Walking through the streets of Paris at midnight some time this year, I kept seeing what looked like a boob on various walls.
Hidden in really random locations and normally quite high up, they seemed to be everywhere. However, as I do a lot of street art searching at night I couldn’t quite confirm whether it was a boob or not because it was so dark. Maybe it just looked like it?
Finally, when strolling through Montmartre in the daytime, my question was answered. I spotted one a little lower down and upon closer inspection could confirm that it was, indeed, a boob.
My next question was: who put it there? And why?
Lucky for me I have many secret sources and sneaky accomplices that help me find the details of street artists (ie. Google and Instagram lol), and it was through these that I finally solved the mystery of the boob artist.
Hello Intra Larue!
Intra Larue makes boob sculptures and places them all over the world (mainly in Paris). Each one is decorated differently, which is fun because although the sculpture is the same every time, it’s fun to see different variations on the same theme.
From what I’ve read about her she actually started placing these boobs as a joke, but has continued to create and spread them all over the globe, which I think is awesome.
The reason I love them is the same reason why I love so much street art; there’s something about the thrill of finding them over and over again and recognising that it’s that particular artist’s work that really gets me excited.
When it comes to artists that have a repeated theme or installation, and place their art all over the world (such as Gregos, Invader, Le Diamantaire etc), I call them ‘invaders’. They ‘invade’ the world with their repeated, instantly recognisable pieces.
I love this type of art because it is predominantly responsible for encouraging me to be someone who lives more in the moment.
By this I mean that being on the constant lookout for artwork in the street makes me so much more aware of my surroundings, and I find myself really paying attention to those parts of the city that I might not focus on if I was just walking through.
It also makes me really pay attention to the present moment more than anything, which is something I find hard as I’m always looking to the future (what I can do next, where I can go, where I want to be etc)!
Explaining what these types of artists do to friends who don’t follow street art has encouraged them to be the same way – more aware of their surroundings and appreciative of art in the street. 🙂 I regularly get messages from friends saying, “Look who I found in Amsterdam! Gregos!” It’s amazing, the connection this work creates!
Now, back to Intra’s work. I find that such is the popularity of Invader – arguably one of the most famous street artists in the world – that ambitious and less-famous street artists tend to place their work around his.
It’s a good tactic as it increases the visibility of their work; tourists especially will make a connection between Invader and the work around it, as (having less knowledge of street art) they imagine that artists’ work being in the same place must equate to the same sort of fame. Or it just piques their curiosity because it’s sat next to a space invader. And it works.
But Intra isn’t like this. I like the placement of her work; the boobs aren’t found in obvious locations. They’re not always in the locations you expect to find the more famous artists’ work, and they’re not always easy to see.
They also tend to be quite high, which makes seeing her tag on them really hard! So not only are they harder to spot but it’s also harder to find out who put them there (hence my problem when I kept seeing them everywhere).
It makes her work even more special because you’re not always expecting to find a piece in the location that she puts them. I’ve seen boobs in really tiny spaces that you might not look even as a street art fan, and it’s awesome.
You know, I actually love the fact it’s a boob because in everyday life there is no way to come across the subject or image of boobs without them being related to sex or breastfeeding (breasts being over-sexualised and highlighting that their primary goal is for breastfeeding, not to be sexual, is a pretty hot topic right now). It’s interesting to take the boob out of both it’s sexual context and it’s natural context and put it in a place where it stands alone.
And once you’ve gotten over the fact it’s a boob you can start to actually appreciate the beauty of the variety of patterns on each one, and also where they are placed. I’m obsessed with colour, I LOVE pattern – and I love how much detail and work goes into these boobs 🙂
Put simply, I love Intra LaRue‘s work!