A friend of mine sometimes jokes that the slogan for Montreal should really be, "this is why we can't have nice things." Even if you ignore the terrifying state of our roadways, Montreal is still not in very good shape. Every inch of blank space is painted, etched, or carved with illegible scribbles more commonly called tags. Graffiti is not a new phenomenon by any stretch - there are examples of it dating back to Rome and Ancient Greece. In more recent history, graffiti has gripped urban spaces for decades.
January 2012 Archives
Montreal is known for its many festivals. Some of the bigger ones that come to mind are the Jazz Fest or Just for Laughs, but did you know that Montreal plays host to the longest-running graffiti festival in Canada? This Past summer, the 16th annual Under Pressure Graffiti Festival took place on Saint Catherine Street between Saint Laurent and Berri Streets. The festival is open to the general public and draws artists and spectators from all over the world, but what is it all about? It's a showcase of Graffiti, Hip Hop and Skateboarding culture.
Graffiti has become a hot topic recently with municipalities starting to propose and pass legislation that aims to put an end to the art form. The four-story mural that stands across the street from my apartment is a vivid reminder of the impact graffiti has on our culture. I decided to speak with my friend Joe Garque about his role in Under Pressure, Montreal's International Graffiti Festival and about the impact anti-graffiti legislation will have on graffiti culture.