L'Atlas is a French artist born in 1978. He began doing graffiti in the early 1990s. Fascinated by the history of handwriting, he has studied calligraphy in several countries and designed his own typography. He frequently works in public spaces and has become a major figure of the Street Art movement. He has also developed a pictural universe, where he leads the written word towards calligraphic abstraction. He lives and works in Paris.
Jules Dedet Granel better known as L’Atlas was born in 1978 near Toulouse, but he grew up in Paris where he started street writing and tagging in 1991. Inspired by emerging subcultures like hip hop and rap. Hestudied History of Art and Archeology in Toulouse where he met Smail Bour Quaiba, a traditional calligraphist, on whose invitation he spent three months in Morocco learning classical calligraphy. Then he went to Egypt, where he had come to know Munir al Shaarani an Syrian artist known for his modern approach of calligraphic works in which he combines both calligraphy, design and architecture. al Shaarani and L’atlas’ travels to Syria, Morocco and Egypt are the reason for his Arabic touch.
His works remind us of an intersection between geometric abstraction and minimalism where every letter is a form, and every form is a letter. L’Atlas’ work is all about lines and forms. The main theme of his paintings, graffiti, and installations is the displacement of the people around the world. Although moving from street based projects to different mediums like canvas, video, spray paint, sticky tape, he still makes treet pieces and murals from time to time. L’atlas’ work is in a way very conceptual and challenges people’s preconceptions about the world, his art strives to create a mindset in which border and limits do not exist and ideas, people and art are free flowing energies.
L’Atlas’ art can be seen in numerous streets, galleries, and exhibitions in various cities around the world like Miami, Rome, Paris, Jakarta, Marrakech, and Moscow. In 2015 he participated in a project called Extraordinaire that is the biggest project in his career so far. It consists of four different monumental installations, as a part of a global interactive performance, in four cities, New York, Mexico City, Seoul, and Paris. The idea behind the project was to use the four elements, Earth, Air, Water, and Fire as media, each carrying a certain message in different cities all over the world.