Anything from a crooked cinder block to an ephemeral beam of light falling across the street can inspire a playful interactive scene by French street artist OakOak, making passersby stop and smile. Whether by temporary paper cut-outs or more permanent graffiti, the artist transforms ordinary urban settings in fun and unexpected ways.
OakOak wanders the streets seeing creative possibilities in virtually every quirk and imperfection, turning what could be seen by others as urban blight into playful works of art that might only stick around for a day or so, but still manage to brighten people’s day.
Little Bruce Lee figures bend metal poles or break through concrete and trapeze artists prepare to tightrope across chains. A stain on a wall might become a stream of genie-producing smoke emitted from a magic lamp, or a sewer grate could become a snail shell.
Says OakOak of his hometown of St. Etienne, “I like this city, her atmosphere, and I wanted it to look nicer. It was an industrial city with many coal mines; now it’s in regeneration and still quite poor. But it’s easily travelled by foot with awkward aspects ideal for art. I saw shapes everywhere, and wanted to realize them.”