Pierre Davis-Dutreix is an American painter living in Nice, France. He is one of the leaders of the French artistic squat movement known as "squart". A movement that started in the early 1980's in Paris and whose awkward name is a mix of two words: squat and art.
The squart movement is virtually unknown in the States because it has been branded a revolutionary movement by conservatives since it treads on private property. Most of the artists have been ostracized by gallery owners for the same reasons thus creating an alternative network. The necessity for studio space for artists (painters, dancers, actors etc.) is fundamental and the incredibly high prices for such accommodations make it inaccessible for the average artist. Therefore they invest empty buildings, ready to be torn down or sold, and give them a second life by turning them into studios. Squarts represent a haven of liberty and a symbol of freedom. They form a battlefield where the last values are fought for, in a society where everything is conductive for the extinction of independent creativity.
In many European countries like Germany, Holland and Switzerland, artistic squats have been legalized since the 1990's and Davis-Dutreix has been actively involved in bringing the same status to France which has at least one squart per major city. The artist has been involved with several of the most well known squarts in France. He has opened the “Pigeonnier”, a five story building situated in the Old part of Nice and which has an art gallery on the first floor, followed by four floors of studio space. It is presently in its six year of existence and is considered an oasis defending the ideals and principals that give meaning to the word “Art”.