Fab Art in the Vicinidad

"André the Giant has a Posse," later aka "OBEY Giant"
Last Tuesday as we were driving home through Little Italy, I asked my husband to stop in front of a large, brightly lit art gallery. For what seemed like weeks, we had been driving past a print of what I believed to be a copy of "André the Giant has a Posse (1989)," by Shepard Fairey, the famous graffiti street artist best known for his pop art portrait of Obama, entitled HOPE. A graduate of the renowned Rhode Island School of Design, Fairey creates works with strong political overtones and has apparently been arrested no less than 15 times for vandalism. Obviously, this is no longer the case. He now has a team he directs to put up his murals. The artist has been criticized for copyright infringement, which Fairey defends citing fair use. I'm referring to controversy surrounding the original photo of Obama taken by an AP photographer.

As I walked in the Yves Laroche art gallery at 6355 St-Laurent, I saw many Shepard Fairey silkscreens, and then learned that last June, Curator Justin Giarla had held Looking East, an exhibition featuring work by Shepard Fairey, Clayton Brother and Rob English. Guess, I missed it. That happens when you're a mother and in the midst of moving house.

"Wolf Noir" by Jon Todd
Anyway, I "attempted" to do a quick tour of the Laroche gallery, as our 4-year-old slept in the car with his father and sister patiently waiting. Unfortunately, I had to stop a number of times to get a closer look and experienced that excruciatingly painful pull between family responsibilities and blatant selfishness, otherwise known as guilt. In other words, I really wasn't expecting the gallery to be this good.

Not only did the gallery carry a lot of local artists, but it also had a significant number of work by women (Kathie Olivas, Lola and Cathie Bleck), which we all know is rare.

I was struck by the work of Jon Todd, a Canadian painter and graduate of Sheridan College. I particularly liked "Wolf Noir" (above.) But then of course, my daughter came in to get me. She told me it was time to go, but then she too got sucked into the gallery's creative vortex. She walked around with me wide-eyed and mouth agape pointing at the various works.

Anyway, you get the picture. This is a well-lit, spacious gallery that you will not want to miss. I've signed up to receive invitations to upcoming vernissages, which apparently can attract up to 500 people.

Click here for a list of Fairey's silk screen posters on sale at the gallery, ranging in price from $725 to $3,800.

Drop by and see for yourself.

Galerie d'Art Yves Laroche
6355 Saint-Laurent,
Montréal QC H2S 3C3
info(at)yveslaroche.com 514.393.1999

Other hood-related posts:
Review: Blue Dragon by Robert Lepage and Marie Michaud
Cent motifs, un passage by Annie Hamel
The Art of Mosaic
Expozine 2011
Churros: The Uruguayan
Who's a Cyclopathe
Neon Icon: Miss Villeray
The Haitian Barber


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