French singer, songwriter, actor, author, and all around iconoclast Serge Gainsbourg may have died in 1991, but the culture of decadence and poetic promiscuity he cultivated around himself lives on in the facade of the house he occupied from 1969 until his death.
Located in the heart of Paris’s famous 7th arrondissement, Gainsbourg’s maison stands out among the city’s more well-known landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame cathedral. The house itself is not currently accessible, but the front gate and facade feature an ever-changing tableau of street art honoring the late icon. Though many of the pieces consist simply of love letters from fans scribbled hastily on any available wall, some of the larger works are quite impressive, and fans of street art and graffiti will find this spot to their liking regardless of whether or not they are familiar with Gainsbourg’s work.
The site reveals how deeply Gainsbourg is still venerated by the French, more than two decades after his death. Although the artist was deliberately provocative, penning a cheeky song about the joys of oral sex for a 16-year-old pop singer, sexually harassing a young Whitney Houston on national TV, and shooting a music video for his song “Lemon Incest” in bed with his daughter (actress Charlotte Gainsbourg), just to name a few - his legacy has become part of France’s national artistic history, and it’s rare to find a Parisian who does not harbor some affection for the late lothario. It’s telling that many of the maison’s visitors continue to be attractive young women, who still find something sexy about the works of a singer and writer born in 1928.