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Heart Headed Project-Charlotte Le Bon-Paris

While she may become more known for her life as a movie star soon, Charlotte Le Bon is an artist at heart, or should we say head? The name Charlotte Le Bon may not mean anything to Americans now, but in a few years time, she may be gracing every magazine cover and feature film poster from NYC to Paris. This French-Canadian former model is also a talented illustrator, photographer, comedian and actress, is gearing up to become one of the biggest stars on the international stage.

In the coming years she is set to star alongside Academy Award winner Helen Mirren, in the Steven Spielberg-produced The Hundred Foot Journey. She is also in this year’s biopic of French fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent and in the Robert Zemekis biopic of French high-wire artist Phillipe Petit, who famously walked between the Twin Towers.  She is not just adding major features to her resume, for the U.S art-house audience will be able to see Ms. Le Bon in Michel Gondry’s Mood Indigo later this year.

It is astounding that this woman of many talents, even has the time to come up with and execute something like the Heart-Headed Project, a self-funded street art project.

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Diner en Blanc Paris-2014-Invalides-Pont Alexander IIIPhoto by Fabrice Malard via Dîner en Blanc de Paris

The banks of the Seine in Paris are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites in themselves and this year, the river was front and center at the 2014 Paris Dîner en Blanc, which took place on the bridges Paris and at the Invalides. After last year’s event simultaneously at Trocadero and the Louvre, once again people wondered how the event could outdo itself for a 26th year in a row.

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JR-Inside Out Project-The Pantheon-ParisImage via JR on Facebook

By now, we’re used to seeing large scale JR installations in public places like Times Square and Lincoln Center’s NYC Ballet. Or maybe you’ve caught pieces in smaller, unexpected spots like the Elizabeth Street Garden or seen his work in Rio de Janeiro from afar. And while his Inside Out Project, spurred by his 2011 Ted Prize win may now be bordering on ubiquitous, it still has the power to amaze depending on location. Today, JR has unveiled his latest at the Pantheon in Paris. The stunning building, which looks like this normally, has been taken over by photographs he received from all around the world.

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A_Few_Parisians_by_David_Cessac_video_1

We are saddened to announce the recent passing of Untapped Cities illustrator, cartoonist and beloved friend David Cessac. He was 39 years old. David, who lived in Paris, always made us laugh with the witty illustrations and commentary he created for his Untapped Cities column, A Few Parisians. In his first interview with Untapped, David said, “What I like about this series is that it’s a new way to reinvent, or reappropriate, the city of Paris. It was the first idea I had.”  (more…)

Piscine-Molitor-2014-via-Marhabameg-Twitter-Untapped-CitiesPiscine Molitor reopened, photo via Instagram user marhabameg

Readers may remember the Piscine Molitor as the abandoned public swimming pool in Paris, France which gave its name to the main character in the novel and later movie Life of Pi. Largely abandoned since its closing in 1989, the Piscine Molitor has been declared a National Heritage Site by the French government, though since that declaration the pool has seen more use as a skateboard and bike park than an actual swimming pool. In fact, in recent years it has been far more famous as a graffiti and street art destination rather than a historic landmark.

In 2007, the Mayor of Paris chose the architectural group Colony Capital-Accor-Bouygues to renovate the iconic site. Originally slated to reopen in 2012, the project was delayed until 2014 and finally on Monday, May 19th, Piscine Molitor has opened its doors once again.

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Les Espaces d’Abraxas, a housing project in the Paris suburbs 

Lately, everyone in the Paris area is talking about “Le Grand Paris” again. The Grand Paris project is essentially a large urban development initiative meant to better integrate and govern Paris and its surrounding suburbs. Then-President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed the project in 2007 with the end goal of creating a more attractive, competitive and equal capital region for France. The Grand Paris has been making headlines again following a law passed in January that creates a political institution that will govern Paris and its surrounding cities. Now that the Grand Paris has a government structure written into law, it seems like the once nebulous idea is finally becoming a reality.  (more…)