hey Wooster, this is old news as far as the select world of Montreal street art is concerned but another example of the appropriation of “urban kool” (not to be confused with cool with a “c”) by the “establishment” for the delectation of the elite. The establishment in question is the CCA (center for canadian architecture) which, in keeping with a recent exhibition entitled something like “Sense of the City” hired some of Montreal’s more notorious art gangsters (myself included) to paint a massive 100 foot long canvas as part of this year’s annual fundraising dinner. In attendance were such famous Montreal families as the Bronfmans (actually, these people were underground before we even had a name for it, their fortune amassed by illegally running booze across the border to you yanks during Prohibition) and the Bombardiers who build trains, planes and ski-doos. Assembled by the equally notorious Pablo Aravena the team consisted of such paint slingers as TCHUG, DSTRBO, TURF ONE, LABRONA and OTHER. I also painted a massive sewer with crocodiles coming out of it at the center of the banquet area which served as a dance floor for a troupe of “urban dancers” (they even had a black guy with dreds) and for the dinner guests when the champagne went to their hips. When all was said and done the mural was divided into little foot by foot squares that were auctioned off to the guests. A mob of tuxedoes and chiffon crowded the canvas when it came time to claiming their party favours giving us a heady if only momentary and illusory sense of stardom (artists can be such suckers for that kind of attention.) For a second there, I thought that I’d arrived. Never mind that were given box lunches for dinner and had to wait 2 hours before we got our first beer. One thing about people with money is that they have an appreciation for the concept of artificially inflated value on which the art world (and many other worlds for that matter) rely.
On another note, as part of my debt to society and in the context of 40 hours of community service, I completed a mural on the ground ( I guess that would be called a “flooral”) of a school yard in the context of another fundraiser, this time to raise money for the re-landscaping of that very same school yard. Also just completed a “virtual lego construction” with the help of Urban Ambush’s 2YOUTH and KSILK entitled “Legoisme” outside of the Place D’Armes Metro Station here in Montreal as part of a commission by the Mayor of the Burrough of Ville-Marie. Why do people keep asking me if I feel like “I’ve sold out?” (by people I mean mainly media types) Oh yeah, I forgot, artists are supposed to be poor miserable wretches their whole lives until they die of Syphilis and then their work gets put on coffee mugs and place mats. Wait until I start doing car commercials and then I’ll let you know if my sell-out reflex starts a’ twitching.