French Parisian Street Artist.
Depth through Distortion. Murals & Paintings.
Photo (right) by Adam Glanzman. Northeastern University

AstroGraff

Born in Sarcelles in France, close to Paris, street artist, Greg Astro finds inspiration from the architecture of modern and ancient cities, design and calligraphy. Before large mural street art, Astro’s start was in writing his name in graffiti. One day he came up with the idea of combining his love for graffiti into large scale optical illusions.  His first large mural was in 2000, in the northern suburbs of Paris. Astro is able to deceive the viewers eye through distorting depth and exploiting shadows, light and colors.

Combining graffiti and optical art defines Astro, and makes him unique among street artists.  His early inspirations included German-French painter, Hartung.  Grand father and leader of the Op Art movement, VasarelyCzech painter, illustrator and graphic artist, Mucha who lived in Paris during the Art Nouveau period.  International street artist, Astro participates in Mural festivals around the world.  His artwork can be found on university walls, Boston pubs and art avenues.

Depth Through Distortion.

Tell us about your childhood and your favorite thing to do growing up?

I spent all my childhood rollerskating in the streets. I was about to become pro but I broke my leg during a training, on my way to a competition. After this accident which happened in 2000, I stopped rollerskating and I started painting and doing graffiti.

What is it like living in France?

I live close to Paris but I rarely go there. I spend a lot of time abroad and when I’m in France, I spend much of my days in my studio working on my canvases or my future installations. However Paris is a very beautiful city, there are a lot of Art exhibitions and beautiful monuments and museums to be visited ! There is always something to see!

What inspires your unique style? What inspires you day to day?

I’m inspired by the architectures of modern and ancient cities, Design, the calligraphy of all countries, the basic geometric forms and the optical Art.

What where you doing before street art murals, distorting depth?

Before street art and murals, I painted in the streets for 15 years as a graffiti writer. I was writing my name as a wild-style graffiti writer. I did it so many times ! And one day, I came up with the idea of making graffiti optical illusions. That’s when I moved from graffiti to street Art. However for me, only the size and the place of the walls have changed because I’ve always painted in the street.

Tell us about your process from concept to completion.

I start by analyzing the architecture of the building and the surface that I have to paint. I also seek the point of view which will be the most visible. Then I think of a strong and interesting illusion.

What is your typical first thought when you see a blank wall or space?

I project my self instantly in the creation of a new artwork. I imagine the wall with one of my painting on it. There are so many blank walls that I see in the streets and that I would like to paint!

What is your favorite mural or project you have created in your career.

Since I was was a kid, I’ve always dreamed to travel to the USA! I’ve been lucky that my Art was appreciated there ! I’ve painted several times in many different cities for graffiti first then for street art ( Los Angelès,New York, Chicago, Boston, Palm beach, Miami, Washington DC, Stockton etc… ). All these moments were great however if I had to chose only one, my greatest achievement is to have painted the largest and highest facade (14 floors) of Washington DC and of my carrer for the moment…

Dream project that you wish to do next?

I would like to work hand in hand with an architect to elaborate together a building from the conception to the realization and the painting of the building ( indoor and outdoor)

Is there anything else our readers should know about your work?

All my creations are free-hand painted without using video projector and without using stencil.  I would like to thank HOUSEINK for this interview and all the people that support and like my art.

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