Tuesday, 13 March 2007

A Forgotten Art?

As we walk through the streets of Montreal, we don't usually tend to admire the paint of the store walls, or in the back of alleys, or on the walls of different buildings... We walk by them, sometimes quite fast because they make us feel unconfortable, as if we were in a bad part of town.

At the sight of graffiti... we keep on walking.. and never stop and to admire the art. Omen514, Ako, Aika as well as The Architekts are just some our own Montreal Graffiti Artists who are unknown to the public, but quite famous in their own world. People call Graffiti part of the Hip Hop Culture, them along with DJs and Breakdancers. These artists have travelled the world, and are known by many as some of the most talented graffiti artists in the world. You can see some of their pieces in the slideshow below...

I have never had an interest for graffiti until I travelled to Melbourne this summer. Melbourne is the Graffiti central of the world with complexe and interesting graffiti I have ever seen. In the slideshow that I added to this post, the last two pictures are from Melbourne. A friend of mine baught a Volcom t-shirt for her boyfriend when she was visiting Australia. This t-shirt's design was made by a Melbournian artist. Volcom and this artist had come together to create a lign of t-shirts with an interesting twist. Finally, Graffiti artists are gaining more respect in the art world. But we are still far from letting our city be covered in graffiti.

I believe their are 2 kinds of graffiti.. or maybe 3. The cheap yucky kind that you see... that are mostly tags... (I am not a big tag fan..), then you have developped tags which use techniques like shadowing and color coordination which are both techniques used in canvas painting. Then complexe mural type graffiti which I adore. These artists usually get paid to do this type of art on a wall. Montreal has some very interesting murals!

I had the idea to write a little piece about this art because I find that we don`t appreciate it to its fullest and also... I thought about this while driving downtown this Sunday... as I came to the corner of Bleury and Ste-Catherine, right on the wall on my left.. in the parking lot of the old Luba Lounge.. there is was, the most interesting mural I had ever seen.. not that I have seen a gazillion to compare with.. but this one.. was WOW! The artist had used the Mario Brothers theme to its fullest and created something REALLY COOL!!!! I couldn`t find a picture of it on the net, but if you have the chance to drive or walk by there.. make sure to stop and admire!

There are a few events in Montreal that do celebrate these artists and this art like the Montreal Under Pressure Graffiti Festival...but its mostly illegal.. and not encouraged...

The McGill Daily ran an article about this topic a few years ago. They brought up a few interesting points especially about what it has done for illegal writers:

"The city’s direct sponsorship of graffiti art, in the from of the Under Pressure event and murals throughout the city, is both born of increased public tolerance and also contributes to the opening of minds. This, coupled with the increase in private funding for painted walls, leads us to a neighbourhood quickly morphing into one of the city’s first living museums.

You can’t turn a corner in the Plateau without seeing walls covered by the city’s finest painters. KOPS Krew and Urban X-Pressions are represented “TO DA MAXX” in several places, and close by are the different styles of crews DA and UNC, among others. The area is a mélange of spray paint that reflects Montreal’s diversity of culture. Well-defined shapes, vibrant colors, and lively, inventive characters all serve to bring a unique aesthetic to the otherwise grey and wintry urban environment.

At the heart of the open-air exposition, though, is the commercialization of the art form.
The abundance of painted walls commissioned by private funding has contributed to such a relaxed atmosphere that even illegal walls can be done as large-scale productions. Says MAYSR, “The cops come by and say, ‘is this legal?’, and you say, ‘uh, yeah.’ and by the time they check it out and come back, you’re already finished and gone.” And yet, the money greasing the wheels is made up of double-sided coins."

Full article: www.mcgilldaily.com/view.php?aid=2013

So take a look at this slideshow of different Montreal graffitis... some you might reconize, some not.. next time... when you are dt, or on the Plateau, or any area.... look around.. and admire!

Graffiti in Montreal

Here are a few websites that show different graffiti around the city...

- NC

1 comment:

omen said...

thanks for that article.
it is good to know that people don't all walk in a daze...