There is a breathtaking mural – a genuine Montreal masterpiece – painted by Montreal’s year-old A’shop crew, at the corner of Madison and Sherbrooke Street West in N.D.G. that has been turning heads and wowing passersby since it was completed on October 20.
“We spent a good two weeks of research and getting the tools we needed together and then worked dawn to dusk for 16 days straight to complete the mural,” says local graffiti artist Fluke of A’shop, the year-old East End Montreal artist-run collective whose five painters boast over 25 years of combined experience in graffiti art and urban aesthetics.
“We been doing graffiti for a long time but this is our first large project involving the whole team,” Fluke says. “We’re always busy with other projects so we’ve never really had time to let [the reactions to] them sink in. But this mural was just so big and also our last of the season. It was challenge, took us out of our comfort zone. We wanted to try something more classic.”
A’shop’s five-storey mural of a Mother Nature-esque Madonna (Fluke describes it as a modern take on “Our Lady of Grace” inspired by Czech Art Nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha) consumed over 500 cans of spray paint – in over 50 different colours – and was actually sponsored by the City of Montreal and Prevention NDG. Other sponsors were the Sub-V paint-spray shop (“They sponsored the paintl”), Location Gamma for the hydraulic lift and local neighbourhood Grand Café who “gave us food and coffee,” says Fluke.
In addition to Fluke, the other painters who worked their butts off on this mural are graffiti artists Guillaume Lapointe, Antonin Lambert, DoDo Ose and Bruno Rathbone (their ages range from 27 to 33). Some of A’shop’s clients over the past year include Cirque du Soleil, Holiday Inn, Heinekin, Cirque Eloize, Sirius Satellite Radio, Volkswagen and Smirnoff.
“This is the first time we collaborate with the city where they gave us 100 % control over the project,” Fluke says, “The main thing that struck us was the public’s reaction while we were painting the mural. Some people gave us the cold shoulder at first, thinking we were painting an ad. Then when they realized we were reviving an old wall with a mural, they were came back to see us everyday. That really fueled us. Within days we had the whole community involved. People invited us for lunch and the Jamaicans at the local barber shop were giving us high-fives!”
Fluke also hopes the so-called “N.D.G. Project” will encourage other city boroughs to consider murals of their own. “Our city has way too much gray,” Fluke says. ‘So I hope this [mural] kickstarts a mural campaign. The architecture in Montreal is perfect for it.”
article from montrealgazette.com