The old Parisian edifices glide high above the ground, captured mid-journey, moving above the clouds… They are like exotic balloons tethered out of frame to their flimsy strings…
This surreal series literally and figuratively elevates many Parisian buildings that might have otherwise been overlooked, lifting them up, up, up into the skies…
Laurent Chéhère was known to stroll around the Belleville and Ménilmontant neighborhoods, admiring their tired-looking but nonetheless fascinating houses.
“I tried to get these sad houses out of the anonymity of the street, to help them to tell their story, true or fantasized,” the artist wrote.
“Technically, I drew the buildings and afterward, I shot each element such as the roof, walls, windows, graffiti, and even the people—it’s a montage,” explained Laurent Chéhère. “The series is a tribute to the old Paris and the movies including The Red Balloon, and directors such as Hayao Miyazaki, Wim Wenders, and Federico Fellini.”
By his own admission, one of Chéhère’s inspiration for his Flying Houses was the poetic vision of the old Paris by Albert Lamorisse, famously expressed in his short film The Red Balloon: