Published on March 16th, 2015 | by Magalie Lopez2
Please, Birdy Kids, Make Me a K. Nar
Before, when we traveled the highways of Lyon by car, everything was gray, dirty, almost black, and always sad. Only some vehicles (maybe one in ten) would sometimes brighten the monotony with red, green, yellow, or blue.
A handful of rebels would tag graffiti, in absolute ugliness, of acronyms or unknown war names for the common man. With their black or red paint, they wrote in a hurry, always slobbering letters uglier as the surface on which they were drawn.
Then one day, a small duck with bright colors and big round eyes stuck his tongue out at us.
When, later, a second duckling greeted us at a corner, looking for the next image became a game for all passengers of our car.
It was Easter, except instead of eggs we were looking for mocking ducks!
Once back home, I wanted to know more… but where to start What words should I write into the search engine?
“Graffiti – Lyon – Duck” seemed to me the most simple, and they led me straight to K.Nar.
Or rather AEM K.Nar. Why AEM? It seems that these were the only letters that he correctly left as a graffiti tagger in his infancy… luckily for us, he started to duck!
I also learned that graffiti and graffiti artists are not truly loved – which is no surprise to anyone – K.Nar had to operate at night at the risk of being caught and prosecuted.
If the history of most people who dare to graffiti in the street ends quickly, that of K.Nar became more and more talked about as he gained a following.
As unity is strength, he joined forces with two other artists to create the collective Birdy Kids and continued to create ducks.
After the roads of Lyon, K.Nar. turned to neighborhoods and street furniture, decorating them with his colorful birds. In fact, the duck has now become a sort of mascot for the city of Lyon.
Of course, there will always be grouches who complain, but perhaps they have lost their inner child.
Birdy Kids today magnifies the street art, creating what they call Art Toys: children’s games, seen in parks, painted by K.Nar and exposed as the works of art they have become.
Today, the city of Lyon gives them carte blanche to spread their plumage on the city.
Lyon least appreciates seeing their birds fly off to other lands. Birdy Kids has exhibited in Paris, Belgium and now spread their wings to Asia and Bangkok in particular.
Lyon is so much like their little duck that even if they agree to pay him and he migrates to make themselves known, he must return regularly in his nest at the risk of taking a small peck warning.
Now if your curiosity is aroused, I invite you to log on to the website for « Birdy Kids. »
What will you find?
In the pictures, your eyes will fill with bright colors as you admire the ducks while they stick out a long pink tongue.
On the web, you will find the site of Birdy Kids. His shop will allow you to own your own duck.
On Youtube, the Birdy Kids channel will treat you to a video revealing the intimacy of the birth of a graffiti duck.
Birdy Kids sends no message. It’s just a happy duck, a drawing that enlivens the city and its people. AEM K.Nar and Guillaume Gauthier are creators and members of a joyful group “painters” whose sole objective is to freely express themselves… and they appeal to children (this is where the “Kids” of Birdy Kids comes from).
Parents and other adults are not left out. Some like the duck so much that they do not hesitate to steal graffiti art just hours after installation!
This is entirely unnecessary, as it is possible to easily acquire a duck of one’s own – the site Birdy Kids sells paintings cases for mobile phones, T-shirts, etc. For the quality of artwork produced, the price is delightfully reasonable.
So, since January 7, 2015, in France and perhaps world-wide, preserving freedom of expression has become the universal talking point. That’s why I had to speak to the heart of Lyon Street Art… and also because I am now hooked on K.Nar.