Waxhead

It’s almost impossible to find a back alley between Avenue du Parc and St-Denis without something painted or drawn by Waxhead on some wall or door. Big colourful murals are interspersed with smaller, quickly drawn figures. But his work is not all underground, as a good amount of commissioned art can also be found on storefronts and walls of Plateau/Mile End businesses.

It’s also almost impossible to walk the length of a street between Parc and St-Denis without finding at least a handful or two of stickers with the art of Waxhead on them. Two different types of stickers can actually be found. The stickers of the first type usually are post office forms or “Hello My Name Is” labels with small variations of his usual characters drawn or painted over them. Some are in black and white, others are in colour. Because they are not mass-printed, each one encountered is a unique creation.

The stickers of the other type appear to be printed but this doesn’t mean that they are less original, to the contrary. They actually are my favorites. They show small reproductions of old black and white or sepia-toned photos on which Waxhead re-did in his own recognizable style the head of one or some characters. In some cases he has added new colourful characters to the ones already found in the black and white original. This fusion (or should I say clash) of very stiff old-fashioned photos with the crazy world of Waxhead is never boring, sometimes funny or freaky and always makes me wish for a larger version.

This interview from Lexiquette has a bit of information on Waxhead’s background and his views on street art. This Main MTL interview also lets us inside Waxhead’s head. A bit of Waxhead at work can see seen in this trailer for an upcoming film on the Montreat street art scene. You can also see a lot of Waxhead’s art on waxheadart.com as well as on his official Instagram and Flickr pages.

Il est impossible de trouver entre l’avenue du Parc et la rue St-Denis une ruelle sans oeuvre peinte ou dessinée par Waxhead. Les grandes murales très colorées y alternent avec des dessins effectués rapido. Son art n’est pas seulement underground, puisque des pièces commandées se trouvent sur les devantures et murs latéraux de plus d’un commerce du Plateau ou de Mile End.

Il est aussi impossible de marcher longtemps le long d’une des artères du même quartier sans trouver un autocollant créé par Waxhead. Il y a en fait deux types d’autocollants à y trouver. Ceux du premier type sont habituellement des formulaires postaux ou des étiquettes “Bonjour mon nom est” sur lesquels a été dessiné ou peint un des personnages typiques de Waxhead. Certains sont en noir et blanc tandis que d’autres sont en couleur. Puisque ceux-ci n’ont pas été imprimés commercialement, chacun est unique.

Les stickers du second type sont imprimés, mais ceci ne veut pas nécessairement dire qu’ils sont moins originaux, bien au contraire. Ce sont en fait mes préférés. On y voit d’anciennes photos en noir et blanc ou dans des tons sepia sur lesquelles les têtes des personnages ont été repeintes par Waxhead, dans son style inimitable et coloré. Dans certains cas l’artiste a même ajouté de ses personnages colorés à ceux qui figurent déjà dans la photo. Cette rencontre entre le style rigide des photos anciennes et le monde coloré de Waxhead n’est jamais ennuyante. Le résultat est en fait souvent drôle ou déconcertant. En fait à chaque fois que je découvre un nouveau sticker de ce type, ma seule déception est de ne pas être en mesure de voir l’image en plus grand.

Pour un peu d’information sur les origines de Waxhead et sur sa vision du street art, vous êtes invités à lire cette récente entrevue pour Lexiquette et à visionner cette entrevue pour Main MTL. On peut aussi voir un peu de Waxhead en action dans cette bande-annonce pour un documentaire à venir qui traitera de la scène montréalaise du street art. En plus de la galerie d’images ci-dessous, il est possible de voir une très grande quantité d’oeuvres de Waxhead sur waxheadart.com ainsi que ses pages officielles Instagram et Flickr.

painted work / art peint

Mural on William.

Cryote (left and bottom right) and Waxhead (door, around door and top right) in the Plateau.

Cryote (left) and Waxhead (right) in Plateau End.

At the Rouen legal graffiti tunnel.

Waxhead (door, bottom right) and Cryote (top right) in a Mile End alley.

Cryote (left) and Waxhead (right) in Mile End.

Cryote (central figures) and Waxhead (leafy figures and door) in a Mile End alley.

