Air France (Paris) has issued this statement:
Air France teamed up with New York-born painter and graffiti artist JonOne to redesign the Air France accent. Measuring four meters by seven meters, the giant accent was unveiled yesterday, November 10 at the heart of Air France Industries’ hangars at Paris Orly. The art represents the French flag and symbolizes freedom, one of the values held dear to France and the artist alike while echoing the company’s slogan: Air France, France is in the Air. An Air France Boeing 777 equipped with the airline’s new travel cabins will don the accent serving the Company’s global network for one year.
The aircraft sporting this exceptional livery will then fly for the first time to New York, a legendary and historic route for Air France.
In December 2015, a selection of exclusive items including notebooks, tote bags and models of the aircraft with the Air France redesigned accent will be available for purchase on airfranceshopping.com.
Air France, Ambassador of Contemporary Art
For the past 80 years, Air France has had a special relationship with the contemporary art world – from the spiritual artist Zao Wou-Ki to the electrifying JonOne, via Jeff Koons, David Mach, and many more.
Air France has previously worked with JonOne –in September 2012, during their time spent in the La Premiere lounge at Paris-Charles de Gaulle, La Premiere customers were able to discover exclusive creations signed by JonOne. In the La Premiere cabin, on board long-haul flights, new menu and wine list covers also designed by JonOne stimulated the appetite and turned the flight into a gastronomic interlude.
In each travel cabin, throughout the year, the “Arts & Culture” TV program provokes Air France’s visual reflection around masters such as Le Corbusier, fun artists including Keith Haring, or sublime architectures such as the Louis Vuitton / Frank Gehry Foundation. In December 2015, Air France will show a video by JonOne as a tribute to abbé Pierre. And to make the most of this cultural showcase in the sky, the gigantic Air France Airbus A380s are equipped with genuine art galleries comprising wide video screens.
The person still known to many as John Andreas Perello was born in New York, to two Dominican parents who had fled Trujillo’s regime and met in New York to secure their chance at the American dream. The young man evokes the pitiless status quo of his childhood – “No Hope, No Future”, akin to the British punks’ nihilist movement. This paved the way for a found image – the dazzling trail of dynamic color and movement left by a spray-painted subway train.
So it would be the subway. The street. Graffiti.
The budding artist behind JonOne rapidly signed flamboyant murals, and “entered the world of art”. He visited museums and galleries, built his own culture – like Jean-Michel Basquiat, who he resembles in many aspects – and his graffiti took inspiration from his spiritual fathers (Kandinsky, Miro) and the lyrical abstraction which was a major influence in painting during this era – Pollock, of course, but also De Kooning, Motherwell, Rothko, etc. His life was punctuated by decisive encounters and trips, notable to Paris, where the artist had two major experiences – at the Hôpital Ephémère – a legal squat for artists at the end of the 90s – and his active collaboration for the Abbé Pierre Foundation (2011). In addition to reclaiming his Dominican roots, a perfect fusion between street art and High Art – the noble art of painting – his reputation was swiftly forged and fame followed. After multiple international exhibitions, on January 21, 2015, a monumental work, significantly titled “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité” was inaugurated at the National Assembly, in Salon des Mariannes. This painting even became the new French stamp in September 2015.