Countdown To MURAL Festival: Street Artists You Need To Watch Out For
What do you get when you put spray paint, thousands of people, and art all together in an urban community setting? Festival Mural. If you didn't get a chance to experience the event yourself last year, don't worry. It's coming back this year from June 12th to the 15th on St. Laurent boulevard and IX Daily is going to be all over it. This year promises to be even crazier than the last. Sure to be full of insane block parties, movie screenings, envious street style, and innovative art installations. This is not a festival to be overlooked this summer. In our excitement for the event, we decided to shine the spotlight on the 20 artists that are going to be getting together to turn the brick walls of the city into breathtaking works of art.
So sit back, and check out some of the killer artists being featured in this year's Festival Mural.
A Montreal based mixed media artist, ZILON has been around for years. His works tend to feature androgynous subjects drawn in black and white with neon accents. His works also give the feel of being done in Indian Ink, or even black watercolour at times, and his line work really shows us his exploration of human form. With an outstanding reputation, incredible portfolio, we can't wait to see what he brings to the festival.
Founded by French street artists in 1992, 123KLAN has been based in Montreal since 2007. With a focus on bright colours, anime influence and bold pieces with almost bolder lettering, this collective of graffiti artists is sure to leave a lasting impression with audiences. They also have clients who come to them from around the world, including Adidas, MTV and Ubisoft, just to name a few. And just to help give you an idea of this crew, their website motto is "Love, Violence, Glory and Talent."
BEZT from ETAM CRU
A member of ETAM CRU, BEZT is a Polish artist whose works are of astronomic size. The paintings are the perfect blend of soft forms, bold colours, and movement. Quite a few of the pieces focus on human subjects melding with unusual objects or environments. These include people in giant jars, women blending in snow, and disproportionate animals racing. His work has a Salvador Dali feel to it, and that's just the way we like it.
If you've ever seen the tag "His Inimitable" then you've been lucky enough to see some of Alex Scaner's work. Known for his mix of bright colours, bold shapes, easily recognizable tag, not to mention his reputation having worked with over six different crews since his influence on the Montreal scene since the late 90's. With his crazy lettering and bright paint choices, not to mention a blend of techniques, his work promises to be interesting this June.
A Chilean artist, INTI embodies social commentary in his eye catching pieces. With bold colours, most frequently in deep warm colours, and subjects from animals to politicians, his art is a force to be reckoned with. Although his pieces often include some comment on everyday life, it's often centred around his country's struggle with poverty. His murals are also massive in size, covering the sides of whole buildings. We at IX can't wait to see what he does next.
A french artist living in Montreal, VILK is known for his daring work with few colours. Mostly using shades of white, he paints hyper realistic imagery that will blow your mind. Seriously. Obsessed with a blend of cartoon me realism, his work definitely stands out from the crowd. With images on walls, cars, and train carts, it's not hard to run into his iconic artwork. But in case you haven't seen him, you can check out his stuff during the festival.
Looking for some wild and imaginative animals? Then Alexis Diaz is the artist for you. Born in Puerto Rico, this artist blends unlikely animal combinations in a truly Dr. Moreau style. From elephant/octopus hybrids to bizarre fish/chicken monsters, his work is truly incredible. Pushing the boundaries of creativity in extraordinary detail, we can only wonder what sort of fantastical creature he'll think up in time for the festival.
Our first female artist of the list, ZEMA is making waves with dark humour but bright designs. Known for her blend of cartoon and realism, not to mention the colourful accents to some otherwise grim frescoes, she's pulling out all the stops for the festival. An art designer, graphic illustrator, and Quebec based artist, Zema's work promises to be full of dark (although brightly painted) twists and turns.
A US based duo, CYRCLE bring more than just graffiti art to audiences. Rather than focus all their time on painting, this collective works with installation art, multimedia projects and pushing the boundaries of conventional art. Exploration of form, black and white, and lots of interesting colour pairings are only some of this duo's trademark artistic choices.
