portrait C215


C215, Christian Guémy's pseudonym, is a French urban and stencil artist, born in October 1973 in Bondy. Raised by his grandparents following the death of his mother, he obtained several degrees at university: a master's degree in History, a master's degree in the History of Architecture, and another in the History of Art at the Sorbonne. Christian Guémy created his first works in 2006. Although he is still drawing as a child, with his mother's old material. "As a teenager, I did a bit of tagging, but it was nothing serious," he says. Besides, he used to make comic strips for his school newspaper and cartoons of teachers and classmates.

C215 is an artist committed to causes such as Reporters Without Borders, he supports the association ATD Fourth World to make the fight against poverty a priority. Among other things...

Known internationally, Christian Guémy now presents works painted on recycled objects in many galleries in France and around the world.

Techniques used

At the age of 32, Christian Guémy is back with the brushes he had neglected since adolescence. Devastated by a sentimental break-up, he begins to paint portraits of his ex-wife and daughter on the walls of their neighbourhoods. Gradually, C215's work evolves, his colourful and singular stencils appear in the streets. The faces smile, the looks are brighter. The man rebuilds himself. In 2013, he also paints the portrait of the Minister of Justice, Christine Taubira, then the target of racist attacks.

His favorite subjects are childhood, the forgotten, the anonymous, the lovers, but also animals (dogs, cats and birds), particularly present in his urban paintings. His main model is his daughter Nina, born in 2003. Her style ranges from two-tone to the most colourful compositions. The dimensions of his works remain on a human scale, rarely realizing very large painted walls.

Medium used

"I try to interact with the context, so I place elements and characters that are mostly street elements and characters. I like to show things and people that society tries to keep hidden: the homeless, smokers, street children, bench lovers for example."