In 3 months time, on 13 December, Thalys will be ‘speeding up’ - and bringing Amsterdam and Cologne to within 3 hours 15 minutes journey time from Paris. To start the countdown and celebrate the first high-speed tickets going on sale, Thalys has given carte blanche to four of the leading exponents of European graffiti.

This includes an incomparable line-up: Jonone 156, a Parisian artist originally from New York who now exhibits at the top galleries, including the current Fondation Cartier Né dans la rue (Born in the street) exhibition until 29 November 2009, Paris; Seak, a German artist whose strange and colourful paintings echo urban expressionism; Sozyone Million Gonzalez, a Belgian artist, and unrivalled designer and colour expert; Zedz, representing the Dutch scene, who draws his inspiration from the convergence between graffiti, design and architecture.

Their challenge : to go as fast as Thalys and meet the deadline of 3 hrs15, the time that it will soon take to get to Cologne or Amsterdam from Paris.

The artistic brief : to express their city and the energy that it radiates, to celebrate the new connections between the 4 cities and look at the meaning of the major changes that will happen in our territories and in our urban and multicultural societies as a result.

Yesterday Seak, Jonone, Sozy and Zedz have painted the Thalys live at Gare du Nord Paris, we will put up more photos in a few days, wicked move