Montreal’s ASHOP crew is a complete team of talented writers and painters who can handle the commercial jobs – but when it comes to having fun they just want to hit the wall with their own stuff for a few hours.
While in Sacramento last month, WIDE OPEN WALLS founder David Sobon found the aerosol team some primo possibilities and they didn’t hesitate.
“Meeting their deadline, you would think they would have been exhausted and glad to relax for a day or two,” says photographer and co-author of Spray Can Art, Jim Prigoff. “In the true graffiti spirit, they asked ‘Isn’t there a wall we could go and paint?’” he marvels as he describes these new photos he took of the jubilant day.
Often an activity overlooked by the everyday joe, outside painting is one of the most joyous activities a person can do – especially when COVID has you cooped up and afraid of getting or spreading the virus. Here are a talented group working side by side, leaving new works for the city to enjoy.
Tomokazu Matsuyama and Deih killed it this year in Wynwood, no doubt and curator Alan Ket slayed with the solo show by Vhils at the primary gallery on the compound. Art Basel brings the crowds to Miami traditionally but there is no doubt that the magnet of Wynwood’s kid-friendly murals and Street Art as selfie backgrounds wins the day. Everywhere you look you see the families, influencers-in-training, tour guides and gobsmacked gaggles of teens creating pedestrian traffic jams inside Wynwood Walls. These artists and this art may have risen from an outsider marginalised and criminalised culture of illegal vandalism but these crowds are simply enjoying the art and each other.
That foot traffic inside replicates the car and heavy truck traffic jams throughout the neighborhood as new multi-story construction continues apace and the gentrification cycle rapidly courses through the real estate / street culture corpus. Right now this romance between development and art-in-the-streets is still in the heavy petting stage, and there is a lot of star gazing. How long can this tryst continue, you ask? It’s impossible to say what benchmark to measure, but watch for the moment when the sales of mezcal slushies and Moscow Mules are eclipsed by Acai bowls and kale smoothies.
So here’s our first weekly interview with the street, this time directly from Miami, featuring AShop Crew, Audrey Kawasaki, Bordallo II, Deih, Joe Iurato, JonOne, Martin Watson, Tavar Zawacki, Tomokazu Matsuyama, and Vhils.