He calls himself the knight. Fred the Knight: Fred le Chevalier and I first saw his work while huffing and puffing up one of the picturesque stairways in Montmartre. The ones with lovely lamp posts and not at all recommended for the 3 inch heels I was sporting. So I took a break, pretending to look at the art on the wall and it stopped me in my tracks, almost as much as my lack of oxygen. I was touched by whimsical characters floating along the border of a woken Paris dream. They haunted me later that night, inspiring an uncommon confidence. I hunted down the artist, asked if I could interview him, and oh, by the way, could I hire him to design the masthead for Only in Paris?
Oui. And oui. Came the reply! Fred is first and foremost an illustrator. His outdoor collages were just a way to exhibit his art. But when asked who he admires in the genre, he brought up Jean Charles de Castelbajac. It makes sense. The knight admiring a marquis, but I had not known the famous fashion designer also had a reputation for street art. My Knight is from Angoulême, France’s Capital of Images, creating a destiny ordained by his place of birth and he admires the work of madame, kashink, and philippe herard,
Mr le Chevalier had a long time career before succumbing to the sirene’s call of art, his first love. Like a lyrical Superman, he has a “regular” job by day and rescues Paris with his wisps of whimsy by night.
You can find Fred’s work on the streets of Paris, but collage art is fragile and quickly disappears. For a more permanent souvenir, you can purchase a piece for yourself at his online shop. Or visit the art gallery that is currently showing his work in Belleville and look into an original piece of Paris art for your home.
If you’re coming to Paris, you can track Fred’s here.