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GREMS: Rap, Graffiti, Design, Street Art or Contemporary Art…

Grems is what we can call a polyvalent artist! Music, graphic design, tattoo, street art, he masters his universe while being continuously seeking for innovation. Originally from France, his work can be found all around the world and even on clothes with his own streetwear brand: CAAPS.

Leaving Paris for Bordeaux to study Fine Arts in the 90’s, Michael Eveno specialized in graphic design, giving birth to Grems, a nickname referring to his extreme thinness at the time. He then started making himself a name by creating illustrations for flyers and records while painting the walls of the city.

Grems gets inspired by everything surrounding him and turns it into works of art: the artist spontaneously creates by referring to primitive arts in a very colorful and minimalist style. The tool or the place has no matter for him, there is no rule nor limit to creation for this pioneer.

« An artists need to be someone who is sensitive to their surroundings and who is visual and who takes in everything around him and who will turn it into something. » he says in the context of the 2016 MURAL Festival.

 

 

Also known for his musical career in rap, Grems founded numerous groups where he evolved as a rapper and launched new names in the french rap scene. With 7 albums and 2 EPs, the artist has stood out for his avant garde style mixing Hip Hop with Chicago House, Detroit Techno and electronic experimentation.

If Grems has experimented through music he also seeks reinvention in his professional projects and his painting.

« For me, street art is guys who come from graffiti but are bored with the conventions of graffiti, who break the code and who create new contemporary paintings. » he explained for the 2016 edition of MURAL.

 

 

Despite his particular attachment to the values of graffiti, Grems has also been able to combine his professional career with collaboration with brands such as Nike, Swatch,

Grems’ work can be seen everywhere: from the walls of Montreal to Bali, to the Pompidou center, the Parisian art galleries or the RATP campaign and even the paint cans themselves!

 

 

MURAL FESTIVAL GREMS BOOM BOX
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FAFI inspires women to create art!

Fafi is the definition of feminism and graffiti coming together in an explosive cocktail. With her Fafinettes, the French artist has been able to put her name forward amongst the greatest international urban artists. Whether it’s on a canvas, a wall, a shoe, on paper, or in animations, Fafi has adapted her graphic language on various medias.

Colorful and happy but imprinted with strength and a feminist vision, her works put forward women, the fierce ones with curves who embrace life to the fullest.

Fafi for Pow Wow SXSW in Austin, TX (2016) ©Jasper Wong
Fafi for Urban Nation in Berlin (2016) ©Nika Kramer

Born in Toulouse, Fafi began her artistic career in 1994 by exploring feminity through all its angles. Being raised in a very conventional and strict environment, the artist defies all street art conventions with a self-assured feminity. If she uses female stereotypes for her Fafinettes – her curvy feminine characters – she only does it to empower women as creatures from outer space.

Fafi for Wynwood Walls at Art Basel, Miami (2015) ©Martha Cooper
Fafi in Paris (2014)

When she came in Paris, her style has immediately been noticed and abled her to achieve multiple collaborations from painting to toy design with Sony but also clothing with Colette, Adidas, and Chanel. She even produced several music videos in which her Fafinettes come to life with Lilly Allen, Kid Sister and Azealia Banks in « Atlantis ».

Fafi goes even further in the devlopment of her universe and her Fafinettes with a comic in 2012: The Carmine Vault. She introduces the story of Birtak, a four-legged character which pursues its dream to become a ballet dancer but wanders off with promiscuous Fafinettes.

 

©The Creators – Vice

 ©Halopigg

With a global career that brings her all around the world, Fafi paints what inspires her, creates in hope to inspire women to create art.

« As an artist I’m transforming. This is a new approach for me. I want to encourage other girls to create whereas before I used to paint in solitude and I was very egocentric. Now I’m adopting a more collaborative approach. » She told us in the video you can see below about the creation of her artwork merging graffiti and floral compositions for MURAL Festival in 2016.

 

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Le P’tit Fest du Nord

What’s up Saint-Jérôme!