Waxhead (middle, foliage and cat), Tiburon (2 heads) and Cryote (above) in Plateau End.

Waxhead and Cryote on Fairmount near St-Laurent (wheatpastes by Futur Lasor Now and unidentified artist as well as painted doors by Turtle Caps also visible)

Same location as above, but one year earlier

On St-Laurent.

2015 group ‘autoportrait’ by:
top row: Shalak from Clandestinos, Jason Botkin, Kevin Ledo, Chris Dyer, Bruno Smoky from Clandestinos
bottom row: Lovebot, Turtle Caps, Linsey Levendall, Marina Capdevila, Labrona, Waxhead, Dave Todaro

Another group piece, this one featuring Waxhead (left and barely visible in bottom corner), Turtle Caps (above ladder), Futur Lasor Now (above door), Deadliest Rosa (middle bottom), Loks (right) and El Moot Moot (right wall). In alley between St-Laurent and Clark.

On St-Laurent.

In a Mile End alley.

El Moot Moot (left) and Waxhead (right) in alley between St-Laurent and Clark.

At the PSC legal graffiti wall.

From a 2015 Chromatic block party.

Waxhead (top) and El Moot Moot (bottom) at a 2015 Chromatic block party.

Another Chromatic production, but from later in the summer of 2015.

Found in a schoolyard.

Waxhead (top) and Lyfer (bottom) in alley between St-Laurent and Clark.

Commissioned work for Sophie Sucrée on Des Pins (left) and Chez José on Duluth (right)

Cryote and Waxhead redid the front of Chez José in early summer 2016.

Cryote and Waxhead were also commissioned to do the front of this St-Laurent pet shop at about the same time as above.

In alley behind St-Laurent

Waxhead (left) and Camille (right) in alley off Napoleon.

In the alley between St-Laurent and Clark. Also visible in the top left corner of the photo is a wood-up by Loks.

Same spot as above, but featuring a new piece after the previous one had been vandalised.

In the Plateau.

Mural in alley behind Président-Kennedy (graffiti at the bottom is by Otek)

Piece in alley between St-Laurent and Clark

In an abandoned spot in Côte-des-Neiges.

In an abandoned spot in Côte-des-Neiges.

On a 3rd floor door in the Plateau.

On St-Laurent.

In Old Montreal.

On a Plateau door.

On a Plateau door.

On a Pointe St-Charles door.

On the doors of a St-Laurent business (see also next photo).

On the doors of a St-Laurent business (see also previous photo).

On a Plateau door.

On a Plateau End door.

On a Plateau End door.

Two different pieces in the alley between St-Laurent and Clark, near Prince-Arthur (left) and near Duluth (right)

Two more pieces in alley between St-Laurent and Clark

Two pieces on doors in small Plateau alley.

Left: Tribute to Hayao Miyazaki in McGill ghetto
Right: In Lachine; photo © Mocha Productions.

Piece in alley between St-Laurent and Clark in 2013 (left) and in 2014 (right). Left photo © Mr Mocha.

In downtown alley behind Ste-Catherine

Mural by Waxhead, Cryote and perhaps other members of the then Wzrds Gng in alley behind Villeneuve, next to Esplanade.

Next to volleyball field in Parc Jeanne-Mance

Left: small piece on St-Laurent (now gone)
Right: small piece at the Cabane à sucre secret gallery (but done earlier than the rest of the Cabane works)

Small piece in alley behind St-Urbain, near Prince-Arthur

Waxhead on doors of a house on St-Dominique painted over background by Mastrocola

Same spot as above, redone in 2015.

Skateboard wedged into the railing of above house.

One more piece by Waxhead on a wall next to the house mentioned above

More by Waxhead next to the house mentioned above.

Above 7: Waxhead (all of first photo and right of door of latter 6 photos) and Gawd (top of latter 6 photos) on house on Duluth from 2012 to 2015. Photos presented in chronological order, the first two having been taken in 2012, the next one in 2013, next two in 2014 and final three in 2015.

Left: entrance of alley off St-Laurent near Rachel
Right: another piece at the back of the same alley

Above and below: three more pieces at the back of the alley mentioned above; above one also features Cryote, Gives and perhaps other members of the then Wzrds Gng.

