French Street Artist Brightens Dull and Ugly Spaces with Colorful Tile Art

Don’t you wish your city’s dull sidewalks, weather-beaten walls, unsightly potholes, and other ugly sights had some color? Well, street artist Ememem has the answer to your prayers. He brightens up these spaces. No wonder he has earned the sobriquet of ‘the pavement surgeon’ in his hometown Lyon, France!

What this amazing French street artist does is something called flacking. Flacking is nothing but transforming unpleasant spaces into colorful mosaics. He uses different materials, such as ceramics, wood, and bitumen, to turn cracks, gaping potholes, and unsightly spaces into colorful eye-catching patterns.

Ememem shares about his art on, “I’m just a sidewalk poet, a son of bitumen. My work is the story of the city, where cobblestones have been displaced; a truck from the vegetable market tore off a piece of asphalt. Each becomes a flack.”

This artist has an acute sense of color and patterns, the reason why his tile designs in vivid colors attract instantly. And it is not only the colors of his tile work that makes his art so beautiful but also its shape and style, depending upon the space. By mixing tile shapes, styles, and colors, he manages to vary his designs. Little wonder his works are so amazing and refreshing.

Ememem’s works can be seen, not only in the city of Lyon but also across Europe, in cities like Barcelona, Madrid, Milan, and Paris. He has been invited by many European countries for decorating their spaces with his decorative tiles to cover broken asphalt, cracked walls, crumbling sidewalks, and the like. Some draw parallels of his tile work with old Roman mosaics, classic Portuguese and French tile work.

It was in 2016 that Ememem started displaying his art by repairing the streets in Lyon. Slowly he covered many major cities of Europe. His works have also been shown in many exhibitions. He is credited with creating installations for the NuArt Festival, an annual street art tour in Stavanger, Norway. Currently, he is working on a project, decorating the construction site of the new Grand Paris Express metro by flacking.


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