Michael Beerens is a a Parisian artist. He started doing graffiti in the late ’90s but transitioned to more illustrative work in 2007, after a serious motorcycle incident which left him in a hospital bed for nearly 6 months. “I realized that graffiti, the way I practiced it, was a completely selfish act and limited in time, jail was always around the corner,” Beerens states in his bio. “Gradually I started using painting as my forum, a way of conveying a message, an idea.” It’s not clear if his transition from ‘graffiti’ to ‘street art’ was also a transition from working illegally to doing more commissioned walls, however he implies that doing street art, to whatever degree, is a lesser risk of arrest than graffiti. I know this is a commonly accepted idea now but I’ve never seen it in an artist statement.
Beerens work is heavily symbolic, often using animals to depict metaphors for struggle, subversion and the daily grind. The combination of his selective use of color, the detailed conglomerations of human-objects to construct larger objects (i.e. the bird’s nest above) are quite reminiscent of Blu.
Photos courtesy of Michael Beerens