It’s hard to not come back to Labrona‘s art. Not only because he is one of my favorite street artists ever, but also because he is one of those who continues to create the same way he has created since the beginning, year after year, for him, on the streets, on trains, with his friends. He continues to work and keeps up his generosity, without paying mind to changes that have disrupted the street art movement lately. For this, he should have the respect of all. Most importantly, he cherishes time spent creating with friends, because to create in the streets is also for him a real opportunity to share a good time with good friends. All the following pieces were done during last summer and fall, in Montreal and Toronto by Labrona with Troy Lovegates, Gawd, Monosourcil, Kim, Kat, Produkt and Mathieu Connery.
From May to mid-July, Mathieu Connery aka 500M painted several murals on sidewalks for the second MURAL festival edition. To the frequency of 1 per week, he did 10 abstract murals on the Main, the Saint-Laurent Boulevard, official location of the festival. Guess the organizers really liked the 3 sidewalks murals he painted last year for the first edition of MURAL, as they asked him to enlarge his project this year. The Montreal based artist is well known in the city for his minimalist abstract pieces, “I try to make most of my interventions interact in different ways with the environment, to inspire appropriation of the public space in any other way. It also applies in the streets with concrete, tags that were there before,etc…” I just hope that one day he will get a real wall rather than always sidewalks in Montreal!
And for my own pleasure, a street art piece found this summer, and then a tag of Gawd Mathieu Connery appropriated. Thanks Mister 500M !
When I started to explore Montreal a few years ago, with my own very European background, it was a real pleasure to discover the possibility of walking across a city with the feeling of not being in an urban environment. The labyrinth of Montreal’s alleyways is a city in the city, without pollution, whether it was noise, cars, advertising or simply people. And in some of these back alleys, with time, I began to notice some amazing street art and graffiti spots. Several of these evolved, and became very popular, while some others finished to be abandoned by the artists. However, it was always the same pleasure to observe how artists succeeded in transforming places that were not aimed to be street art spots. The one I present below became a regular stop in my street art escapes when Gawd and Waxhead shared a studio 2 years ago and decided to paint the back wall of this place. Then this spring, Nixon, Kazy, Zoltan Veevaete and Kevin Ledo raised the alleyway to the next level by adding some impressive art work. Rapidly tagged, these guys came back in July to fix their pieces. It was also the perfect timing for Zoltan and Ledo to collaborate on a mural they called “Sand White in 3D” (above).
First piece by Waxhead and Gawd, summer 2012:
Following pieces by Nixon, Kazy, Zoltan Veevaete, June- July 2014:
Other pieces of Zoltan V. and Nixon, between June and July 2014:
It’s not really a surprise if I tell you that Labrona is one of my favorite artist in the Montreal art scene… I could probably say he is my favorite. so I am really lucky to have time to catch him on several projects this summer. First, just before the MURAL festival, Fred Caron, Kashink and him collaborated on a mural in Griffintown area. Second, he painted 3 doors during MURAL. Then there is this big wall he painted with Gawd in mid-July (above), and finally a beautiful series of portraits with Monosourcil pasted on the streets in June. Very stunning collaborations! And it’s only the beginning of the summer…
Even if it’s spring time, the action only really started in the streets of Montreal a few days ago. Aside from some artists who managed to escape the snow for some hot sand, most of them were stuck inside for months, as it has been the coldest winter since 20 years. Even so, street art photographer Space 27 caught some very interesting pieces during the last weeks (like this surprising installation of golden cans, above), that make me think that both spring and summer are going to be explosive in Montreal! I can’t wait to see it in person. Here is the street art work of Labrona, Gawd, Waxhead, Stikki Peaches, Jason Botkin aka KIN, Zola, Tôle, Mono sourcil, and a bunch of artists we expect to identify soon…
Artists in Montreal these days are stuck working in their studios or homes, since the last few weeks have been incredibly cold! So, what follows bellow were mostly done in the fall and early winter. Nearly too cold to paint on walls, Labrona and 500M managed to get outside for a few hours to paint a fresh piece, their first of 2014. Produkt also was very productive on the streets this fall, upping his street art game. And also works by HoarKor, Nixon (old piece, but great location) Gawd, FLN, Waxhead and Cryote. Stay warm.
When I started to hunt Montreal illegal street art, it appeared to me that a city is not static as usual people can think it. When you look closer, you can observe the walls change by the art that sticks on them. I was able to see the evolution of the streets and in the same time I saw ordinary places becoming amazing spots. When an artist, or a group of artists take over a wall, a door, and make it themselves, they give a soul to the city. Below you will see the transformation of some pieces whether completed or fixed. Interestingly, from a collective action or an individual one, it results that the urban environment is likely to be changed and magnified. The walls are for everyone but some of them exclusively belong to some artists. Hope they stay like this!
Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Aline Mairet, a street art blogger and photographer based on in Montréal. Check out her blog here.
Here’s an idea of what you could found when you walk on the streets and alleyways of Montréal. When street art wakes up after a long, cold, snowy winter, the artists bring colour and beauty to the streets. Here is the work of Anser, Labrona, Gawd, Produkt, Chris Dyer, Qbnyc, 500M, Waxhead, Omen, 52Hz, Stikki Peaches, Listen, Wzrds gang and Stela.
And this last piece, a splendid door by Labrona. A commission for En Masse.
Last fall, Labrona did a mural in the center of the city, in collaboration with MU. He recently decided to finish the bottom of this mural, and invited his friends Gawd, Alex Produkt, and Beeforeo. They painted it freestyle, with out a sketch or plan, and this is the result.