Paint Frais: Street Art of Montreal

Familiar buildings, ever-morphing street art. That was my first impression upon returning to Montreal during a recent visit.


Overlooking a small square favored by bums, I found this pair of raccoons chowing down on garbage represented by wildstyle graffiti tags. I’m not normally a fan of wildstyle hits, and it would be easy to imagine that the artist portrayed wildstyle as garbage to insult it, but I find it easier to imagine that the artist had something more ironic in mind.


Another mixture of art and wildstyle, with the letters seemingly emanating from his harmonica. As if to put the piece in context of the street where it resides, someone walked into the door just before I took this picture.


Someone had second thoughts while blackwashing this building’s sign that had been hit with stencils of Jimi Hendrix and James Brown. Below reads: Please Don’t Feed the Artists.


The Hotel Quartier Latin indicates its function with a painted window of its Victorian townhouse on Rue St. Denis.


Some of the more intriguing pieces can be found around the strip clubs on Rue Sainte Catherine and Rue Saint Laurent. This piece appears on a temporary construction wall almost directly below the overhang of a burlesque club.


This building on Rue Sainte Catherine has hosted a series of comic art murals over the years. I am not surprised; the building’s vertical shape sticks up from an almost empty block, framing the side wall like a panel in a comic book. In its latest incarnation, the mural must contend with a war on two fronts: masturbatory tags and sell-out advertising for fast food, disturbingly representative of the adversity street art faces on a daily basis.

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About OmnivorousTraveler

Darrin DuFord is a travel writer, mapgazer, and jungle rodent connoisseur. His writing has won numerous awards and has appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, BBC Travel, Gastronomica, Roads & Kingdoms, Narratively, and Perceptive Travel, among other publications. He is the author of Breakfast for Alligators: Quests, Showdowns and Revelations in the Americas (released in July 2016) and Is There a Hole in the Boat? Tales of Travel in Panama without a Car, silver medalist in the 2007 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Awards.
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