As usual, whenever I spend some time in a city I grab my camera and go street-art hunting. This fall, I went back to visit Montreal, my former hometown. I spent several afternoons taking long, long walks seeking interesting works on streets and alleyways. In the end, I was very pleased with the variety of colourful pieces that adorn the walls of this lovely city. Here are some of my favourite Montreal street art shots, for the full collection don’t forget to check out my gallery.
On Saint Laurent Street, right under the Van Horne overpass, there is a collection of works from the Évènement Graff 2010. This project aims to promote urban art by exhibiting the work of Montreal’s artists in an original space and, at the same time, making it nicer to look at.
This colourful piece below was in a backstreet at Saint Laurent Street near Fairmount St. I just love how the artist combined all sorts of colours and shapes to create this mural. I wish I’d know more about her/his work.
Right next to it was the mural below. I specially like how we can see the guy’s eyes through his sunglasses. I imagine it must not be easy to accomplish this effect of shadows and reflections; so I think this piece is also pretty cool.
The next work is definitely one of my very favourites. I love the Frenchy references, the city’s skyline, the hockey mask (not in this photo) and I even like all the dripping paint. This one is in an alleyway off Saint Joseph Blvd. corner with Saint Laurence St.
Walking on Saint Catherine St. near Place des Arts, I stumbled upon this next great work on one of the side streets. The mural pays homage to Montreal artist Bad News Brown, who was murdered earlier this year. The intensity of his eyes just got me and I also like the details of his hands; it just makes this a truly remarkable piece, in my opinion.
Tucked in an alleyway near Mount Royal Street, is this work by Omen, one of Montreal’s best known graffiti artists. He’s been rallying for years to get graffiti recognised as an art form. In his own words: “Aerosol is a medium like any other; valid and there as a vehicle to express oneself, whether that be through realism, expressionism, cubism, or whatever the artist chooses. As long as aerosol and graffiti are used to pigeon-hole and keep legitimate artists down, I will keep blowing your minds.”
In that same alleyway, there were a few other graffitis that added bucketfuls of colour to this little gallery. The one bellow is a creation by some of the same artists who collaborated to create the mural Le Quai des Arts (pictured at the end of this post).
Some of the nicest murals I found on my quest were created by MU, a non-profit organization that supports and promotes art in public spaces in the Montreal region. Their goal “is to embellish and bring new life to the faded, neglected and/or graffitied walls of the city, thereby triggering other social changes.” For example, the mural bellow was created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the École nationale de théâtre du Canada. It’s located on the corner of Laurier East and Drolet. The six characters on the scene represent the different disciplines taught at the school. On their Facebook page, you’ll find some cool photos about the making of this piece.
Finally, my favourite piece of all is called Le Quai des Arts. This privately commisioned mural at Espace GO on Saint Laurence St. is beautifully done in black and white. It’s a collaboration between MU and En Masse, an initiative that brings artists together and revolves around improvised collaborative drawing.
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