Left: in alley behind St-Laurent
Right: in alley off St-Urbain near Rachel

In alley behind St-Laurent

Above restaurant on Rachel near St-Laurent

Waxhead (left) and Pound Puppy (right) on Rachel near St-Laurent

Two for the price of one behind industrial building in Mile End (actually three if you count the small drawing in the bottom right corner). This wall was later redone as a much larger mural with Cryote, keeping the door intact. See top of this page for photo.

Free5 (left), Waxhead and Turtle Caps in alley off Hotel de Ville

Mural in alley behind St-Laurent featuring Waxhead (left), Ether TFB (centre) and Turtle Caps (right)

Two different pieces on St-Laurent doors.

These are two later pieces on the same door as the one on the right above.

Collaboration between Waxhead (beige) and Birdo (green) in alley behind St-Urbain, near Prince-Arthur

Two garage doors by Waxhead from his Wzrds Gng days in alley between St-Denis and Drolet

Waxhead representing Wzrds Gng in alley off Duluth.

On wall where eventually would be created the Cabane à sucre secret gallery; photo © Toest

Waxhead (right), Gawd (left) in alley between St-Denis and Drolet. This piece is still present but is now mostly covered with graffiti.

Waxhead (left) and Starkey (right) at the legal graffiti tunnel on de Rouen.

Waxhead (top) in Plateau End; also visible at the bottom is an older piece by Cryote.

Waxhead (in blue) and Futur Lasor Now (top left) on Montreal Plateau rooftop.

On canal Lachine.

On canal Lachine.

Yolacocacola (top) and Waxhead (bottom) in Plateau End alley.

Yolacocacola (left) and Waxhead (right) on train.

Waxhead (left) and Yolacocacola (right) on train.

Two pieces for the Cabane à sucre secret gallery. Photo on the left also features Andy Dass. Work in photo on the right is between pieces by Miss Me, Alysha Farling and M. Abstrakt.

Two pieces on doors in alley between St-Laurent and Clark. Photo on the right also shows a creature by Cryote (in blue).

Piece done on board wall during the 2014 edition of the Under Pressure Festival.

Contribution to the 2015 edition of the Under Pressure Festival.

On a sidewalk panel on Amherst for the 2016 edition of the MTL En Arts festival.

A ‘Your Face Here’ board done during the 2017 edition of Mural Festival.

Reverse side of the above ‘Your Face Here’ board from the 2017 edition of Mural Festival.

Cement blocks from the 2017 edition of Mural Festival, Sherbooke street end, side 1.

Cement blocks from the 2017 edition of Mural Festival, Sherbooke street end, side 2.

Cement blocks from the 2017 edition of Mural Festival, Mont-Royal street end, side 1.

Cement blocks from the 2017 edition of Mural Festival, Mont-Royal street end, side 2.

Cement blocks from the 2017 edition of Mural Festival, Mont-Royal street end, close-up.

Cement blocks from the 2017 edition of Mural Festival, Mont-Royal street end, close-up.

Cement blocks from the 2017 edition of Mural Festival, Mont-Royal street end, close-up.

Cement blocks from the 2017 edition of Mural Festival, Mont-Royal street end, close-up.

Back of information panel for the 2015 edition of Mural Festival.

This was done during the 2014 edition of Mural Festival and ended being hung in the Cabane à sucre secret gallery.

SBU One, with creature by Waxhead above and small critter by Starkey at the far left, for the 2016 Sun Youth front wall multi-artist production.

Meor, with a bit of Waxhead top left for the 2016 Sun Youth front wall multi-artist production.

unidentified artist, with a bit of Waxhead and Cryote above for the 2016 Sun Youth front wall multi-artist production.

Ekes with some Waxhead above and Cryote at the far left for the 2016 Sun Youth front wall multi-artist production.

Marc Sirus on letters with creatures by Cryote (left) and Waxhead (right and on doors) for the 2016 Sun Youth front wall multi-artist production.

Hitem with characters by Waxhead and Cryote for the 2016 Sun Youth front wall multi-artist production.

