Paris.
– Where does your tag name come from?
It’s our totem animals, the associations of a monkey and a bird represent body and soul – a complete human being in quest of an idealistic freedom.
-How do you define yourself? Artists? Street artists? Anything else?
We are artists and craftworkers, we try to have the right balance between an upper imagination, and our capacity to make those things possible.
– How did it all start for you, and what is it nowadays?
We started to paint together as MonkeyBird in Bordeaux City in 2009. It all begins with an intention to spread our white animals on the wall on the city, the stencil was really efficient to paint something beautiful in a short time. In 2013 we met the famous french stencil artist Jef Aerosol and a great art collector named Nicolas Laugero Lasserre, they helped us to go big. Now we still working with the same technique, but the drawings are more detailed, with more a more significative symbolic, and we are able to paint big murals.
-What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
Drink coffee, enjoy morning with the family 😉
-Street art is mostly a visually stimulating form of art. To add one more sense to it, what music would you pick to accompany your art work?
We like so much kinds of music, Classical, Jazz, Ethnic, Electronic, Hip Hop, and Trip Hop… But we almost enjoy when there is a strong spiritual vibration. There is a DJ we really appreciate, named Nicolas Jaar, he is able to mix everything, creating an incredible deep atmosphere.
-In all forms of art, inspiration is crucial. What is it that inspires you?
We try to follow the ancestor’s knowledge and adapt it to reach the modern citizens mind, with symbolic pictures. That’s why we look carefully at the whole art and civilizations movements. We love history, literature, poetry, social sciences… We also have a fascination for the practice of craftworkers, designers and architects.
-What is the hardest part while working on a piece of art?
Probably organization, as we do stencils, we’ve got to manage our time efficiently to draw, cut, and spray, without losing sight our other responsibilities.
-Do you have an artist(s) you admire and what for?
Probably Leonardo Da Vinci because he was an artist, a scientist, an engineer and a designer in the same time. As someone complete, he incarnates human progress.
-Which cities are the most inspiring for you?
Each city has is own soul. New Delhi (India) is absolutely crazy, full of people who let us paint on their old colorful walls. Lisboa (Portugal) is full of magnificent ornamented tiles and offers a view on the Ocean, and Paris (France) still magic, with its architecture and its well-minded citizens.
-What other passions do you have apart from art?
We love culture and knowledge, take good time with friends and travel to discover beautiful places.
-Do you have a wild project that you dream of achieving some day?
We would like to paint in small towns with powerful nature around, we would also like to paint inside of treasures of architectures like churches, libraries, or antique research centers.
-Tell us about your art, does it include symbolisms, messages or repeated patterns?
Our art is born with the 21th century’s Street Art pioneers. But with practice and reflection, we finally discovered the whole history of Muralism. Finally our work is more related to antique Symbolism than Street Art and Graffiti codes. Nowadays, modern citizens are doubting about the massive industrialization and are in quest of a new ideal. Our work deals with it, we paint sacred representations to confront people to the enigma of the genesis.
– How long time does a piece of art work of yours usually survive for?
It depends of what we do, if it’s a small piece in the street, it can disappear the day after, or survive during years… If it’s a big mural, it will stay as long as the paint stills…
-What do people first think of, or feel, when they see one of your works on the street?
Usually the people are first surprised with the bright effect of the white paint on the wall, then enjoy the details. They really take time to look at it and try to decrypt the symbolic significance. It’s really encouraging to keep doin it that way
-Do you have a secret you would like to share with us?
Sorry, but secrets still remain secrets 😉
-What are your creative plans for the future?
Well we already have lots of projects in our schedule! Murals, Exhibitions… we would like to experiments new techniques with craft-workers, and also editing a traditional handmade book.
-Is there a specific thought or message you would like to pass to our audience out there?
Thanks a lot for the support, please take time to think and practice by your own and for the other.
-Thank you guys! It’s been great to get to know more about the minds behind such talented and inspiring works.
My pleasure! Thank you for your interest and your sympathy!!!