Alphonse Mucha is one of my favorite artists. Yes, his work is very conventionally “pretty.” What of it? Just because your work appeals to a broad audience doesn’t make it less amazing. I have seen films of him at work. The man could draw like a thousand angels.
My mom began my admiration with a coloring book from a traveling Mucha exhibit she saw when I was a child. It might be this one. I still have it, most of the pages are colored, but some are still blank. The intricacies of the drawing intimidated 7-year-old me a little. I have been to the Mucha Museum in Prague several times (my parents lived in Prague for a few years), but I have yet to see his Slav Epic. I suppose that makes me a bit of a half-assed fan, I couldn’t be bothered to take a 3 hour train trip to see his masterwork (we were busy?). Blerg.
When I saw these photos of a mural in Montreal I was blown away. This mural is a tribute to Mucha’s style, done in spray paint on a brick wall. I love that you can still see the bricks below the paint. And I love that the airbrushed quality of the line. They didn’t hide their materials or their methods, and it enhances the finished product rather than detracts from it.
This crew is amazing!
A’shop crew is a group of graffiti artists living and working in Montreal. This work was sponsored by the City of Montreal and Prevention NDG, but A’shop was given creative control. It took 16 days, working from dawn to dusk to finish the mural. In the process photos it looks like they were mostly working freehand. No stencils or grids, just a few guide lines of duct tape.
From the Montreal Gazette: Fluke [one of the artists] also hopes the so-called “N.D.G. Project” will encourage other city boroughs to consider murals of their own. “Our city has way too much gray,” Fluke says. ‘So I hope this [mural] kickstarts a mural campaign. The architecture in Montreal is perfect for it.”
I bet these guys can draw like a thousand angels too.
All photos from the A’shop website.