For a photographer living in a major city filled with iconic architecture, museums, and myriad tourist destinations, the struggle to capture an authentic image is great. This was the exact situation photographer Michael Wolf found himself in after moving to Paris from Hong Kong in 2008. Surrounded in a city filled with sights that could easily be interpreted as cliché, Wolf pointed his camera away from the recognizable landmarks and instead focused on the dense rooftops surrounding the city. Packed with stout chimneys, tv antennas, graffiti, and numerous geometric forms, these shots present a strange abstracted view of a usually recognizable place.
The Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture (French for “little belt railway”) was a 32 km railway that encirled Paris, connecting all the major railway stations within fortified walls during the Industrial Revolution. In service from 1852 to 1934, the line has now been partially abandoned for 80 years.
Several developers and local officials have recently set their sights on the vast swath of unused land, tunnels, and stations as an opportunity for new development. However, some railway enthusiasts and related organizations want the tracks and stations to be preserved indefinitely as part of the cities’ heritage. Others want to turn areas of de Petite Ceinture into parkways similar to the nearby Promenade plantée, a 4.7 km park built on an elevated train track in 1988 that later inspired New York’s famous High Line.
As part of his project “By the Silent Line,” photographer Pierre Folk has been working since 2011 to photograph the 160-year-old railway’s last remnants before any final decisions are made. He stalks the tracks at all times of the year, often returning to the same locations to document nature’s slow reclamation as rusted tracks and crumbling tunnels are swallowed by trees, vines, and grass. This is just a small selection of Folk’s work, you can see many more photos right here.
I’m really enjoying these abstract city maps by Jazzberry Blue (warning: audio). The cities you see above as well as Jerusalem and New Delhi are available as Giclée prints over on Etsy. (via unknown editors)
Artist Philippe Pasqua recently completed installation of an impressive Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton that now stands watch over the Seine river in Paris. The structure is made from 350 chrome molded bones and measures a full 21′ x 12′ (3m by 6m). Photographs above courtesy Anthony Gelot. If you liked this, also check out Huang Yong Ping’s stainless steel snake skeleton, Ressort.
I love this new piece by street artist Seth, spotted today in Paris. You may remember his work from a few weeks ago in the temporary gallery space at the shuttered Les Bains nightclub. According to StreetArtNews the piece can be found on Rue de Julienne right about here. (via this isn’t happiness)
Built as a municipal bathhouse in the late 19th century, Les Bains-Douches would eventually become one of the hottest night clubs in Paris known simply as Les Bains, a destination for the likes of Kate Moss, Mick Jagger, Johnny Depp and even Andy Warhol. Due to some faulty construction in 2010 the building was declared a safety hazard and is now slated for complete renovation in just a few days to pave way for La Société des Bains, a new space that will open in 2014. In the meantime, owner Jean-Pierre Marois turned over the building to 50 street artists commissioned by Magda Danysz Gallery who have been working since January to turn the decaying building into an endless canvas of artwork.