Giant Graffiti on the Grass below Paris’ Eiffel Tower | Streetart by Saype | Say Peace

An artwork in the heart of Paris — on the
Champs de Mars, right in front of the Eiffel Tower. Six pairs of hands clasping one another. They’re meant to show that together we can
get farther than we can on our own. “Part of society wants to withdraw into itself. But we believe that we need to act together
to tackle various challenges. That’s the message that we want to send out
with this project, the interlocked hands. Values like: kindness, mutual aid, unity and
living together.” Saype and his team worked feverishly for 8
days and nights on the project. It was a race against time to get it ready
for the opening. The weather was working against them, too. The colours don’t stick so well when the grass
is wet….and there had been a lot of rain. My idea is to have as little impact on nature
as possible. I only use natural materials: chalk for the
white spots, coal for the black ones. And the glue I use is made from milk protein. So only natural products. So my work’s not that paradoxical. I aim to touch people’s hearts without harming
nature.” Saype, whose real name is Guillaume Legros,
transfers his ideas from small sketches to the huge Champs de Mars. He’s helped by his team: three colleagues
and a lot of volunteers. “I like the result a lot; it’s very simple. Magnificent and quite lovely. The message is very clear. It’s also a nice way of using the Champs de
Mars. All the grass in Paris should look like this. It adds life.” Saype has been spraying his land art in various
parts of the world since 2013. Especially in Europe and South America. The environment and transience are his main
themes. “I wanted to do graffiti, but that didn’t
make sense, ’cause it’s everywhere. It didn’t move people the way it used to. I had to find a new way. That was at the time drones arrived in Europe,
which gave me a completely new way of looking at the world.” Saype wants to make a statement with this
‘fresco’ in Paris. Called “Beyond Walls”, it’s a plea to tear
down barriers — both real and psychological. And, for him, Land Art is the right tool for
the job. People like the idea. “From downstairs I didn’t know what it was,
but when I walked upstairs I was like ‘Oh, it’s really beautiful.” “Hopefully there are people who want to build
walls that who also love art. And you can reach them through beauty.” “I noticed that there was like a lot of different
depth perception with it. I thought it was interesting that you could
do that with spray paint, which I’ve never seen before.” In total, the ‘hands’ are 25 meters wide and
stretch for 600 meters. That’s almost twice as long as the Eiffel
Tower is high! Saype also wants to draw attention to the
work of SOS Méditerranée, a humanitarian organization that rescues people in distress
from the Mediterranean Sea. “This artwork Saype dedicated to us isn’t
just a handshake showing the solidarity between people. It also symbolizes the gesture of a rescuer,
who uses it to save the life of a drowning person.” For Saype, Paris is just the start of a major
project. In the coming three years he aims to spray
his ‘helping hands’ in 20 different cities, on every continent on the planet. It’s part of his plan to create the world’s
longest human chain — at least metaphorically. “It’s like in life. Take a step back and you see the real picture. The second thing is that’s it’s really short-lived. It may sound dumb, but I like that. The work evolves. Then, in two or three weeks, it’s gone.” Saype is a pioneer in his field. But as soon as the Champs de Mars is once
again filled with people, the colours start to fade away. Then fans can only marvel at his artwork in

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