January 30, 2015

FLIP THE SWITCH: Part II of "What is an Artist?"

I am reminded of the time I went to the inauguration of Omen’s mural All it Takes is a Little Heart in Ville St-Laurent, in the fall of 2014. He addressed the press and city officials with a smile, “Remember when you used to call the cops on me? Now you pay me to paint walls.” This is Omen. He is larger than life.

After reading Sarah Thornton’s 33 Artists in 3 Acts dissection of the question What is an artist?, I sought answers from the artists represented by Station 16 Gallery. Omen was one of the first artists to whom I reached out. He is in Panama painting at the moment and posted his definition through social media: “Artists are people who take you through the world and lend you their eyes. It is more a burden than a technique. The artist has to be both egotistical and sensitive enough to want to convey this vision to the rest of the world.” These words were greeted with much enthusiasm, as is most of what Omen publishes. Fans and friends added comments: “The artist must make things in order to achieve this since what they see is often not yet named or explained in words.” “What we do as artists is a service to humanity,” chimed in another.


When I think of an artist balancing her ego and desire for social change, I cannot help but think of Gilf!. For the politically-charged (and gutsy!) artist, the answer isn’t about communication or contradiction. Rather, it is about choice: “In my opinion, a true artist is one who chooses ultimate freedom. Not one to be swayed by fads, conventions or others’ opinions, but moving wholeheartedly in the direction of one’s truest self. Art is truth of self.”

“Art reflects the highest order of human activity… the ability to create!” With a burst of enthusiasm, Jason Botkin shared much about the subject: “I am considered a professional ‘artist’ by way of taxes and for legal/consensus reasons. My living is derived from the creation of a product, which has come to be called ‘art’... objects and concepts that I then exchange with others for money, goods, and services. It’s a funny game. I apply a simple definition to the word art: communication. Art thus follows regular formulas we apply to communication as an activity: A sends B a message, and B receives message and understands it. B acknowledges communication back to A, thus completing a circle. It doesn’t really matter what A wants to communicate to B. It is about conversation (simple or complex) and this act describes the relationship that takes place. It is my opinion that a good artist strives to communicate first with him/herself, in a complex, abstract, and at times, profound manner.” He ended on a spiritual note, “On the first day, God created LIGHT, without which one cannot experience the vibration of aesthetics. It is powerful business this slapping around of paint and colour!”

I asked Whatisadam to answer the same question. “What do you need?” he asks. He sends me his answer and follows up with: “Is this long enough? Do you need me to be funny? I can be funny!” Whatisadam is more than easy to get along with. He is helpful and patient. “What is an artist,” he types from his iPhone. “An artist is an outsider, someone whose switch has been flipped, or who at least thinks it has. He sees the world differently and tries to express it physically through the creation of something new. An artist is a martyr of unwanted ideas, a voice for something that would normally go unsaid.”

Next week, you’ll hear the answers received by the pun-master Hanksy contrasting to Yoav Litvin, a doctor of psychology and author or Outdoor Gallery NYC, as well as Montreal’s own Stikki Peaches and Antoine Tavaglione.

Check out A Dead Fly on the Windshield of Time: Part I of What is an Artist? here!

January 28, 2015

New Habs mural by Eric Clement

The worlds of sports and art rarely collide. Our exhibition “Gol, Carajo,” proved differently, demonstrating that art and soccer can fuse beautifully in the intricate, playful work of Ricardo Cavolo. The unexpected melange of sports and art has appeared again in another Station 16 Gallery artist, Eric Clement, who recently created a mural for the Canadiens. Organized through our partner, LNDMRK, the project highlights the illustrative, comic book style of Clement while centering around the theme of hockey.

Eric Clement, who recently relocated from Montreal to Toronto, works in a graphic style that deconstructs objects into detail shots and close-ups. Clement’s final work features fragments of larger images, which he has reassembled into a painted collage. The disjointed images overlap with typography and other illustrative elements, forming a pop art, comic-like design. Executed in a clean, crisp manner, Clement’s art is engaging and accessible, utilizing an approach that is consistent throughout his studio and public work.

