When it comes to street art, Toulouse is one of the pioneering cities in France. Graffiti, vandal tags, monumental works: they colour walls and neighbourhoods, and nowadays are becoming a tourist attraction. A little visit.
A walk accompanied by the Tourist Office
For a few months, the Toulouse Tourist Office has been offering an original walk: discovering the works and the artists of Street Art. From the first approved collective mural in the garden of Embarthe to the very realistic work of the German artist ECB in Empalot, a guide from the Tourist Office and Philippe, a local artist, spend two hours taking us around, on foot and by bus, exploring the gems of Toulouse street art. At the price of €15.
The main frescoes
The visit begins in the Arnaud Bernard district, where street art began. After the garden of Embarthe, we go through Rue Gramat, whose facades have been used for free expression since 2000. This year, it reinvented itself under the colours and brushes of Latino artists, as part of the Latino Graff festival. In the same district, the first Toulouse street artists, Soone, Tilt, 2Pon, Tober, Siker, Ceet and Der, came together in 2017 to create a collective work affixed to the facade of a building. Then we board the bus to Rue Cazeneuve where European artists have posed different styles on the wall of the railway station. We get back on the bus to observe artworks along the road: the ones that decorate the temporary facade that hides the works in the area of Matabiau, the female portraits of Aryz, near the Pont des Demoiselles, JACE’s gouzous along the Canal du Midi, the predominantly yellow wall by Reso at Saouzelong, the Street-Heart association of Maye and Mondé in Saint-Michel, finishing with ECB in Empalot. We will still have missed the murals in the city centre: that by Miss Van on Rue du Pont de Tounis, the one by Amandine Urrutary and Nicolas Barrome on Rue Saint-Ursule and the one by Der, near Rue Alsace Lorraine. It’s up to you to go find them…
Places and festivals
These murals also mark the highlights of festivals dedicated to Toulouse street-art: Latino Graff, the Whoops festival and Rose Béton. Organised by the Toulouse City Council or by voluntary associations, they punctuate the city’s annual cultural programme. Just like the Open Summer Festival and Mister Freeze, those unmissable events at 50cinq, which take place in June and September. From the street, street-art has also moved into galleries and agencies like City Of Talents, which highlight these artists at events and exhibitions. As for the most atypical spots, they may be unsupervised, like the Avenue des Etats-Unis, or a little more uptight, like the bedrooms of the Hôtel des Beaux-Arts. Everyone is surfing the wave of this trend and its growing number of artists, which allows the city to make this artistic movement a new tourist attraction.