This wall for the 2016 Sun Youth front wall multi-artist production shows Waxhead top left around letters by Getso, Cryote in pink top right, Meor in the middle beneath Cryote, Peru143 middle right, Mole Patrol bottom left, Cryote bottom middle and Pound Puppy middle right.

Another Waxhead/Cryote combo at Sun Youth.

Small piece at the legal graffiti tunnel on de Rouen.

Waxhead art in motion.

Waxhead (left), Starkey (centre), Oram79 (right) for the 2015 percussion festival in the Old Port.

In a dark nook on a Plateau End door.

Representing the Wzrds Gng in St-Henri.

Through bars of a door window in a Plateau/McGill ghetto alley.

hand-drawn work / art dessiné

In an abandoned building.

In an abandoned building.

Unofficial piece done during the 2016 MTL En Arts event.

In a Mile End alley.

In a Mile End alley.

On Hotel-de-Ville (left) and St-Dominique (right).

Left: in alley behind Villeneuve
Right: on St-Dominique

Left: in alley between St-Denis and Rivard
Right: on Clark near Rachel

Left: on Clark door
Right: in alley behind Mont-Royal

On door in alley between St-Laurent and Clark.

In alley between St-Laurent and Clark.

Two small pieces in alley between St-Urbain and Clark

In Mile End alley.

In alley between Coloniale and St-Dominique

In Parc Jeanne-Mance

In McGill ghetto alley

In Mile End.

In the Plateau.

Well hidden behind industrial building in Mile End.

Well hidden behind industrial building in Mile End.

Drawing or stencil by Dookie3 (in red) ‘extended’ by Waxhead (in black)

In Mile End.

Two in Mile End alley.

Left: in alley between St-Denis and Rivard
Right: in alley between Laval and Hotel de Ville

Left: Waxhead (white) and Cryote (yellow) on Fairmount
Right: Waxhead (bottom) and Neko? (top; looks like Cryote) on St-Dominique

Two pieces on St-Dominique (artist at the bottom in left photo is unidentified)

Left: on Clark
Right: on St-Urbain, with Futur Lasor Now and Turtle Caps.

Left: in alley behind St-Denis
Right: on Guilbault

printed stickers / autocollants imprimés

Collaboration with ROC514.

Large stickers.

Both images are also sometimes seen on their own.

Sticker of ROC514‘s iconic bird dressed up in Waxhead’s art (paste-up variation listed below)

Collaborations between Waxhead and El Moot Moot.

As above, different colours.

As above, different colours.

hand-drawn stickers / autocollants dessinés

Right: collaboration with ROC514

This one also features Turtle Caps

Collaboration sticker between Waxhead (blue) and 69 aka 6ara9e (truck)

wood-ups / bois peint

The pieces in this section are wood-ups, wood cut-outs by Starkey, painted by Waxhead and installed all over town.

Les items de cette section sont des pièces de bois coupées par Starkey, peintes par Waxhead et installées aux quatre coins de la ville.

In Mile End.

In Mile End.

In a Plateau alley.

These two were found on Coloniale (left) and St-Urbain (right).

This piece was found in Chinatown.

These two were found on Bernard.

Oval-shaped wood cut-out found in HoMa.

Found in HoMa.

In the Quartier des Spectacles.

In St-Henri.

In the Red Light District.

In Mile End.

Starkey (left) and Waxhead (right) in Mile End.

In the Quartier des Spectacles.

In Mile End.

This one has Starkey‘s own Wabbit at the top, anonymous (middle left), Waxhead (middle right), Kind (bottom left) and IAmBatman (bottom right)

other / autre

Street installation for the 2015 edition of Mural Festival (angle 1/3).

Street installation for the 2015 edition of Mural Festival (angles 2/3 and 3/3).

Paint into the grooves.

On record.

Beneath an old Space Invader.

On ceramic tiles, photo © Waxhead

On ceramic tiles

On ceramic tiles

Waxhead and Turtle Caps graffiti

Paste-up of ROC514‘s iconic bird dressed up in Waxhead’s art (sticker variation also listed above)

This is not in great condition, but it is included in this gallery because it’s the only known wheatpaste by Waxhead alone to have been discovered recently.

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