Le P’tit Fest du Nord is a new event that will take place on August 25th and 26th in Saint-Jérôme as part of the inauguration of Place des Festivités. It is a free cultural gathering of music and art for the public!

The music program is dangerously stuffed with talent from here! On Friday, August 25th, the big outdoor stage will be hosted by Dead Obies, Alaclair Ensemble, Loud, Toast Dawg (Dj Set) and guests, and then Saturday 26th by Bernard Adamus (which will be the last show before a well deserved break), We Are Wolves, Corridor, Choses Sauvages, Poirier Migration Soundsystem, Aiza and many others! To stay tune about their music program, visit Le P’tit Fest du Nord Facebook Page

In addition to participatory musical and artistic activities, Le P’tit Fest du Nord also offers you the opportunity to witness the creation of a permanent mural produced by a canadian artist named Kevin Ledo who made a recent mural in Montreal in honor of the late Leonard Cohen. A sculptural art installation by the creative marketing agency LNDMRK will also be installed on the site for 3 months between July and October!

Le P’tit Fest du Nord is an initiative of the MURAL Public Art Festival in collaboration with the City of Saint-Jérôme.

Mural Festival 2017

MURAL visit with Spade & Palacio

Live the MURAL experience until October with Spade & Palacio’s visits every Saturday and Sunday.

In this perspective, MURAL chose to join forces with Spade & Palacio for you to discover X-Ray, 1010, Dodo Ose, D-Face, Ricardo Cavolo and all the other artists from the MURAL Festival since 2013. Because even though the festivities have ended, the works remain for our greatest pleasure.

If the boulevard Saint-Laurent use to be a dividing place between East and West, nowadays it is an space of cosmopolitan exchanges with local as well as international restaurants, markets and artists. It is in this particular busy street that the MURAL Festival celebrates street art by presenting murals from every nationality. Going from the Station 16 Gallery (3523 Boul. Saint-Laurent), Visit all the works that have emerged from the 5 editions of the MURAL Festival in a small group with a local and professional guide during 2 hours.

These tours will allow you to discover one of North-America’s heart of street art. You will have exclusive access to an open air museum full of monumental works from local and international artists. Take a bottle of water you can fill up, an umbrella if needed and something to capture the best angles of the works you’ll see.

 

 

By collaborating with the MURAL Festival, Spade & Palacio put their expertise and authenticity towards public art. Born from the love and passion of two Montrealers, Anne-Marie and Danny chose to collaborate to bring visitors in the most unknown and novel corners of Quebec’s capital by creating their own company.

Being great travelers and thirsty for discovery, these two former guides finally whose Montreal amongst all the other cities. Whether it’s the Jean Talon market for Anne-Marie or Mont Royal for Danny, their hometown’s charm brought them to share their experiences with travelers. Bicycle lovers, architecture enthusiasts and always on the lookout for good places to eat, the two founders will make you fall in love with Montreal as they did more than 15 years ago.

Book your visit here.

Price: 20$ (+ charges and taxes) per visitor

Mural Festival 2017

An encounter with Montreal artists Dodo Ose and Fluke

The Mural Festival team, as usual, invited ten Canadian and local artists to participate to the creative event this year. Amongst them, Dodo and Fluke. These two artists are at their second participation to the Festival. The first time, in 2013, they painted as members of the AShop crew.

It’s hard to forget the gorgeous wall that the group created on the first year of the Festival, the ”old lady” is still there. Observing people and time passing by at the corner of St-Laurent and des Pins.

©Nickie Robinson
©Nickie Robinson
©Nickie Robinson

But five years have gone by since. Mural and AShop both grew a lot. They now both have a brilliant international visibility. If Mural rapidly became an essential stop on the worldwide circuit of Street Art festivals, the AShop crew (”at the Shop” – quebecer expression meaning at the factory, at work) on their side, thanks to the quality of the work of its artists and of experience (founded in 2009), now has an important influence on the global scene.

This year, it isn’t AShop that has been invited to the party but two artists part of the crew : Dodo and Fluke. They will each realize a wall alone. The two man are so linked up professionally to their collective, that we can sometimes forget that they each have a brilliant solo career as much on the local scene as internationally.

