Sweet Montreal Graf Part 2

This is not my first post about Montreal’s street art/ graffiti. Back in June, I waxed poetic at some length. Montreal is, as I said back then, a pretty happening place for street art/ graffiti, with a lively and inventive scene.

Montreal graffiti - waxhead - Plateau alleyway 2012

waxhead – Plateau alleyway behind the Main

Graffiti is a term rife with drama these days as people fight about legal versus illegal, street art versus graffiti, writers versus muralists versus taggers versus stencilists, and nobody ever really wants to acknowledge whether gluing things in public places, wheatpasting, stickering, drawing with chalk, scratchiti, or all kinds of other explorations really counts as graffiti or not.

Montreal graffiti - Omen - Plateau Mont-Royal

Omen – Rue Coloniale on boarded-up windows, Plateau Mont-Royal

Then there’s the whole division between political graffiti and more traditional b-boy culture graffiti versus art graffiti. Personally, I don’t care. As long as it’s visual art (and I really do think that all these forms count as visual art) and it’s in the public eye, I applaud it. I am sick of the discourse of public visual space being dominated by advertising media, with the police and other authorities trying to suppress the discourse implicit in graffiti.

Montreal graffiti - Labrona, Gawd, Peru and friends - Mile-End garment district

Labrona, Gawd, Peru and friends – Mile-End garment district

Sure it’s vandalism, but there’s tons of illegal billboards in every neighbourhood that somehow slip under the radar – how does a freaking BILLBOARD squeak through but a guy with a marker is suddenly considered the more serious problem, worthy of police crackdowns, special announcements from the mayor, and public advertising campaigns (oh the irony).

Montreal graffiti - Artung - advertising kiosk reclamation

Artung – Plateau Mont-Royal advertising kiosk reclamation (these kiosks were declared illegal by the borough but the ad companies continue to use them while they counter-sue)

And yet, Montreal is one of the most graffiti-friendly cities I’ve seen. It’s one of the many things I love about this place. Back in June I said:

Montreal is a pretty happening place for street art. Here is a selection of over 800 photos from my collection of Montreal street art  that I’ve taken over the last 10 years (almost) – 2002 to 2011. I haven’t added in 2012 because it’s not over yet, and there’s always lots of fresh, new work every year.

Well, now it’s nearly a thousand images: Montreal street art/graffiti 2002-2012. Enjoy!

Montreal graffiti - What Is Adam - Mile-End alley wheatpaste

What Is Adam – wheatpaste – Mile-End alley behind the Main