When it comes to graffiti, there are no hard-and-fast rules as to where and on what you can spray. If it's unauthorized, the talent or "artistic worth" shown will usually determine the reaction of the local community and whether it's removed or not. But a new graffiti artwork on a building in Marseille, France is a little different: it's a building created by the renowned architect Le Corbusier.
A building by Le Corbusier isn't something that should be defaced lightly. The Swiss-French architect was a pioneer of the modernist movement and is praised for the humanizing touch he brought to crowded and overbearing cities. Just last week, UNESCO added 17 of his projects to its list of World Heritage Sites. That's why it was such a shock for visitors to see his La Cité Radieuse in Marseille covered in seemingly random strips of yellow and red paint.
It's the work of Swiss-born, Paris-based artist Felice Varini, and from most angles the shapes make no sense. But move to just to right spot and those random strips become continuous shapes that appear superimposed on the building – like colored rings have been photoshopped on top of a picture.
He's decked out trains, city squares and the Grand Palais is his 40 year career, but he says his designs are not based on history, or art, or even the canvas upon which they live. He told Wired that Le Corbusier’s building is an awe-inspiring place, but once he began to work, “I forget that it’s Corbusier, and I make a painting,” he says.
The project will be removed in October. Check it out above.
Afterwards, here's a throwback to the creation of the largest illegal graffiti piece.