The collaborator of Mural met up with them to learn more on them and to make you discover them.

*** The artists are presented in alphabetical order.

Doryan « DoDo » Ose

(2016) -– Solo – Mural Festival ©Nickie Robinson

Doryan (Dodo) is an artist from France who considers himself from Montreal. In 2010, he moved to Montreal to evolve his artistic career because it is a nice place to live.

The ”Ose” part of his name comes from his roots as a graffiti writer when he was younger.

”It is my mother that influenced me. She is the one who bought me my first sketchbook, my first spray can.” says an emotional Dodo. Because this artist is very sensitive. And it is that sensibility that shows up in his work. Dodo’s mother most be very proud of her kid today.

©AShop

Dodo is part of a very talented happy bunch from Montreal named K6A (pronounced ”qué cé ça?”). An informal crew of creators of all kinds regrouping many well known figures of the Montreal scene whether from the graffiti, art or rap scene.

”K6A is a bit like my family. It is them that welcomed me and their influence has shaken my career.”

The artist is a guy that enjoys being in a gang. He likes people and the recurrent artistic proximity that the crew injects quite an energy into him. Dodo has been so attached that he even got a tattoo of the group’s visual on his arm.

©Nickie Robinson

 

©Nickie Robinson

The multi-disciplinary artist, now in his mid-thirties, describes himself as an artisan more than as an artist.

”Artisan because I put my art, the techniques that I have mastered and my expertise in the service of others.”

Working Class Hero” (2015) – Solo – Hochelaga ©Nickie Robinson

 

To finish up, Doryan wanted to mention his big respect for Fluke who has guided him through his career and pushed him to develop his creativity. As Fluke gives a lot to others, it is important for Dodo to give him back in return and to say thank you. ”But this year, for Mural, I will kick his ass” he says with his usual smile.

To follow the work of Dodo:  facebook | instagram

 

Fluke

©Nickie Robinson

The 33 year old artist from Polish origings was born in Montreal. He is considered by some as one of the old guys in the Montreal graff scene. He is part of the pioneers. Not surprising when we learn that the founder of AShop started handling the spray can at nine years of age. Slowly, a can in his hand, he made is place and his signature gradually became known by all.

©Fluke
©Wall2Wall

Contrary to the majority of the artists on the scene, the man is pratically always called by his alias by his peers. Fluke explains it by the fact that his mother tongue is Polish – his English/French were not the best. Hence to facilitate his integration, he chose the name which was easy to say.

”Back then I didn’t really know what it meant but I liked the resonance of it and the combination of letters. And today, it goes really well with the life I lead. I consider that I go forward in life with a lot of luck.”

And now the name is completely a part of myself, it has become fully become my identity. I am Fluke!”

His path was drawn by his hard work and patience.

”Nowadays, many artists are impatient. They want everything and they want it now. You have to learn to take your time and continually challenge yourself.”

© Wall2Wall

The one who describes himself as an art extremist doesn’t sleep much. Very demanding of himself, he works almost by a military process. Obsessed by details, he proceeds by trial and error and can redo his work a hundred times.

 

©Fluke

A loner, he spends the majority of his time at the Ashop studio. Its hiw own Ali Baba’s cave. A bit like a scientist in his lab, that where he does his research of colors, shapes and movement.

 

For the past two years, he has been reflecting on his work. Influenced by the Arts, he seems to be drifting away slowly from graffiti. However he does admit that he is still looking for his own style. ”If the secret is in the sauce, I still haven’t found the recipe!” he says very seriously. Because the man is usually all smiles, he releases a huge joie de vivre and contagious vitality.

The artist’s main goal is to convey a message.

”I am not expecting people to remember me ten-twenty years from now. But if I can change people’s days, even just for a short instant, I will have accomplished my goal.”

 

To follow Fluke’s work: facebook | instagram

A’shop : site web | facebook | instagram

**Translation FR to EN:  Mel Reno.