After a recent announcement that Montreal will remain in the red zone in November, many students are at a loss as to how to spend their free time. Students have exhausted the many movies to watch with roommates and, due to the drop in temperatures, can no longer spend time lounging in the park with friends. Inspired by the summer’s MURAL Festival, taking advantage of Montreal’s incredible mural art scene is a great way to make walks with friends more interesting. The McGill Tribune has put together a walking tour of four incredible murals, starting on Sherbrooke Street and heading up Saint Laurent Boulevard, during which students will pass by many more public artworks to reach the pinpointed destinations.
“Burnt Toast,” Scott Martin – Sherbrooke Street and Parc Avenue
Created by Canadian-born artist Scott Martin, this piece is hard to miss. Considerably recognized for his digital work, Martin has recently expanded into the world of murals. Located at the back of Provigo, “Burnt Toast” is a massive mural depicting three pastel characters, two standing and one in a wheelchair. With a soothing purple background, the three subjects all have twisty-turny limbs and are gazing in different directions. The piece is meant to touch on the topics of diversity and inclusion, and is sponsored by the yogurt brand Light and Free. The upcoming line of yogurts all have Martin’s cheeky designs present on the top of the labels.
“Untitled,” Inti – Prince Arthur and Milton on Clark
The next stop of the tour is located on the brick wall facing Parc Ethel-Stark. While today the mural is partially covered by graffiti, its gravity is still coherent. The muralist Inti was born in Valparaíso, Chile and began his career at a young age painting murals on the walls of his home town. Since then, Inti has participated in mural festivals across the world, including in Montreal. This particular mural is untitled and depicts the famous folkloric character, kusillo, who recalls traditional Incan symbols. The enormous piece of art is not just beautiful—it will invite viewers to stay and take a closer look at the detailed patterns, intricate features, and entrancing composition.
“DENIAL,” Daniel Joseph Bombardier – Saint Laurent and Clark
Next, take only a few steps onto Saint Laurent Boulevard to find Daniel Joseph Bombardier’s pop art masterpiece. The title of his piece, “DENIAL,” was adopted in 1999 and has been intended to ridicule society’s denial of reality when it comes to media, advertising, and the world of politics. Bombardier is Canadian born; however, he has created many similar murals around the world satirizing contemporary politics. This particular mural is meant to challenge the viewer in understanding the North American political climate, and with the recent attention on social justice activism such as the Black Lives Matter movement, it remains salient. “DENIAL” calls out the viewer in their complacency. This piece is powerful, daring, and accurately portrays the language of sociopolitical upheaval at the top of the mural with the words, “Sorry is not enough.”
“FVCKRENDER” by Frédéric Duquette – Saint Laurent Boulevard and Saint Dominique Street
Our final stop on the tour is “FVCKRENDER” by Frédéric Duquette. This recently finished masterpiece showcases an array of delicate flowers against a black-painted brick wall. The striking juxtaposition has become part of Duquette’s signature style and has brought him wide recognition in both the mural scene and the pop culture world. Duquette has previously collaborated with Dior, Lil Nas X, and Supreme. His work is innovative and is often mixed with cutting edge fashion, photography, and graphic work. This is a must-see on the tour.
To expand the tour and get more information on the hundreds of incredible murals across Montreal, check out this dynamic map of murals on the Mural Festival website.