MURAL Montreal: An Exercise in Balance
Montreal (Canada) recently wrapped a very young and international 2nd MURAL Festival, which in its words, “aims to celebrate creativity and democratize urban art.” With more than 20 artists in grind mode during four days in June, inspired tableaus now populate the main drag on St-Laurent Boulevard and its environs. Though some could say this is a venture in columbusing (‘discovering’ something that’s existed forever), the site-specificity and artistic narratives behind the event’s outdoor walls add layers of color to an already diverse and textured neighborhood.
L. Berson & Son, for one, is quite literally a pillar in the Jewish community as the most trusted gravestone manufacturer since 1922. Now home to a towering mural by UK illustrator Phelgm, the view couldn’t be more allegorical if not for the Ripples Ice Cream shop next door. The juxtaposition of Phlegm’s work, strawberry cones and engraved tombstones is a mash-up that perfectly captures Montreal.
And so the stories continue, with most murals paired with buildings that have their own varied past and place in the city. Expertly curated with a healthy dose of heavyweights, even Roa – think truncated manatee in Wynwood Art District - is a part of MURAL Montreal’s growing repertoire. This year’s artists included: 123 Klan (France); 2501 (Italy); Alex Produkt (France); Alex Scaner (Canada); Alexis Diaz (Puerto Rico); Bezt de Etam Cru (Poland); Bryan Beyung (Canada); Cyrcle (USA); Fred Caron (Canada); Inti (Chili); Kashink (France); Kevin Ledo (Canada); Le Diamantaire (France); Mathieu Connery (Canada); Miss Me (Canada); Rone (Australia); Seth (France); Stikki Peaches (Canada); Vilx (France); Zilon (Canada); Zoltan (Canada); and Zema (Canada).
International Public Art Festival
June 12 – 15, 2014
St. Laurent Boulevard, Montreal
20 new murals, 4 days of music, installations, films & exhibitions
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