American Voyeur : Street Art Museum

American Voyeur American Voyeur
Montreal street art. Photo Nick Janke

Montreal street art. Photo Nick Janke

A heap of garbage lays in front of an expertly painted wall of noise just waiting to be picked up. Yes, I know it’s garbage but I wish it could stay like this for a few more days. So I’m left wondering if anybody will take the time to actually gawk at this like a piece of fine art? Hell no! But I will. As I stand in front of the pile of garbage people walk by and probably think I’m insane but I ignore that because I’m too busy in thought about a concept that is as subjective as anything: what is beauty? Can a piece of trash be beautiful? Can it be art? This is categorized as “street art” but for this specific piece it seems too simple. I prefer to call it a defiant piece of art.
Montreal street art. Photo Nick Janke

Montreal street art. Photo Nick Janke

Coming from a city that doesn’t allow spray paint to be purchased in any of the stores it’s refreshing to be in a city that embraces this art form. People who have a negative reaction to graffiti stems from it being associated with gangs, but from what I’ve seen in Montreal it’s about expressing creativity, not hate. Street art/ graffiti has always provoked enraged responses from us because we’ve all been taught that it is illegal and causes financial stress to the owner of the building who undoubtedly will have it removed. To be honest, a lot of street art isn’t worthy of a contemplation of its beauty, but what it does do is give it’s city a personality. While many cities work hard to maintain a sterile physical environment that won’t offend any of it citizens, Montreal beats to its own drum.
Montreal street art. Photo Nick Janke

Montreal street art. Photo Nick Janke

Each day I’m in this city I come upon a new piece of art that leaves me astounded and creatively fulfilled at the same time. Whether it’s a simply tagged garage, house, or a wall featuring a boat and a woman, which could easily be shown in a museum, all breathtaking in their own way. I expected creativity in Montreal but not to the extent I’ve seen. This also garners another question, is street art fine art? Why must fine art be done on a canvas inside a studio? Probably because a wall can’t be bought and placed inside a home. In order for a person to see a piece of art in person they must drop a days pay and walk around a museum. Not everyone can do that so their life is devoid of art. Here in Montreal, the museum is the street. You can see your fair share of low and high art if you’re willing to take a side street and explore.
Montreal street art. Photo Nick Janke

Montreal street art. Photo Nick Janke

Life is built on repetition and slow evolutions, as is art. Art is the flicker in the desolate landscape of mainstream culture and it’s because of that art is able to sustain importance. It is art that keeps us evolving as a society, it’s also what binds us as a culture rather than separates. For some, it’s what keeps us living. Life is difficult to sift through and understand so art is here to help us all decipher the codes of society. Art offers us that important service.
Montreal street art. Photo Nick Janke

Montreal street art. Photo Nick Janke

The image world is corrupt, but not street art; it’s made out of love not contempt. Different than any other art form, street art is made free of commercial restraints and big business desires. It is that fundamental sense of opposition that will keep these defiant artist in our streets.
Montreal street art. Photo Nick Janke

Montreal street art. Photo Nick Janke

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