Giant Sculpture of Polygonal Woman Symbolically Passes Through a Fence Amidst Riots

David Mesguich Street Art Installation

In his newest project, French artist David Mesguich struggles to reconcile his past as a graffiti writer with his current work as a contemporary artist. Indeed, as more and more graffiti and street artists gain recognition in the mainstream contemporary art world, there is a balance between the past and present that is not always easy to maintain.

For Pressure 1.2, Mesguich finds himself back in the train yard, painting trains at night under the name User 79 and creating one of his signature geometric sculptures by day. Teetering on the line of “vandal” and artist, the 13-foot monumental sculpture represents his evolving career in the art world. “I wanted to confront my past practice of vandal to my work as a contemporary artist while questioning the concept of control of beings and spaces,” he tells My Modern Met. After two weeks of work, Mesguich left his sculpture in the train yard, facing the train he'd recently painted.

Here, the woman rests, palm out toward the train, as though beckoning toward the past. Interestingly, a short time later, this piece was destroyed by a storm, perhaps symbolically pointing to a higher meaning. If nothing else, it reminds us that this art form is ephemeral. But to immortalize it all, Mesguich also shot an all-encompassing video that shows both sides of his practice. Intercut with footage of riots in Nantes, which took place during the creation of the project, it encapsulates the environment the artist thrives in, while continuing to make a name for himself both on the street and in the gallery.

David Mesguich's new project speaks of the balance he faces between his work as a graffiti writer and as a contemporary artist.

David Mesguich Street Art InstallationDavid Mesguich Street Art InstallationDavid Mesguich Street Art InstallationDavid Mesguich Street Art InstallationDavid Mesguich Street Art InstallationDavid Mesguich Street Art Installation

Watch the video to get the full experience of this ephemeral art installation.

David Mesguich: Website | Facebook | Instagram 

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by David Mesguich.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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