|Mygalo. "Faites comme eux..." Paris, February 2, 2014. Photo Credit: Caitlin Bruce|
“Faites comme eux, gardez la tête froid,” announces the stark black and white caption for Mygalo’s recent work on le MUR X.I.I.I., under Pasarelle Simone de Beauvoir. Mygalo’s installation showcases two skeletons holding hands in a graveyard. The saying, “Gardez la tête froid,” more or less equates to “keep calm and carry on,” or “don’t stress,” and “don’t panic.” “Because the dead, they always have a cool head,” Mygalo informed me after finishing the impressive work on a cold Saturday afternoon. Putting the finishing touches on his work for an audience of around fifteen, Mygalo added to the texture of the black and white ground, darkened already somber spaces, and concluded by photographing the audience in front of his work. Signing the piece MYGALO 2000, he acknowledged that 2000 for him was when he committed to street art (and its risks).
“An event like this, to share with the public, is a completely different thing than the clandestine, extreme sport of painting on something like a truck” he reflected, “although both involve painting from the heart.” Appearing across Paris, in alley ways, on grates, and on trucks, Mygalo’s simple, chromatic work, although in skeletal tones and appearance, bespeaks a deep love of the city, and kind of post-mortem love poem to the metropole.
“This city is my whole life, and the only city in which I could live. Its energy, the light that envelopes it between the Louvre and the Institut Français at five in the morning, it is incredible, like all of the energy of the world is there…I am an addict.”
Mygalo uses his skeletons, icons that he developed following his love of cartoons from the 1960s, using the same imagery to tell his stories, voice his questions, and the themes that he has the need to investigate.
The pair on MUR XIII is a couple, a form of proof of what can take place for a couple (death), but to show, despite all evidence to the contrary, they remain content, and so he includes the ordinary phrase “Gardez la tête froid.”