Misti, Catacomb’s Artist

Misti is a painter from the Parisian catacombs. Cataphile for more than 25 years, she discovers her vocation underground, in the forbidden quarries of the capital. She takes all her equipment there to paint on the motif, after having carefully placed her candles. Because the composition begins there, in these dark places. On black paper, she plays with her colored dry pastels, bringing out the lights as she goes along, sensitive to the slightest variations in the flames. A delicate work, very removed and suggestive which it will then have to reassemble without incident. The adventure begins, thank you for being part of it !

Photo Babounet


Dry pastels directly made in Catacombs of Paris



On the spot






Misti was born in 1977 in Paris in the 19th arrondissement and grew up there. At sixteen, she discovered the underground quarries of the capital. She was immediately fascinated by open flame lights, candles and acetylene lamps. But also Parisian history, the cataphile and urban atmosphere, the leaflets … A veritable free and parallel mode of expression that has run under the city for thirty years.

She first draws in black and white then, under the impetus of Silence and President, who draw in color, she heads for dry pastels, paint without brush, direct, close to her temperament. She learned to draw and paint with the masters of the “Société des Pastellistes de France” who trained her during their internships in the technique of portrait, nude and still life. She also follows the courses of the Nargis Art Workshop, alongside Michel Merlin and Claude Boulanger, painters of the Fantastic …

She has exhibited since 2009. It was in 2011 that she decided to make pastels directly underground, at the front and on the spot, in these places that she feels so strongly. It is sensitive to slight variations in light and to energies. The flames being moving, they carry with them the shadows, which animate the place in a magical way. Darkness carries, that’s why she works on black paper, using pastel powder as a light to paint. For Misti it is a matter of painting “upside down”, in negative, from dark to light. But don’t we speak, for these underground quarries, of the city’s black lining? Painting in this way is obvious to her in the catacombs. Bringing all equipment, drawing board, easel, pastels, is a real challenge. Because pastel fears water. And these places have a humidity rate of over 90%. Assembling the works in good condition is a challenge.

His works are exposed on the surface and under glass. Since her beginnings at Ton Air de Brest, a pub in the 14th arrondissement, she has exhibited in squats, in a career at Ivry-sur-Seine, at Batofar in Paris, then at Espace Oppidum in the 3rd. She also coordinated the Ktartistes event in 2016, directly linked to the cataphile universe, but on the surface ! His wish is to unite around an art accessible to all and to offer a federated moment for this fluctuating cataphile community, crossed by perennial energies. This is why art and squats are so linked.

Her works descend in the form of plasticized leaflets, which she carefully hides during her cool wanderings. This fun practice creates a link between Misti and the people who find them, a few hours, a few days, sometimes a few months later ! Leaflets, memories of a walk, a long muddy cat flap or a stepped well, like a trophy for ache s! It is also for her a way of bringing art to others, without distinction. Because who finds these leaflets ? Aside from a few direct or digital returns, she does not know who finds them, who exchanges them, who collects them, who displays them. The exhibition is then an opportunity to meet the strangers affected by his work in the basement. Those who went below, see …