A Canadian based artist, Fred Caron is obsessed with styling is pieces in late 80's and 90's cartoon aesthetics. Maybe it's an obsession with being the last generation of the pre-digital age, or maybe it's just a love for 90's culture, but regardless of the reason his work is guaranteed to resonate with audiences of a simpler time. One of weirdly sexual cartoons, bad fashion, and Pogs (seriously, did anyone even know how to play that game?).
Obsessed with line art? Well so is 2501. This Italian graffiti artist has a passion for making stunning works in black and white line art, with the occasional hint of colour. His work involves deeply complex patterns of spiralling designs to create animals, humans, or objects. The monochrome feel to his piece, which could come across boring in some art, is outstanding in his thanks to the intricacy of his designs, not to mention the hints of colour make his works feel fresh and daring without any hints of pretentiousness.
A French artist, Julien Seth Malland travels the world with one goal; to spread his art (and style) around the globe. His work aims to depict themes local to the towns, countries, and people he's depicting in them. And while his graffiti may be incredible, he's also a talented director, illustrator and graphic designer. We can't wait to see what he's going to leave for all of us in Montreal.
A tattoo artist with a background in fine arts, ZOLTAN is sure to be full of surprises this upcoming festival. After having spent time in Spain, much of his work takes on a classical Spanish aesthetic of the great painters of old but with a fun and modern twist. Bright colours, and frescoes with meaning, his paintings are something to be desired.
A blend of portraiture and wow, Kevin Ledo's work promises to awe audiences. His work features hyper realistic portraits that make you question whether the subject is really there and eight feet tall. His paintings usually tend to have a perfect blend of warm and cold colours, with several of his pieces solely focusing on one or the other. An incredible Canadian artist, we at IX Daily can't wait to see what he brightens our city with this festival.
A feminist, an artists, and an outstanding addition to this year's festival, KASHINK stands out in this boy's world of street art. Her works are of a simplistic style, with incredible detail and bold colours. Her subjects tend to lean towards fun looking monsters with a hint of humanity to them. An original aesthetic and fun content make this French artist one to watch out for.
A fun blend of abstract, graphic and portraiture, Bryan Beyung'ds work please audiences of all ages. Taking classic works and giving them a fun twist and a burst of colour, his art moves any and all who look at it. He also blends free flowing style with precise technique as he makes murals the whole world will enjoy. Using subjects from Napoleon to nature, this Canadian artist makes the streets his own with his stylistic approach.
Since 2009 STIKKI PEACHES, a Canadian artist, has been leaving a mark on cities around the globe. Black and white pieces blend together with just the right amount of colour to give each piece a jolt of something fresh. The pieces are reminiscent of Andy Warhol and pop culture days that are long gone, only with a fresh and more modern twist.
The Canadian artist, and women's rights activist, MISS ME will be making an appearance at this year's festival and we at IX couldn't be happier. Her style, which encourages feminism and tolerance in a world (and art form) dominated by men, is a blend of portraiture, fine art, and collage. Bright colours, popular and revered female subjects, it's no wonder her art has been making waves around the world.
If you love abstract art then Mathieu Connery is the artist for you. His murals feature abstract lines, bizarre colour choices and content that makes you want to tilt your head in confusing and scratch it all while trying to understand his art. Although you may not "get" his work, it's interesting, fun, and engaging. The Canadian artist draws you in and doesn't want to let you go.
Unlike the other street artists on this list LE DIAMANTAIRE isn't a graffiti artist, per say. This French artist takes recycled objects and turns them into mirrored and decorative jewels and diamond creations to hang on street walls. Some of the favourite objects that are used to create the impressive wall decorations.
Wrapping up our list of the artists coming to this year's Festival Mural is Alex Produkt, a Montreal artist who's been around for over a decade. Many locals have seen his works, even if they don't know it. With reoccurring characters, a blend of cartoon, fantasy, and detailed realism for masterful work each and every time. He plays with form, colour, and everyone's expectations. We at IX are excited to see what he does next.
Don't forget to stream the official IX x MURAL playlist in our music player above, featuring all (or most) of the artists and DJs performing at their various parties and events.
Know any of the artists? A fan of their works? Anyone you're most excited to see at this year's festival or someone you think should come next year? Let us know if the comments below!