Philippe Petit

Artist, Performer, & Author
Creativity: The Perfect Crime

On August 7, 1974, high wire artist Philippe Petit walked a high wire he illegally rigged between the rooftops of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Philippe’s book, TO REACH THE CLOUDS, which recounts that adventure, was the basis of the 2009 Academy Award-winning documentary film, MAN ON WIRE, as well as the IMAX 3-D Robert Zemeckis film, THE WALK starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. 

In addition to walking on the high wire, Philippe writes, draws, performs close-up magic, practices lock-picking and eighteenth century timber framing, plays chess, studies French wines, gives lectures on creativity, directs plays, performs a one-man theatrical show and gives master classes on tight rope walking. He is an accomplished pickpocket, and was once sighted bullfighting in Peru. 

Some numbers:

Philippe has won 1 Oscar with his documentary MAN ON WIRE, learned magic by himself 64 years ago, juggles 6 hoops, is the author of 10 published books, speaks 6 languages, has walked on the wire the equivalent of the earth’s circumference (24,900 miles), and has been arrested over 500 times for street juggling. Twelve people have walked on the moon, but only 1 has walked on a wire between the towers of the World Trade Center! 

Philippe, an Artist in Residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City for the past forty years, is currently developing his second one-man show, HIGH DEFINITION, in which he will perform on the wire. Among his dream projects are the RAPA NUI WALK on an inclined cable set on Easter Island, in homage to the Rapa Nui and their giant stone statues known as Moai and the SYDNEY WALK between the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.