Secret Walls: Street Art’s Fight Club

The latest in the Parisian ‘concept’ evening has arrived and you’re going to love it. A drink in your hand, you’re chatting away with your colleague-friend-person at the next table, when you suddenly realize something is happening at the other end of the room. In fact two street artists are competing with each other under the applause and encouragement of the crowd – you’re at a ‘Secret Walls’ evening!

Secret Walls 4

© Denis Meyer

The concept is not that new. It was launched ten years ago in New York before being exported to Hong Kong, Los Angles, Berlin etc. Today ‘Secret Walls’ evenings happen all over the world.

The concept has just made its debut in France and is already very popular. The fourth round of ‘Secret Walls’ evenings in Paris will take place on May 28th at the ‘Comptoir Général’. We decided deux fondateurs de Secret Walls X France, Pierre Estagnasié et Valentin Ponsto interview the to interview the founders of ‘Secret Walls, France’, Pierre Estagnasié et Valentin Pons, in order to learn more about the concept.

How did it happen ?

In 2013 they were both in Hong Kong for their studies when they witnessed their first ‘Secret Walls’ street art battle. They were immediately enthusiastic and also impressed by the quality of the artists’ work. They attended several evenings and rapidly got to know the ‘Secret Walls’ team and the artists involved. On their return to Lyons (their school is in Lyons), they spent six months looking up and contacting artists, meeting gallery owners in order to become familiar with the street art scene in Lyons and to prepare their proposal for Terry Guy, the founder of ‘Secret Walls’ a Londoner who now lives in Los Angles.  So things really took off with the the first ‘Secret Walls evening launched in Lyons on September 18th 2014.The successful artist Jakè, currently represented by the Y gallery in Boulogne won the first series of battles. Today these two young enthusiasts have brought ‘Secret walls’ to Paris.

Secret Walls 3

 © Denis Meyer

The concept – How does it work ?

The rules are simple. The two competing street artists have the same instruments: three black markers of different sizes, black paint, and a brush. They have ninety minutes to cover the huge canvas which is two metres by 1.15 metres. The crowd watches, comments and shouts encouragement and that’s it – a ‘Secret Walls’ evening!

And of course as this is a duel, there is always a winner and a loser. There are three votes: two votes from the gallery owners invited for the occasion or persons well-known in the street art milieu and finally the public represents the third vote (determined by an audiometer). And don’t forget to exercise your vocal chords to be able to support your favorite artist before attending an evening!

Secret Walls 2 © BGHK

The competition is played out in seven events : four qualifying rounds, two semi-finals and a final. The artists’ work becomes more skilled as they progress and as regards audience word of mouth Is the policy.

The fourth round of ‘Secret Walls’ X Paris is scheduled for May 28th at the Comptoir Général (80 quai de Jemmapes, Paris 10th). Hope to see you there!

Here is the event and to follow the next round here is the Facebook page of ‘Secret Walls X France!

secret walls 1