Located in a conference room for the Canadiens, the mural acts as the backdrop for various press releases and marketing events for Montreal’s hockey team. The mural has a simple, symbolic colour scheme of red, blue, and black. While cropped shots of players and logos compose the majority of the wall, imagery of aggression, such as the growling snarl, puffs of smoke, and broken bricks, fill the remainder of the wall. Through these images of power and speed, their overlapping and illustrative quality creates feelings of motion and force. As a Habs fan himself, Clement aimed to pay homage to the team, which he believes has one of the richest histories in all of hockey. Incorporating early forms of the logo and the iconic image of Jacques Plante, Clement adds an element of nostalgia that corresponds well to his comic book style.  Aesthetically-pleasing and engaging to both sports fans and art critics alike, the mural also represents the middle ground between creative energies and effective brand marketing.

 

Habs mural by Eric Clement; photo by Daniel Esteban
Sketch by Eric Clement 
Bridging the gap between artistic creations and the marketing needs of a business can be a challenging endeavor, filled with differing visions erroneous efforts. The need to mend these discrepancies led to the establishment of LNDMRK, an artistic marketing agency. Known primarily for their development and execution of the MURAL Festival, LNDMRK undertakes a variety of creative projects that connect artistic talents with corporate marketing. “LNDMRK creates brand value through art,” describes founder/partner, André Bathalon. With a team composed of both artsy and business-like minds, LNDMRK connects artists with corporate projects to create imaginative branding opportunities. As a result, the artist can work within his/her specific style and the company has a unique and engaging brand image. When presented with the Habs project, Bathalon immediately thought of Clement. Having previously worked with Clement on a mural project with Excentris, Bathalon knew Clement's illustrative style would work perfectly with the vision for the Canadiens project.

At Station 16 Gallery, we are excited to work with Eric Clement. With multiple works on display, you can check them out at the gallery or online here!

 

 

 

Streets is Watchin' 1/9

 

Streets is Watchin' 2/9

Bedtime Stories

 

 

January 23, 2015

A DEAD FLY ON THE WINDSHIELD OF TIME: Part I of "What is an Artist?"

In early January, I settled down with Sarah Thornton’s new book 33 Artists in 3 Acts in which she poses what appears to be the simplest of questions: What is an artist? Within the first few pages, Thornton is already dismayed to have people reply: “An artist is someone who makes art.”
 
I scoffed. My answer would be so much more profound, detailed and smart! Clearly, an artist is… blank. What is an artist? Over dinner, my husband, who is not involved in the art world, answered promptly: “Emily, it’s simple. An artist is a creator.” Really? This seemed too all-encompassing for my taste. One can create with no intent towards art. No, it wasn’t simple at all.
 
Who better to consult than the artists I know and work with on a daily basis? I promptly sent out emails, texts and left phone messages.

  
“A dead fly on the windshield of time” was the first answer I received. That’s Enzo Sarto. Enzo can be best described as mysterious and controversial. He is word-smart, yet frustratingly tight-lipped about his own art practice. A few hours later, he adds: “In general, an artist is a compulsive communicator. There can be subdivisions and related psychological factors from discipline to discipline and from artist to artist, but basically they are people compulsively reaching out with a message or a translation.”
 
Answers flowed in. Artists wanted to know why I was asking. I received my fair share of question marks and acronyms. “Woohoo! THE question,” exclaims Ricardo Cavolo. Ricardo, known within the art community for his sunny disposition, creates artwork that conveys his zest for life. “I think an artist is someone whose creative work connects with people in some way. Artists create something that turns on a light bulb within people. It can be in a good or bad way.”
 
The idea of an artist creating something good or bad or being faced with constant dichotomy came up repeatedly. Xray, who is of a quiet demeanor, explains: “Artists are walking contradictions; risk-takers who are willing to be seen as fools or praised as visionaries. They can be audacious and supremely confident, or insecure to the point of hopelessness. They can be soulful and generous or shallow, pretentious and greedy. Throughout, artists have an obsession with creating and are crazy enough to keep producing in spite of soul-crushing rejection, being judged and being misunderstood.  There is no doubt that these individuals feel an urgency to live in the moment.  They also feel very strongly about what it means to be an artist.”
 
