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Transient art conjured on harbor wall

Together with Kärcher, artist Klaus Dauven created a transient work of art on the fishing port’s harbor wall of Southern French town of Sète.

Transient work of art on harbor wall

On the fishing port’s harbor wall of Southern French town of Sète, artist Klaus Dauven created a transient work of art together with Kärcher. The artwork depicts the faces of local characters, created in the so called reverse graffiti method.

“Reverse graffiti” forms subjects by the precise removal of organic soiling like algae, lichens and mosses.

Local characters perpetuated

The port town’s and pier’s long history inspired the artist’s subjects: he chose different local personalities with ties to the shipping or fishing industry, who have especially expressive faces.

Saint Louis, the 650 meter long pier built in 1666, was the first structure in the town of Sète.



Multiplex panels, which Klaus Dauven prepared in advance, served as stencils.


With the help of a petrol-powered cold water high pressure cleaner of the type HD 9/23 G, the harbor wall was cleaned all around the stencils.


The subjects emerge as a result of the light-dark contrast between the cleaned and the untreated surfaces.

Large yachts visiting Sète

One of the town’s largest maritime festivals took place simultaneously to the cleaning work at the pier. More than 100 boats and yachts are docked in the harbor for the “Escale”, including France’s most beautiful windjammers – a fitting backdrop for the new works of art along the pier

Port city Sète

The French town Sète lies at the Eastern end of the approximately 16 kilometer long headland “Le Toc”. The most important French fishing harbor in the Mediterranean lies here right next to the town center

Facts at a glance

Country: France
Stadt: Sète

Material: Concrete
Soiling: Algae, lichens, mosses
Cleaning technique: Cold-water high-pressure cleaning

Execution: March 2018


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