Home Arts Street art occupies Montreal

Street art occupies Montreal

by The Concordian October 25, 2011
As formations of birds fill Montreal’s skies in flee of frost, winged creatures of another kind are fashioning city streets into artistic nests. Disgruntled, fluorescent, and bearing signs that read “Occupy Walls & Streets” or “Wake Up!” the newest fleet of stickers from street artist Futur Lasor Now trace their flyway across Montreal’s light-posts, mailboxes and advertisements.
Unlike their sky-bound counterparts, however, these birds aren’t following a pattern.
“My art doesn’t represent a product or one specific message,” said the artist behind Futur Lasor Now. “It’s a punch-back to consumerism that we’re forced to see in the city. It’s supposed to go against the grain of advertising with happiness and beauty.”
He prefers to keep a low profile to let his art pieces speak for themselves. “It’s not about being anonymous, but it’s not about my identity either,” he said, “It’s about the ideas and the beauty of the art itself.”
Working with high-quality, reusable vinyl material and mastering both hand-drawn and digital art, Futur Lasor Now, also abbreviated as FLN, spans subject matter from the political and serious to the silly and whimsical.
From penguins with rayguns to a Harper stencil with ‘DESTROY’ printed underneath in black font, FLN’s art pieces all share the aim of creating psychological depth in the urban landscape.
“I’ll put something beautiful in a place that isn’t too obvious, so if someone does see it on a walk home, they’ll react with ‘That’s not supposed to be there,’” he explained.
“I want to make you go somewhere in your mind which you wouldn’t have gone otherwise, through these little forms of escapism that give variety to life,” said FLN.
Occupy Wall Street inspired the latest set of “Slightly-Angry Birdz” stickers. “The movement has a similar message to the one I’ve been thinking about for a while,” he said, “so I had to make something, and it seems that people were receptive to that.”
FLN also described the re-occupation strategy of public space practiced by street artists as one that lends new depth and interest to the city’s landscape.
“I’ll see an abandoned building that people walk past every day,” he said, “and put up a sticker. If someone does a stencil piece, and another artist paints on the blank wall, people suddenly notice a part of their neighbourhood they’re used to ignoring.”
Some neighbourhoods seem to be a higher priority on the city’s list of clean-ups, said FLN.
“The Mile End has a lot of street art going on,” he explained, “and in some parts of the city, a sticker can last two years. In others, I’ll find a sticker painted over the next day.”
FLN recounted with laughter one cat-and-mouse exchange with a city worker. “I’d see this employee painting over my stickers during the daytime,” he explained, “and say ‘That looks nice, you should leave it there,’ and he would grumble.”
“Because of the vinyl I use, I could peel off my painted-over sticker,” FNL recounted, “and stick the black silhouette elsewhere. Like, ‘Look, this is a collaboration piece between the city and me!’”
Most Montreal police seem tolerant of street art, if a little confused.
“I don’t run from police who see me, because they’re going to catch me anyway,” said FLN. “I show them the stickers and they’re puzzled, and say ‘Uhh, okay, well… jump up and down: do you have spray cans in your backpack?’”
Curious eyes will be able to spot several Futur Lasor Now pieces around Concordia’s SGW campus. He knows that the student environment is receptive to alternative ideas.
“Young people appreciate street art, and they look around,” he concluded, “and they should, because this is our space. We pay taxes for it, it’s public, and it’s time to take it back.” 

For more information and to see more art, check out Futur Lasor Now on Facebook or at http://futurlasornow.blogspot.com.

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