The ones the taggers scrawl their names over just to piss me off.
I even proudly possess an original Keith Haring; taken from the New York subway way back when, by a gay Illustrator friend of mine who was in the know, and who left it to me later when he died of AIDS. I treasure it, and I don’t care that it’s never been authenticated. I know my barking dog’s pedigree.
When I first arrived in Paris I soon noticed the quirky, kinky stencil art of a graffiti artist who goes by the name of Miss.Tic; a play on words with mystique, something she holds dear.
I kept seeing them around the city, particularly in the Marais, and I photographed them whenever I could.
But mostly, I just admired them, and tried to figure out the cryptic messages associated with each image, which was often impossible as my French wasn’t nearly good enough at the time, particularly the nuances of French sexual slang.
That’s important because Miss.Tic is blatantly sexual, even more so when one learns that the hot looking babe in the images is none other than herself. She’s proud of herself and she’s loaded with attitude, just look at some of her messages.
“I don’t expect anything from love. It expects something from me.”
“Man is the past of woman.”
“Follow your desire so that you don’t meet up with it.”
“Do free shows have a price?”
She’s not quite mainstream yet, but she does have gallery shows, and a book (Parisienne, Ed. Diffusion Alternatives) and there’s even a rent-a-truck that uses one of her images, and I say good on you Miss.Tic, because in the beginning it was highly illegal what she did – defacing public and private property, even though now some people invite her to “deface” their walls.
I tried to meet her twice, once at an early gallery show, and once at a Virgin Megastore event, and both times she no-showed because she got word that the police would be there.
I suppose if I tried now, I could meet her. I just missed an opening she had almost in my neighbourhood at the Galerie Brugler-Rigali, 48, rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie in the 4th district.
But I think I’ll let her keep her Mystique for awhile longer and continue to try to fathom her poetic consciousness whenever I luckily bump discover one of her works.