On the other hand, DeeDee remarks: “I am generally uncomfortable with people calling me an artist.” Perhaps this was the sort of contradiction Xray warned me about? Her work comes off as playful yet is often separated by extremes. When a New York art dealer described her color waves as “morning and night” she corrected him: “That's not morning, that's Hell.” DeeDee burns a wonderful fire, yet is soft-spoken: “I just think of myself as making things. An artist is someone who makes something that never existed before, or makes something out of nothing.”
 
Eric Clément elaborates on this idea: “An artist is constantly dissecting and observing our world: the fold of a jacket or the shape of a nose may be much more than it appears. It is light, shadow, mass and tonality. A letter or word becomes more than a tool to communicate but a shape to be abstracted and studied for its structure and aesthetic. An artist is a person who sees the world through very specific filters.” This response could also act as a description of Eric’s work. His paintings zoom in to the most incongruous details of an object, giving it new meaning and importance. “We are obsessive collectors of inspiration and outlets for creativity. An artist is someone who strives to balance skills and technique with passion, ego with humbleness, communication with self-expression. An artist is someone who has made a commitment to share their work, to make art, to be frustrated by it, to be drained by it, to be motivated by it, but most importantly to live for it.”
 
I was charmed by the answers I received. They were plentiful and genuine. Over the next few weeks, I’ll post more answers. My hope in doing so, isn’t so much to find a specific answer (after all, as Stikki Peaches replied, “I have my views and opinions on what an artist is. I’m sure it will be totally different from the next artist”) but to give you a glimpse into who they are – their attitude, energy. Coming up, you’ll have the chance to read the answers of Jason Botkin, Gilf!, Omen, Stikki Peaches, Whatisadam, and many more.

 

January 14, 2015

Pantonio

 Pantonio (Antonio Correia), un street artiste portugais connu pour ses murales d’animaux hybrides, est le plus récent ajout aux murs de la Galerie Station 16. Originaire des îles Açores, l'artiste a commencé sa carrière dans les années 1990 et peut être trouvé à travers l'Europe. Avec un style distinctif et anamorphique, Pantonio est l'un des artistes urbains le plus important du Portugal.

"Troubles on Paradise" à Moscou, photo de Pantonio

De plus, Pantonio détient le record de la plus grande murale en Europe. Réalisée en juin 2014, la murale mesure 66 mètres par 15 mètres et est située dans le 13ème arrondissement de Paris. Le mur dépeint son style classique, constitué de lignes hypnotiques qui ressemblent à la fois à la mer et aux créatures qui y vivent.

Murale à Paris, photo par Hector Christiaen

Autant pour ses murales et que ses peintures, Pantonio travaille avec une palette minimale, composée de blanc, de noir, et  de bleu, pour dépeindre ses labyrinthes fluides. Son travail est à l’origine d'une technique unique: il peint dans l'obscurité. Produisant la lumière de l'ombre, Pantonio trouve que cette approche est la combinaison idéale pour obtenir la lumière et la couleur for son travail de l’atelier. " Birds playing the rabbit game" (ou Oiseaux jouant le jeu de lapin) est la dernière toile de Pantonio et est maintenant présentée à la Galerie Station 16.

"Birds playing the rabbit game"  - toile à la Galerie Station 16 

Murale à Sherbrooke, Quebec. Photo par Pantonio

Pantonio (Antonio Correia), a Portuguese street artist known for his large-scale murals of dynamically abstract animal-hybrids, is the most recent addition to the walls of Station 16 Gallery. Hailing from the island of Azores, the artist began his career in the 1990s and can be found widely throughout Europe. With a distinctive, anamorphic style, Pantonio is one of the most notable urban artists to have come from Portugal.

 

 

       Murale à Lisbon, photo par Francisco Gomes

 

Along with a wide range of projects and accomplishments, Pantonio holds the record for the largest mural painted in Europe. Completed in June 2014, the mural measures 66 meters high by 15 meters wide and is located in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. The wall portrays his classic style, consisting of gentle, hypnotizing lines that resemble both the sea and the creatures that exist within it.

