Bringing Street Art Indoors

“Décalé” by Stare
“Untitled” by Zek One

Montreal may have a reputation for spray-can art on its concrete walls, but there’s graffiti in the galleries too. At the Yves Laroche Galerie d’art, five graffiti arts are displaying their work in the double exhibition Saturation and Star d’un soir.

Saturation is the fruit of a collaboration between four artists from Montreal to Puerto Rico, where the exhibition was held last year. Alex Scaner, Zek One, Philip Pun18 Cruz and Kems combine their styles in their shared passion: graffiti.

Taking inspiration from pop art to comic books, the team celebrates graphic street art with explosions of flashy colours—spray-painted across white canvases.

Bright pink, green apple, neon blue and yellow blend together to create a stark contrast against the white, brightly lit gallery walls. The street style signature of spray paint is juxtaposed against the contemporary chic gallery space.

Saturation was always meant to be ongoing and worldwide. Everyone involved is really good at what they do, they are friends and they form like a Voltron.” said Louis Coupal curator for both exhibitions.

Co-founder of street-writing NME crew Stare is also marking his solo gallery debut with Star d’un soir.

Having worked in the urban artform for over 15 years, Stare has developed his own style—distinguishing himself through mastery of lettering.

Stare adds a unique twist to the art by mixing it with different platforms and exploring new textures.

On square canvases, Stare incorporates his lettering into urban landscape and architecture.

Stare plays with by-products of graffiti, bringing his street art off the street—all while keeping it in context.

His work looks like Polaroids of street art, adding pinks or blues like filters for a camera lens. He then covers the painting with a resin, making the large “Polaroids” glossy.

“What stands out in his work is how it’s amazingly soulful, yet intricate and meticulously crafty or technical,” said Coupal.

“His experience with the medium, his honest and personal subject matters, the flow and balance of his typography and style blows me out. He is a very deep, actual and impressive artist.”

Saturation and Star d’un soir / Until May 1 / Gallery Yves Laroche (6355 St. Laurent Blvd.) / Closing reception: May 1 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.