Montreal: hunting for street art
There’s a wealth of street art to be found in the out-of-the-way nooks and crannies of any large city. But, Montreal’s sheer amount of raw, underused urban landscape make the city an especially rich hunting ground.
You could split street art into two categories: legal and illegal. The illegal kind thrives in the industrial landscape of the city and the dingy alley ways, but it’s usually quickly repainted, so there aren’t really fixed places to see it. Because it’s also in hard-to-access locations, finding it is an exercise in wandering and paying attention to your environment.
If you keep your eyes peeled as you explore these more run-down areas and dark corners of Montreal, you’ll frequently stumble onto an abandoned building and lots on grimy dead-end streets bursting with color and life.
I am thankful, Juan Madrigal ardently photographs this ever-morphing ephemeral art movement. Without documentation this fleeting art form is quickly forgotten, as it is quickly painted over, decays or fades into oblivion. Viewing street art is like seeing a temporary exhibition.
Here are some of my favorite pieces from around Montreal, they might be still be up, it is hard to say. I think many are still around, since, Under Pressure finished not so long ago. And, I’m sure there’s a bunch more that I don’t know about.
Take a look and let me know what you think. I would also like to know who are your favorite street artists?
Stikki Peaches, What If Art Ruled the World, rue Gaspé, the Mile End
The Mile End is one of the best venues to see street art, there are tons of ugly industrial buildings that are begging to be turned into a temporary exhibitions. And, of course, the Mile End’s artsy dwellers appreciate it.
La Paria, Astro, Frank Lam, Gaston, Kain, Bjorn, Zema, under the Van Horne / Rosemont Overpass
Miss Me, Dessert for Breakfast, Wheat paste
Harpy, Fuck Yoga. Smash the State!
Stikki Peaches, What If Art Ruled The World?
I’m not sure, but this wheat paste resembles Jetsonorama, but I’m not sure.
This Oneton is from 2010, so I don’t think you will be able to find anymore.
En Masse, mural St. Laurent
I think a lot of people still believe street art is a form of vandalism and it should be illegal. I’m not one of those people, but I do believe this is pushing street art to its artistic limits. Hey, it was only last year that the MOCA in Los Angeles held the first major museum exhibition of the history of graffiti and street art in North America.
All photographs © Juan Madrigal