with Seth Globepainter
French artist Julien Malland, aka Seth Globepainter (previously), is known for his murals that capture the playfulness, determination, and innocence of childhood. Painted in cities from Paris to Jersey City to Amman, the large-scale works find humor and joy in youthful pastimes, while capturing the vibrant imaginations associated with adolescence. The faceless characters tend to be optimistic even as they confront adversity, particularly in the artist’s most recent murals addressing the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Currently, Malland is working on a series of hand-embellished lithographs and preparing for a solo show opening on October 27 at Fluctuart in Paris, where he lives. He has a monograph slated for publishing this fall, as well, and you can follow updates on that release, in addition to his latest murals, on Instagram.
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French artist Julien Malland, who works as Seth Globepainter (previously), is responding to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis with a new series of murals that capture the innocence of childhood. Painted throughout the thirteenth district of Paris, the public artworks feature kids in the midst of an imaginary adventure or playful activity: one rides an oversized pigeon, another blows multicolored bubbles, and a pair appears to float above the ground to embrace.
Each of the figures is sporting a metal knight’s helmet, a sign of protection for their physical wellbeing, in addition to a show of strength and resilience. In a note to Colossal, Globepainter says the headwear also refers to French President Emmanuel Macron’s speech in March in which he said, “We are at war,” as he ordered residents to stay home. The murals represent the way Parisians have accepted this new way of living and are about “how children, in particular, seem to have adapted easily to it,” the artist says. “They are protected by their helmets which weigh so heavily on them. They can only see through small openings in the metal, but they continue to play as if nothing had happened.”
To see more Globepainter’s public artworks that consider the world through the lens of childhood, follow him on Instagram.
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French artist Julien Malland, aka Seth Globepainter (previously), has spent the summer exhibiting a large body of work inside and outside of the Institut Culturel Bernard Magrez. Located in Bordeaux, France, the historic chateau was built in the 18th century and now doubles as a cultural center. Malland’s takeover includes dozens of paintings, installations, and sculptures that have transformed the castle into a colorful record of his travels and a look into his mind.
Titled 1,2,3, Soleil, the exhibition features over 50 of the artist’s faceless characters. Each room in the chateau has a theme that represents one of Malland’s previous projects in countries around the world. Vibrant colors and geometrical shapes are complicated by themes of conflict and loneliness. The exhibition includes site-specific installations as well as collaborative pieces made with artists Mono Gonzalez and Pascal Vilcollet.
The walk through Malland’s world will remain on view in France through October 7, 2019. In addition to his solo show, Malland also recently completed two murals in Denmark as part of Kirk Gallery‘s annual Out in the Open mural initiative. To keep up with the artist’s latest projects, follow him on Instagram.
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French street artist Julien Malland, known as Seth Globepainter (previously), currently has two solo exhibitions collectively titled Chambrum Rangeam, or “clean up your room,” at Dorothy Circus Gallery’s locations in London and Rome through December 24, 2018. The title references the common phrase uttered by ones’ parents in childhood in order to present a space of youthful freedom in the two concurrent shows. The exhibitions include new sculptures, like Malland’s piece “Scientia Potestas Est” (above) which presents a young boy on a stack of used books.
Malland also recently released a lithograph print that fuses the precision of printing with the often messy medium of spray paint. The piece, titled “The Ladder,” features a boy sitting on top of a singular cloud looking off into the distance. Propped against his resting place is a multi-colored ladder, produced by the artist in dripping lines of spray paint. For the limited edition, which was released on December 7th and has already sold out, Malland collaborated with the Parisian printing house Idem Paris. Although the base of each work will be uniform, his added hand-painted gestures make each completely unique.
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French artist Julien Malland aka Seth Globepainter (previously) continues to create childhood-inspired interventions around Paris and the world. Earlier this year he had a major museum solo show at MoCA Shanghai which included elaborate sculptures and site-specific installations. He also painted one of his largest pieces to date on the banks of the Seine in Paris, and took part in a creation associated with the upcoming museum of street art at the Mausa Vauban. Malland’s poetic murals resonate with audiences of all ages.
“Sweetness and innocence from childhood regularly contrasts with the chaotic environments I choose to put them in,” the artist tells Colossal. He often places the children in environments with books as a reference to their imagination and creativity. After intensively traveling to over fifty countries during the last two decades, Malland is very much aware of the way globalization and modernization are influencing local traditions. “We read less and less with the proliferation of screen habits,” he explains. “While reading we create our own images suggested by words. The screen makes us lazy and spoils our imagination.”
Eight years after his first visit to Shanghai, Malland went back to the city this March to introduce a large project which took place both inside MoCA Shanghai and in its old alleys. Focused on the idea of childhood memories, the outdoor interventions were cleverly created on crumbling buildings and in deserted side streets. The works depicted children playing emblematic games of the ’70s and ’80s, and evoked the atmosphere of the once lively neighborhood. “The vanishing traditional way of life is being replaced by a more common consumer society,” he explains. “This kind of transformation is worldwide, but it’s faster and more sudden in China. Painting those emptied neighborhoods gives me the opportunity to highlight this metamorphosis and continue to explore the traditional Chinese habits that still intrigue me.”
A few months later he took part in a project initiated by Itinerrance Gallery and the Paris City Hall, painting the banks of Seine along with 1010, Momies, and Nebay. The four artists created a long stream of colorful artwork that following the riverbed for a little bit over a mile. Along with 1010’s trompe l’oeil abstraction of an abyss, Momies’ graphic composition in the colors of the French flag, and Nebay’s calligraphy, Malland painted an anamorphic piece visible exclusively from the Pont de la Concorde. The work depicted a child sailing on a paper boat through a rainbow vortex—another incarnation of his imagery that speaks about the purity and boundlessness of children’s imagination and spirit.
Finally, back in June this year he created two pieces inside of Mausa Vauban, an upcoming museum of street art in Neuf-Brisach, France. Once again he explored the idea of children at play. One work is a compelling installation of a little boy breaking a wall and leaving a pile of colorful bricks stacked around the room and an open passageway. Malland is currently preparing for solo shows in London (November 2018), and Shaghai (January 2019), as well as an outdoor project in a pediatric hospital in the US, and is also working on several new books. You can follow his travels throughout the globe on Instagram.
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French muralist Julien Malland (aka Seth) has been extremely prolific over the last year, traveling to far-flung locations around the world including China, Tahiti, New Zealand, Italy, Canada, and even the Reunion Islands in just the last few months alone. Seth paints large-scale human figures—mostly children—that appear faceless, cut off by the edges of buildings, or turned completely away from the viewer as if looking out into the world or witnessing something we cannot see. From his artist statement:
Since 2003, [Malland] ventured across the world to exchange with street artists from different cultures, in order to broaden his horizon on life and on mural painting. From this experience he has been compelled to draw simple characters, mostly children, somehow connected to the chaotic environment in which they are revealed. Witnessing the outcome of globalization, its creations are celebrating traditions. Thus they are defining a hybrid culture between modern expression and traditional representation. His approach aims to arouse an artistic dialogue, whether it is a collaboration with local urban artists or a learning process of traditional techniques from local craftsmen.
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