 

 

Murale à Paris, photo par Hector Christiaen

Through his murals and paintings, Pantonio works with a consistent and minimal color palette - composed of primarily white, black, and blue - to convey fluid mazes that visually engage with the viewer. His work stems from a unique technique: he prefers to paints in the dark. Producing lightness from the shadows, Pantónio find this approach to bring the ideal color and light combination for his studio work. “Birds playing the rabbit game” is Pantónio’s latest canvas and is now display at Station 16 Gallery.

 

 

Moledo, Lourinhã, Portugal, photo par Pantónio

 

 

December 19, 2014

La Chambre Design

When exploring some of Montreal's best bars and restaurants, you have probably come across the work of interior designer, Amlyne Phillips, founder of La Chambre Design.  Her classic style, found in Apt200, Suwu, L'Gros Luxe, the newly opened Jatoba as well as others, is a fusion of charming antiques with modern trends that creates an ambiance that is as cozy as it is hip. Not to mention, she often incorporate the work of Station 16 Gallery, contributing an eclectic edge into her designs.   

 

Apt200

 

Phillips' interest in interior aesthetics began around age 5. With her father as a cabinet maker, she learned about design and furniture early. La Chambre Design officially started in spring 2013 and has quickly been making its mark in the design scene of Montreal. Finding inspiration wherever she goes, Phillips' friends joke that she "breathes design," although she admits that is it kind of true. "For any building or city that I visit, I cannot help but analyse how everything was made, as well as the thought process behind the design. Basically anything with character or history inspires me," described Phillips. 

 

 

Apt200

 

A strong belief in recycling drives the designs of Phillips - "even as a kid I would make my doll houses out of plastic and cardboard from the recycling bin."  As much as possible, the woods, metals, furnitures, and accessories of the spaces generate from recycled materials. This tendency parallels the general aesthetics of her designs, as the theme of old-meets-new prevails. Within this concept of design, urban art aligns perfectly. "Urban art has this unique and raw art form that fits well with the hip and cool restaurant and bars. It's youthful and creative. It doesn't follow any rules, and most of the time, it is created to shock you. So, no wonder it makes the perfect conversation piece in any home or commercial space."

 

 Jatoba

With three upcoming projects, we are excited to see what other stunning contributions La Chambre Design will bring to the restaurant/bar scene of Montreal. With the seamless integration of urban art into interior design, stayed tuned for more inspiration on how to bring the street indoors!  

Suwu 

En explorant les meilleurs bars et restaurants de Montréal, vous avez probablement rencontré le travail de la designer d’intérieur Amlyne Phillips, fondatrice de La Chambre Design. Son style classique, qu’on retrouve notamment au bar l’Apt. 200, au Suwu, au restaurant L’Gros Luxe, au tout récemment ouvert Jatoba, ainsi qu’à plusieurs autres endroits, est une fusion d’antiquités charmantes et de tendances modernes qui créent une ambiance qui est très chaleureuse. Elle intègre souvent des œuvres provenant de la Galerie Station 16, ce qui contribue à donner un aspect éclectique à ses designs.

L'intérêt de Phillips pour l'esthétique intérieure a commencé lorsqu’elle avait l'âge de 5 ans. Avec son père, un ébéniste, elle en a très tôt appris sur le design et le mobilier. La Chambre Design a officiellement ouvert ses portes au printemps 2013 et a déjà fait sa marque dans le monde du design de Montréal. Elle trouve de l'inspiration partout où elle va, c’est pourquoi ses amis plaisantent sur le fait qu'elle « respire de la conception ». « Pour chaque bâtiment ou chaque ville que je visite, je ne peux m’empêcher d'analyser la façon dont tout a été fait, ainsi que le processus de pensée derrière la conception. Fondamentalement, tout ce qui possède un caractère historique m’inspire », dit Phillips.

