Artist Name : M. Chat
Real Name: Thoma Vuille
Technique: Graffiti, mural painting
About: Thoma Vuille was born in Boudry, Switzerland in 1972. He started painting in the streets with acrylic at the age of 15, in memory of his grandfather, who was a house painter. Vuille studied at the Institute of visual Arts of Orléans from 1995 to 2001, but quickly discovered his preference for street art.
The idea of M. CHAT came to him in 1997 after a little girl drew a cat during a workshop in a school in Orléans. Thoma Vuille adopted this idea and created his very own M. CHAT, who started by wandering the streets of Orléans before moving to Paris. Today M. CHAT graphic series is present all over the roofs of Paris.
The graffiti appeared most frequently on chimneys, but was also sighted in other places, such as train platforms and at political rallies. Thoma Vuille remained anonymous until 2007 when he was caught in the act of creating the cat.
The yellow cartoon cat is characterized by its large smile, full of enthusiasm, just like Thoma Vuille’s art. The cat is most often portrayed in a running pose, but has also been variously depicted waving signal flags, bouncing on a ball, sporting angel wings, and waving in greeting at the entrance of train stations.
With his simple and clear lines, M. CHAT has become an urban symbol bringing joy and optimism to the city. His fame has allowed for variations, changing color and posture but keeping his strong identity. His need for wings is explained by the inaccessible places in which he is represented.
In 2014 Vuille was sued by Paris’s public transportation authority (RATP) after he painted his smiling yellow cat in one of the city’s busiest metro stations. He was hit with a 1.800€ fine, which he refused to pay, massively supported by his fans.
Where you can see it: Besides Paris, Vuille also brushed his cat in New York City, Pristina, Hanoi, Sarajevo, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Belgrade, Serbia, Seoul, Tangier and more.
PRINT CODE: help tagging M.Chat in the streets of your city!