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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.

Harbor wall and pier in Sète, France


Panels served as the stencil for the artwork

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


Kärcher's GD 9/23 gas pressure washer served as the brush

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


The subjects are revealed after pressure washing

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 simultaneously took place during the cleaning work at the pier. More than 100 boats and yachts were 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
City: Sète

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

Execution: March 2018

Sete pressure washer completed project


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