Street Art at the Gustave Moreau Museum:
Codex invites himself into Gustave’s home. Hybrid bestiaries
The Street Artist, Codex Urbanus, will take up residence in the Gustave Moreau Museum for the Long Night of Museums. From 18 to 30 May 2016, his own bestiary-themed works will meet those of Gustave Moreau. From 7pm to 11pm on Saturday 21 May the artist will also present a live performance.
Guest artist: Codex Urbanus
Codex Urbanus was originally the title of a Street Art project, over a series of nights an outlaw bestiary was painted on the walls of Paris’ 18th arrondissement. This urban manuscript – or Codex Urbanus in Latin – presented a host of strange chimera and fantastical animals and brought the artist to the attention of the general public. Consequently he adopted the title as his artist’s name. Codex Urbanus shares Gustave Moreau’s taste for dreams, imagination and Symbolism. He is part of a community of incorrigible dreamers who exist on the margins of the contemporary art scene, portraying timeless legends and imagined creatures in their own tattoo art, cartoon strips and, of course, urban art. This movement is filled with a heartfelt desire to return to the media of drawing and painting. Its graffiti and street artists provide us with uninhibited views of monsters, imagined cities and heroic characters displayed across the wastelands and unused lots of the world’s urban centres. It is a kind of Street Symbolism which follows naturally in the vein of Moreau’s work, reuniting artists with their imagination through the use of new media: in the streets, spray can and marker pen have now replaced oil paint and artist’s palette.
After participating in the “Dalí fait le mur” show at the Espace Dalí in 2013, Codex wanted to pay his own tribute to Gustave Moreau, whose magical and symbolic universe has always been one of his major sources of inspiration.
Presentation of works by Codex Urbanus from 18 to 30 May 2016
The museum was designed entirely by Gustave Moreau (1826-1898) and located in his family home. He bequeathed it to the State in his will and the museum first opened its doors to the public in 1903, its original layout and design have been preserved in keeping with the artist’s wishes. Codex will be entering into an intimate relationship with Gustave Moreau’s work, shedding his own particular light on them. The show will take us through every floor of the museum on a journey of discovery combining the dreamlike and the symbolic, providing us with a new perspective on Gustave Moreau’s work next to which Codex will present his own works on a number of different supports (canvas with anti-graffiti coating, paper and old press cuttings).
In rooms E and F of the ground floor, his own chimera will meet those of the master. Codex raises the question of posterity and confronts the artist’s desire for immortality – especially that of Moreau himself who created his own museum – with the ephemeral nature of Street art – the quintessential art of the moment, with each work destined for eventual destruction in either the short or the medium term.
On the first floor, in the apartment, Codex presents small drawings surrounded by Gustave’s personal effects. Despite the convergence between these different universes, visitors will recognise Codex’s style.
Finally, the top two floors, which make up the artist’s studio, are devoted to the notion of the myth, from antiquity to popular art. The large waxworks showcase will present images of 19th century periodicals reworked by Codex. He will also raise the question of the potential existence of a Gustave Moreau legend: did the painter, through his magical and epic subjects, become a sort of legend, a fantastical character only temporarily absent from his home, inviting generations of artists and intellectuals to continue his work? Finally, can this legend still convey a contemporary message, or has it become dated? These are just some of the questions which Codex will attempt to answer with his works.
Nocturnal adventures: Long Night of Museums 2016
Codex Urbanus will present a public performance for the Long Night of Museums, in which he will produce his own pen and ink drawing in Gustave Moreau’s studio. He will also be available to answer questions about his experience of the Gustave Moreau museum, the works on show and Street Art in general.
This evening event will also provide a magical opportunity to discover Moreau’s museum by night, as the shadows creep in to accentuate the mystery of the site and where creatures born on Paris walls come to life.
Gustave Moreau Museum
14, rue de la Rochefoucauld
Tel: 01 48 74 38 50
Facebook: Musée Gustave Moreau
Aurélie Peylhard, Communication Manager
Monday, Wednesday and Thursday: 10 am to 12.45 pm, 2 pm to 5.15 pm
Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 10 am to 5.15 pm
Closed on Tuesdays
Full price: €6
Long Night of Museums
Saturday 21 May 2016
Free entry from 7 pm to 11 pm (ground floor and workshops open, apartments closed)
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/codexstreetart