Seth, real name Julien Malland (b. 1972 – Paris, France) began to express himself on the walls of his city in the mid-90s. His preferred terrain, however, was in the 20th district where he became known in the graffiti scene for his specialization of painting characters.
Graduate of the Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs, he published alongside Gautier Bischoff in 2000 the book Kapital, which to this day remains one the best-selling books about French graffiti. Together, they founded Wasted Talent in 2004, a publishing house that specializes in monographs of urban artists.
Before becoming a full-time artist, Seth worked in the creative industries: advertising, cartoons, comics. He painted in the street for his own pleasure.
Starting from 2003, he went on a trip around the world to exchange with artists from different cultures, and to open up to new ways of living and painting in urban areas. This experience culminated in the book Globe Painter published in 2007 following with the documentary series Les Nouveaux Explorateurs produced and broadcast by Canal+ where Seth proposed to discover a country through the prism of its urban arts. For 5 years, he took a part in travelling to 15 destinations full of meaning.
During his artistic explorations, Seth developed his distinct painting style, working often with the theme of childhood. Using the wall as a blank page, Seth relies on one hand the individual or collective imagination – local gods, myths, or tales. The child becomes a spokesperson, a messenger of his investigations. He puts into play his image of innocence, and places his character in difficult social, political, and geographical contexts.
An approach that often has a dual meaning yet is never cynical; an urban painting that is engaged in alerting on the state of the world as a means to advance it.
Seth still lives and works (when not traveling) in Paris.
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