Despite the gray skies — or maybe because of them — I decided to make the trek to the outer eastern edge of the 18th arrondissement (far from tourist-friendly Montmartre) to see the street artists at L’Aérosol (54 rue de l’Evangile, 18th, M° Porte de la Chapelle/Marx Domroy).
L’Aérosol is a “temporary” street art space in one of the unused SNCF (French Railway) warehouses. Like the popular Grand Train space, it’s the SNCF’s way of putting their industrial spaces to good use before they’re restored for other purposes. Needless to say, the walk there isn’t very scenic. Up until the last moment we weren’t even sure we were in the right place. But once there, you’ll find regular Parisians (some with their kids who were there for the children’s spray-painting workshop) hanging out and enjoying the space and the art.
L’Aérosol is dedicated to street art, with outdoor spaces constantly being decorated and redecorated by different graffiti artists, as well as an indoor Museum of Urban Art “Maquis – Art Hall of Fame” with works by some of the greatest street artists in the world including Banksy, Shepherd Fairey ” Obey”, C215, INTI, Retna, Chris Stain, Mr Chat, Invader, T-Kid-170, Basquiat, Blek Le Rat, Fab Five Freddy, Speedy Graphito and Martha Cooper. Entry to the museum is €5, and totally worth it. The “Exit at the Gift Shop” sells spray paint and some souvenirs from the artists.
There are also food trucks, outdoor bar, a tattoo parlor, event space, and regular roller disco nights. Yes, in your old-fashioned four-wheeled roller skates (but not always disco music, whew!). For the latest events check out their website or FB page. L’Aérosol is open Wednesdays 4-11pm, Thursday-Friday 4pm-midnight, Saturdays noon-midnight, and Sundays noon-8pm. Free entry to the space (museum €5).