FAULT Focus: French Street Art – Madame Moustache

In the second instalment of FAULT Online’s series of interviews with Parisian street artists we talk to Madame Moustache.

The large black and white collages of Madame Moustache are among the most readily recognisable of Paris’s eclectic proliferation of street art. Following a sell-out solo exhibition of original works at d’Hotel Manufacture in Paris, late last year, and another opening at Le M-Market, part of Marquise Cafe, next week (February 3rd), the 31-year-old actress-turned-artist has now adapted what she pastes on walls in Marais, Montmartre, Belleville, Menilmontant and Oberkampf  – cut-ups of vintage newspaper typography mixed with pictures from ’60s and ’70s girlie mags – to a successful range of Madame-branded t-shirts and tote bags.



You only started making street art a couple of years ago. What were you doing before that?

I come from an artistic family. My grandfather and father were both painters but I decided at a young age that I never wanted to do anything that involved art. I studied theatre for seven years and I worked as an actress in France and Italy. But I was a really bad actress so I gave it up and travelled for a year through North and South America.

How did you come up with the name, Madame Moustache?

When I was eight years old, my grandmother told me I was ugly. I held that inside of me. Growing up, I never thought of myself as pretty. Even when I was older, I didn’t see myself as a women but a shy girl. I was very insecure. When I began to paste stuff on the street, it was more politically correct to address girls as madame instead of mademoiselle because after all, young boys don’t have another form of address. It was something of a feminist controversy. I thought it was so stupid that they kept talking about the use of  these two words but I also thought,. “Okay, I’m a madame but I feel like a tomboy. So Madame will represent what I am and Moustache will represent how I feel.” All my friends are men and sometimes I act like I have a moustache too. [laughs]




Street art does seem to be male-dominated. Is it harder for a female to be taken seriously as a street artist?

From my point of view, being a girl and coming to the streets is hard. The guys laugh at you but you give it back to them. It’s good though. for girl like me, when you have cute shoes and a small jacket on,  pasting stuff up that’s sometimes 4 meters wide. The guys take notice and concede, “Okay, that’s funny.” I think it’s really interesting that when you paste your stuff up and graffiti artists, who graf on everything, don’t touch your work. They know you’re a woman but they don’t do anything to your work. That’s when you know you’ve got respect.

With your online store and the attention your collages receive on the streets, are you interested in the idea of turning your name into more of a product?

I am always changing, always evolving. Right now I just do my collages because of how it makes people feel.  I like making people think about love and happiness. This is my ambition, not to be famous but letting people know that there is no limits and just have love for everything that you do.


When did you start your Madame brand of t-shirts and tote bags?

I started my t-shirts exactly one year ago now but didn’t take it seriously until recently. A friend of mine came to my home and saw my work. She suggested that I start doing t-shirts and I thought it would be a good idea. I started out with just two or three t-shirts that I gave to my friends. We went partying with the t-shirts on and people started to come up to us asking where we got the t-shirts. I printed more and more t-shirts – and from t-shirts, I started making tote bags and signed posters of my work. I sell them all online at http://www.madamemoustache.fr/boutique-2

What do you normally wear when you paste on the streets?

Always casual, and comfortable when I go pasting. I like wearing classic clothes but I’m not into brands. I have a way of mixing ordinary clothes.. I may not do it in the right way but it’s my personal way: classic/casual I think.

madame moustache t'as de beaux fruits tu sais...



FAULT Focus: An Introduction to Street Art in Paris

French Street Art – Le Diamant

French Street Art – Rubbish


Words and photographs by Cheyenne Tulsa