FAULT Focus: French Street Art – Le Diamant

In the first instalment of FAULT Online’s series of interviews with Parisian street artists we talk to Le Diamant.

“I think street art is the evolution of graffiti. We have other laws that give us freedom to do what we want”

I visited 25-year-old Le Diamant, the artist known by parisians as the “the guy who puts jewelry on the street”,  in his shared warehouse studio in Pantin, at the eastern edge of Paris, just inside the peripherique. There he works on diamond-inspired pieces in a variety of media, including collage, screen-printing and mirrored-glass, a few of which he sells through his presence on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/diamant.streetart. Like many other of Paris’s more popular street artists, his work is gradually moving from city walls to gallery spaces but he still claims France’s legendary Space Invader and OBEY as his strongest influences.



When did you start decorating Paris with diamonds?

When I came here two years ago. It seemed natural because I love the city. I used stencils at first then I started using mirror glass, which evolved quickly into the pieces that I’m doing now. I am still inspired by graffiti artists: Obey is one, Chris Pultz. And Invader made me realized that you need a kind of brand, a stamp so it is easier to be identified.

Do you have enjoy more official tolerance now you’re identified as an ‘artist’ rather than a graffiti writer ?

Yes, absolutely [laughs]. I’ve been caught a couple of times by the cops when I was a graffiti artist but never since I began sticking up my diamonds. I use to work very very fast while also keeping a look-out. Street art is more acceptable, even to the police. It might not be entirely legal, but f you use spray, they will definitely bust you.

The advantage about being a street artist, is that we can do everything at home. I could work for two hours on something then go out and have it stuck on the street in 5 minutes. If you work with spray then your work begins when you’re out on the street – it’s more likely you’ll get caught.

Why did you choose the streets to show your work?

I wanted to do something that was different to the usual graffiti. Writing is usually seen as ‘bad’, destructive. I wanted to be different by giving something beautiful, something different… a surprise. I wanted to share, to have fun and maybe meet people. I don’t think we give enough to each other. Of course, street art can evolve and be seen in galleries… but the streets and the audience that we have there are the beginning.






You didn’t choose your street name yourself, did you?  

No. People started calling me Le Diamant because I was doing diamonds. I put the name on my Facebook presence so people could recognize who I was.  It’s a bit annoying though. I don’t want to be doing diamonds my whole life and I think Le Diamant sounds kind of like a corny French pop singer. I am trying to change my name to Le Diamantiare – whih is someone who cuts diamonds. It’s more suitable, I think.

How much work goes into just one of your pieces?

It really depends on the size. For small ones, it could take only five minutes – cutting the glass and using a stencil.  I only use mirrors I find on the streets. After I cut the diamonds to shape I wash it, clean all the dust away, then I paint them. I number every diamond before I stick it up on the street. So far I’ve stuck up around 400 of them.






Do you prefer to stick them up at night or during the day?

Both. I go out at night to stick up the larger ones because they take longer to do. For the smaller ones, I can do them really quickly mostly during the day when I’m out walking. During the winter I usually do them on paper instead of glass because it’s not easy adhering glass in the cold. It’s easier to just do a paste up.

So what’s next?

Ah, wild places: maybe the Great Wall of China,  a Mayan Temple, or a pyramid in Egypt. I wish.



FAULT Focus: An Introduction to Street Art in Paris

French Street Art –  Madame Moustache

French Street Art – Rubbish


Words and photographs by Cheyenne Tulsa