The thing we particularly love about Paris is wandering around and stumbling on its bounty of hidden pockets of delight. One minute you’re walking down a street filled with shops, bars, and restaurants, you turn a corner and a beautiful little park or something quirky will catch your eye. The I Love You Wall in Square Jehan Rictus is a prime example; one that will confirm that Paris really is a city for romantics.
Square Jehan Rictus, a tranquil park close to Abbesses metro station
Square Jehan Rictus is a small park close to Abbesses Métro station (one with an iconic Art Nouveau “Metropolitain” sign by Hector Guimard) in the 18e arrondissement of Paris. It is leafy and quiet, the perfect place to stop, rest for a while and nibble on a baguette. The I Love You Wall or Mur des Je T’Aime is a remarkable artwork housed on a wall in the square.
The “I Love You” wall is the inspiration of artist, Frédéric Baron. Early in the 1990’s he started collecting versions of the words “I Love You” written in different languages on pieces of paper. Each piece was the same size, 21cm x 29.7cm, the size of an A4 sheet of paper. Over the years he collected over a 1000 versions and in 1998 created the book of I love yous. (you can download a free copy from the website)
He collaborated with Oriental calligrapher, Claire Kito to transpose all the scraps of paper onto a massive mural. The mural comprises 611 tiles made of blue enamelled lava. Each is the same size as the original scraps of paper on which they were written.
It measures 40 square metres. Daniel Boulogne, a specialist in murals, pulled the entire project together. The splashes of red you can see dotted across the mural depict pieces of a broken heart.
You can read more of Frederic’s story here: Le mur des je t’aime