Paris' Subway Theatre

When visiting Paris I fell in love with the subway system.  To me it was both a contemporary art gallery and theatre space.  The large format posters were like contemporary artworks, with their bold designs and bright colours - everything from pop art to constructivism could be found.  

I also enjoyed the juxtaposition of the people in the subway.  Some of the scene were straight out of a Edward Hopper painting, others reminded my of Sartre or Camus play or novel.  There is a definite sense of inspiration and a sense of place in the Paris  subway system.  

This photo essay illustrates the cast of characters that is the Paris Subway Theatre.

A cast of characters, all looking ahead ignoring each other.  Dressed very fashionably. Visaully love the way the blue tie and blue folder connect.  There is also an mysterious reflection in the background.  No wonder Paris is such an inspirational place for artists. 

A cast of characters, all looking ahead ignoring each other.  Dressed very fashionably. Visaully love the way the blue tie and blue folder connect.  There is also an mysterious reflection in the background.  No wonder Paris is such an inspirational place for artists. 

The Paris subway is like an art gallery with the posters being the art.  This could be an installation in a contemporary art gallery.  Did they purposely link the orange chairs with the poster.  Love how in Paris designers aren't afraid to use colour to create cheerful sense of place. 

Again the subtle sense of design is incredible. Now the orange chairs have morphed from rectangular to circular and have a "happy face" element.  The carnival playground sensibility is echoed in the poster's festival-like image.  This could be my "happy place!" 

Waiting for godot? Perhaps! The wall is now a blank white canvas of nothingness.  Taken from the train as it is leaving the station.

Again a sense of waiting. Notebook in hand.  Eager anticipation.  Something has happened? Something is about to happen? Life is all about anticipation!

In this picture I love the leg, arm and hand gestures.  Everyone is turned the same way waiting/anticipating. What is the next line / next chapter in this story? From a composition perspective the model's hair in the poster matches teh bench.

Taken from the train.  The posters in the subway are provocative and visually challenging in a way that is rarely seen in other cities. Each station has its own set design that ranges from playful to erotic to fearful.  There is a definite sense of the comedy and tragedy.  

The boundaries of advertising and art are blurred in Paris' Subway theatre. 

While riding in the train I became fascinated by the combination of what was happening outside and inside in the reflection and transparency of the windows.  It was like two plays were happening at the same time.  The visual and intellectual complexity was very stimulating.  You can study these images for a long time and still see new things. Food for the imagination.

Close up of poster for circus coming to town I believe.  Reminded my a Richard Linder artwork, only with a playful rather than erotic sensibility.  

Again close up of image on wall of subway that captures the sense of vibrancy of the subway, people coming and going in all different directions.  their is a child-like innocence in the colour and drawing - creating a sense of fun that is so lacking in most public spaces.  Too often stations have a more minimalistic design that is cold and clinical; at least for me.