L'Gros Luxe

Une forte croyance envers le recyclage inspire les conceptions de Phillips. « Même lorsque j’étais enfant, je faisais mes maisons de poupée avec du plastique et du carton du bac de recyclage. » Autant que possible, les bois, les métaux, les meubles et les accessoires des espaces dont j’assure le design sont générés par des matériaux recyclés. Cette tendance est parallèle à l'esthétique générale de ses créations, comme c’est le thème du vieux qui rencontre le nouveau qui prédomine. Dans ce concept de design, l'art urbain s’aligne parfaitement. « L'art urbain est une forme d'art unique qui correspond bien aux restaurants et aux bars cools. Il est jeune et créatif. Il ne suit pas les règles, et la plupart du temps, il est créé pour vous choquer. Donc il n’est pas étonnant qu'il devienne l’objet parfait d’une conversation dans n’importe quelle maison ou espace commercial. » 

Avec trois projets à venir, nous sommes impatients de voir ce que les autres réalisations signées La Chambre Design apporteront à la scène de la restauration et des bars montréalais. Demeurez à l’affut pour plus d'inspiration sur les différentes façons d’amener la rue à l'intérieur!

December 16, 2014

New releases from Scaner

Station 16 Gallery is excited to launch Black Crown and Red Crownour latest prints by Scaner. The limited-edition, silkscreen prints are available in two colours and feature Scaner's classic graffiti influences along with the a deconstructed logo of Montreal. A perfectly symbolic image of the city's urban art scene, the print has launched just in time for the holiday season! 

 

Black Crown by Scaner

Red Crown by Scaner

 

With one of the most recognizable tags in Montreal, Scaner has been active in the city's street art scene since the late 1990s. In addition to his trademark tag "his inimitable," Scaner's murals are numerous and hard to miss. Furthermore, Scaner is a part of the DA crew, as well as several others collectives, including KG, VC, JKR, TFB, TFO, and 156. Through a colourful and typography-based approach that is congruent with classic, old-school graffiti, Scaner is a key component of Montreal's urban arts. 

 

Montréal
Bushwick, Brooklyn

Miami, 2014

Montréal, 2014

Montréal, 2014

 

 

Montréal, 2014

 Montréal, 2014

December 01, 2014

A Global Street Art Story: Australia

Pour la dernière édition de notre projet A Global Street Art Story, nous sommes heureux d'annoncer que Rone représente l’Australie. Bien connu pour ses portraits de femmes, en particulier l'image récurrente de Jane Doe, Rone a conçu une sérigraphie pour la Galerie Station 16 qui s’aligne parfaitement avec son style classique. Comme on le voit à travers son travail, les représentations viscérales de Rone, toujours coupées pour que l’on ne voit que le visage, mettent en scène le regard intense et perçant d'une femme, qui a la capacité de captiver et d'hanter le spectateur.

 

 

Vivant et travaillant à Melbourne, le travail de Rone est devenu un élément essentiel du paysage de la ville. En plus d'être l'un des street artists les plus célèbres en Australie, il travaille et expose de plus en plus à l’échelle internationale. Rone a commencé sa carrière en décorant des planches à roulettes et des parcs de skate, avant la formation du collectif Everfresh, groupe qui témoigne de sa transition vers graffiti et le street art. Pendant plus d'une décennie, Rone a peint des visages de femmes dans les ruelles de Melbourne, ainsi que des peintures murales à travers le monde, dans des villes telles que Berlin, Londres, Montréal, Miami, San Francisco, Penang et plus encore.

 

Mural par Rone à Austin, USA; photo par Rone

 

Les murales de Rone produisent un fort effet de juxtaposition. Ses personnages féminins comportent naturellement un calme et une beauté séduisante – ce qui contraste fortement avec les murs rugueux et parfois décrépits qu'ils ornent. De plus, leur élégance gracieuse et sensuelle s’oppose au chaos et à l'agitation du milieu urbain dans lequel ils existent. Tandis que les femmes et les murs qu’elles habitent respirent la perfection dans le présent, les deux seront progressivement désintégrés en raison de la nature éphémère inhérente au street art, ainsi qu’à cause de la temporalité précise qu’évoquent la jeunesse et la beauté.

 

Bien que ces thèmes de la jeunesse et de la beauté soient présents dans le travail de Rone, ils existent aussi à un niveau purement esthétique, donnant de la vie et de la beauté aux quartiers dans lesquels ses murales sont créées. La Galerie Station 16 est très heureuse de lancer cette jolie sérigraphie. Il s’agit d’une œuvre renfermant huit couleurs et qui présente le portrait d’une femme glamour, d'inspiration vintage. La sérigraphie est une édition limitée. Découvrez-la ici!

