Although he’s lived in the 20th Arrondissement for over a decade now, Clément Gy continues to be captivated and inspired by his surroundings. An architect by training, he sets out on the streets of his east Paris neighborhood, pencil and paper in hand to capture moments where light and shadows transform the buildings of Belleville and Ménilmontant.
Paris Urban Landscapes
“What I look for in particular and what I want to express in my work, is to capture the light, or rather the lights, when that precise instant offers shadows that cut lines into Paris’s emblematic architecture.”
Extraordinary in the Everyday
Clément’s Paris urban landscapes depict a side of the French capital many never notice, showing classic Parisian architecture as a canvas onto which the sun and the city’s citizens paint their own artworks.
“Through my drawings, I try to share the ‘extraordinary esthetic of the banal’ through the lights or points of view that we sometimes no longer see as our eye gets used to our everyday environment.”
Keenly tuned to contrasts, Clément has become an expert at finding the most magical light in Paris. “I love having end-of-day light, that exact moment where the stone and façades change color, it’s a color palette going from yellow to purple that offers itself to our eyes.”
His artwork takes him from the streets of the capital up to the rooftops as he searches for interesting angles and new ways of seeing the city.
“I’m fascinated by the rooftops of Paris. This landscape of zinc and chimneys offers an extraordinary potential for representations.”
Paris Rooftop Prints
For this local artist, nothing quite captures the essence of the urban jungle quite like Parisian rooftops. “I’m fascinated by the rooftops of Paris. This landscape of zinc and chimneys offers an extraordinary potential for representations. For me, Paris offers us two very different ambiances: there’s the pedestrian’s Paris of the streets and sidewalks, and then there’s the Paris of the roofs, sky, and clouds.”
Clément has partnered up with Urbansider to share his artworks and unique perspective on the City of Light with Paris lovers around the world.
“With some searching, I’ve managed to find some unique points of view to portray. When my eye catches a detail, a shadow, or an atmosphere that I want to capture, I make a first sketch and then I have to quickly put on paper the shadows, nuances, and brightest areas. It’s a pretty unique experience trying to capture a light or an ambiance of this urban landscape, one that never gets old.”
His first series of four Paris rooftop prints is now available in the Urbansider Boutique. Shop the collection below!