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Path: Photos > Other Things French > Oides Hunting in Saint-Nazaire
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Oides Hunting in Saint-Nazaire

 

(vero;2021-Feb-14)

Anyone wandering around Saint-Nazaire is bound to see them: cheerful little blue figures painted in all walks of life on walls, fences, WWII blockhouses even some rocks. They are called Oides, which means Doigts (fingers) in Verlan (a French slang consisting in telling words in reverse) and are the creation of the graffiti artist Charles Cantin. The first Oides painted around town were numbered from 1 to 500: many can be found along the coastal path from Donges to Le Croisic and within Saint-Nazaire but there are also quite a few a bit further inland. People took to them very quickly and it became a game to find them, a good pastime for family outings. They became overtime an integral part of the city art scene.

Next step for Cantin has then been to give life to his little creatures by painting them on murals and putting them in all kind of situations or adventures. Most of those murals are in the public space along fences, on the walls of abandoned or derelict buildings but many are also now done on order for schools, restaurants, sport and community halls, you name it. If you want to know more, the Oides have their own Facebook page with pictures and videos of many murals, and even a map to help you locate them.

We love the Oides but like every street art, they are ephemeral: some of them fade with time or are covered by other graffiti, so we have come to the habit of photographing them when we see them. We have two galleries: the first one with some Oides spotted in Saint-Nazaire and around and the second one with Oides on a long mural painted on a fence just after the beach of Port Charlotte.

Oides spotted in Saint-Nazaire
Setting the scene, the master at work: detail of a fresque on a WWII blockhouse at the Pointe de l'Ève between Saint-Marc and the lighthouse of l'Aiguillon.
Oide #69 - Spot one and discover three! Actually there are more of them painted on this building, but they were too difficult to photograph (coastal path between the beach of Port Charlotte and the beach of Virechat in Gavy, a district of Saint-Nazaire). Oide #444 is challenging you to a game of cards (coastal path above the nudist part of the beach of Jaunais, between Pointe de Chémoulin and Sainte-Marguerite). Oide #147 is bringing up a toast to your good health (coastal path above the nudist part of beach of Jaunais, between Pointe de Chémoulin and Sainte-Marguerite). Are you sure you want to hear me play the bagpipe? (detail of the mural featured in the second gallery below). Oide #398 is having fun hunting for butterflies (WWII blockhouse on the Côte Sauvage between the menhir of Pierre Longue and the Pointe du Croisic). Oide #398 - this is a reflection of the previous Oide in a puddle. Oide #402 is a charming Breton couple in Bigouden costume (photographed in 2018 on a WWII blockhouse on the Côte Sauvage between the menhir of Pierre Longue and the Pointe du Croisic). This is a rework of the previous graffiti #402 photographed in 2020: painted over the old one, it is very similar but still different. Oide #31 is campaigning for the independence of Brittany (painted on a ruined house on the Route de Kerhuet, east of Guérande). Oide #4 is surveying the sea for smugglers (casemate under the semaphore at the Pointe de Chémoulin). Another Oide guarding the coast (spotted between Sainte-Marguerite and Pointe de Chémoulin). Oide #49 is a sad sailor setting off to sea (casemate under the semaphore at the Pointe de Chémoulin). A troubadour Oide spotted between Sainte-Marguerite and Pointe de Chémoulin. An angry and devilish Oide between Sainte-Marguerite and Pointe de Chémoulin. Oide #265 just got a good mark on his school report (coastal path above the nudist part of the beach of Jaunais, between Pointe de Chémoulin and Sainte-Marguerite). Oide #264 is dreaming of being John Wayne (coastal path above the nudist part of the beach of Jaunais, between Pointe de Chémoulin and Sainte-Marguerite). Oide #51 is reaching for the skies (coastal path above the nudist part of the beach of Jaunais, between Pointe de Chémoulin and Sainte-Marguerite). Oide #446 is shooting the film “a life of the Oides” (coastal path above the nudist part of the beach of Jaunais, between Pointe de Chémoulin and Sainte-Marguerite). Watch for flying stones on the coastal path above the nudist part of the beach of Jaunais, between Pointe de Chémoulin and Sainte-Marguerite. Oide #247 and his laser sword on his way to fight Dark Wader (coastal path leaving the beach of Saint-Marc-sur-Mer in direction of Saint-Nazaire). Oide #289 can never resist an ice cream (coastal path leading to the beach of Ève). Is this snake really dangerous (detail of the mural featured in the second gallery below). Oide #215 and his ghetto blaster on the coastal path just before the lighthouse of l'Aiguillon in the direction of Saint-Nazaire. Oide #290 waving goodbye to Oide #215 (previous picture). Oide #139 cheering hikers on a rock (western end of the beach of Virechat). Fresque on a WWII blockhouse at the Pointe de l'Ève between Saint-Marc and the lighthouse of l'Aiguillon. An invitation to swing (detail of the fresque in the previous picture). A seductive Oide having a smoke (detail of the fresque in picture 27).
Oides on a long mural painted on a fence just after the beach of Port Charlotte in direction of Saint-Nazaire

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$updated from: Other Things French.htxt Fri 12 Mar 2021 14:00:02 trvl2 (By Vero and Thomas Lauer)$