 

__________

 

For the latest edition of our project, A Global Street Art Story, we are excited to announce that Rone is representing Australia. Well-known for his female portraits, particularly the recurring image of “Jane Doe,” Rone has designed a print for Station 16 Gallery that perfectly aligns with his classic style. As seen in his street art and his fine art, Rone’s visceral depictions, consistently cropped to just the face, highlight an intense and piercing gaze of a woman, which has the ability to captivate and haunt the viewer.

 

Living and working in Melbourne, Rone’s work has become a staple of the city’s landscape, and in addition to being one of the most well-known street artist in Australia, he is increasingly working and exhibiting on an international level. Rone began his career by decorating skateboards and skate parks prior to forming the crew Everfresh and transitioning towards graffiti and street art. For more than a decade, Rone has been painting women’s faces in the alleyways of Melbourne, as well as large-scale murals across the globe, such as Berlin, London, Montreal, Miami, San Francisco, Penang, and more.

 

Mural by Rone in Penang; photo by Rone


The murals of Rone produce a strong juxtaposition. His female personas innately carry a calm and alluring beauty - one that starkly contrasts with rough, sometimes decrepit, walls that they adorn. Furthermore, their graceful and sensual elegance opposes the chaos and turmoil of the urban setting in which they exist. While the women and their painted-upon walls exude perfection in the present, both will gradually fade and decay due to the ephemeral nature of street art, as well as the temporality of youth and beauty.

Mural by Rone in London; photo by Rone 

Although such themes are present in Rone’s work, they also exist on a purely aesthetic level, giving life and beauty to the neighborhoods in which they are created.  Station 16 Gallery is incredibly excited to launch this new, beautiful print. The resulting creation is an 8-colour, limited-edition silkscreen print, depicting a glamorous, vintage-inspired portrait of an unnamed woman. Check it out here!

November 26, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide 2014

Vous cherchez un cadeau unique cette saison? La Galerie Station 16 a ce qu'il vous faut! Nous vous offrons des idées pour le bas de Noël de moins de 50$ ainsi que des sérigraphies en éditions limitées, et des originaux sur toile et bois. La Galerie Station 16 a le cadeau parfait pour toutes les personnes sur votre liste!

 

 

Looking for a unique gift this holiday season? Station 16 Gallery has got you covered! From stocking stuffers under 50$ to limited edition prints and one-of-a-kind originals, Station 16 Gallery has the perfect selection for anyone on your list! 

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November 19, 2014

Intrusion dans l’univers de Banksy à travers l’ouvrage: You are an acceptable level of threat

 

 

Banksy est une figure incontournable du street art mondial. Son nom est sur toutes les lèvres depuis des années, et celui-ci n’en finit plus de faire parler avec son travail controversé. L’ouvrage Banksy – You are an acceptable level of threat lève le voile sur la démarche globale de cet artiste ainsi que sur les thèmes qu’il aborde de façon récurrente.

 

Banksy is a key figure in the street art world. His name has been on the tip of everyone's tongues for years, never ceasing to discuss his controversial work. The book Banksy – You are an acceptable level of threat lifts the veil on the artist's global approach as well as his reoccurring themes.

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November 18, 2014

Montréal Goes to Miami Art Basel

 

Depuis maintenant 4 ans, Montréal se démarque sur l’échiquier international, comme étant une des destinations majeures de l’art de rue. Cette reconnaissance est grandement due à nos artistes locaux et aux différents organismes oeuvrant à promouvoir la scène montréalaise.

Du 1 au 7 décembre prochain, une délégation québécoise composée d’artistes, galeries et organismes sera présente lors de la foire internationale d’art contemportain à Miami, le Art Basel/Wynwood Walls.

 

For the last 4 years, Montreal stood out on the international scene as one of the main destination and a go-to place when it comes to street art. This acknowledgement is mainly due to our local artists and the various organizations working hard to promote the Montreal scene.

Next December, from 1st to 7th, a delegation of artists, galleries, and organizations from Quebec will be present at the international art fair held in Miami at Art Basel/Wynwood Walls.

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