Hsix

Hsix comes from the world of graffiti but, as the image gallery below shows, he is mostly known nowadays for his amazing portraits of real life local heroes and villains. The heroes are generally historical socio-political figures who have had a significant positive impact on our society, while the villains are often present-day politicians, authority figures and other celebrities who have made the news for their reprehensible actions or words.

And it’s in his denunciation of the crooks, hypocrites and liars of this world that Hsix shines the most. The way in which the artist satirises his villains is always clever, but varies in subtlety. In some cases the satire is subtle and clever enough to fly over the heads of most of an ill-informed or uninterested audience. But some not-so-subtle pieces sparked controversy and made the news. And never were those more controversial pieces created with an intention of self-promotion, as they were all done anonymously (the media were always in the dark about the identity of the artist behind those unsigned mural pieces).

Beyond controversy and the causes that motivate his art, Hsix is an amazing portraitist and among the best of the best of Montreal’s urban art scene. He is in fact part of the very select 156 All Starz, an international crew bringing together the best graffiti writers in the world.

The artist has worked under a number of aliases in the past but has now settled solely on the name Hsix. His presence on the internet is therefore rather limited. Check out his Facebook and Instagram pages for a bit more information and lots more pictures of his graffiti and street art work than is presented here.

Hsix vient du monde du graffiti mais, comme on peut le voir dans la gallerie-photo ci-dessous, il est maintenant surtout reconnu pour ses formidables portraits de héros et de vilains locaux. Ses héros sont généralement des personnalités socio-politiques historiques ayant eu un impact positif sur notre société, tandis que ses vilains sont souvent des célébrités, figures d’autorité et politiciens contemporains qui ont fait les manchettes pour leurs actions ou paroles répréhensibles.

Et c’est quand il s’attaque aux corrompus, hypocrites et menteurs de ce monde que Hsix brille le plus. Sa satire est toujours très rusée mais peut varier en subtilité. Elle peut être plutôt subtile et habilement échapper à un auditoire ignorant ou peu intéressé par les causes socio-politiques. Mais elle peut aussi être moins subtile et créer une controverse dans les médias. Il faut préciser ici que l’artiste dans ces situations plus controversées semble avoir toujours agi dans un but de dénonciation et jamais avec une intention d’auto-promotion puisque les oeuvres n’étaient jamais signées (en fait les médias devaient souvent admettre être dans l’ignorance totale quand à l’identité de l’auteur de ces oeuvres controversées).

Au delà de la controverse et des causes qui l’animent, Hsix est un formidable portraitiste et un de nos meilleurs artistes urbains à l’heure actuelle. Il fait d’ailleurs partie du très select collectif 156 All Starz qui regroupe les meilleurs artistes internationaux du monde du graffiti.

L’artiste a travaillé sous quelques pseudonymes avant de s’arrêter sur celui de Hsix. Sa présence sur l’internet est en conséquence plutôt limitée. Jetez un coup d’oeil à ses pages Facebook et Instagram pour en apprendre un peu plus et surtout pour voir une plus grande quantité d’oeuvres que celles présentées ici.


figurative work

Hsix’s part in the Scan You Rock mega-jam.

Hsix’s contribution to the Art Gang‘s Plaza Walls project depicts Gillian Anderson.

For the 2016 edition of the Under Pressure Festival, Hsix (Roy Dupuis character bottom left), Sermob (bears), Bryan Beyung (horse) and les Hommes de Lettres (top), all tied together by Monk.e. The choice of Roy Dupuis as a subject and the “Whitewashing Roy” title came from controversial comments made by the latter comedian earlier that year regarding the treatment of native people by white settlers (he stated that the settlers did not mistreat native people as badly as shown in the movie The Revenant). It fit the anti-colonialist theme of that edition of Under Pressure.

Contribution to the 2016 edition of Mural Festival. This was the first of two Hsix murals in 2016 showing Roy Dupuis. See Under Pressure mural above this one for the reason behind the choice of the latter actor as subject.

Semi-official contribution ahead of the 2016 edition of Mural Festival. Depicted is Marc Arcand, a character played by Marc Beaupré in television series Série Noire.

Canadian anti-fascist doctor Norman Bethune on the wall of a Plateau library.

Plateau mural featuring the input of Zek on letters, bottom left. The character depicted is Albert Saint-Martin, a local socialist militant from the beginning of the 20th century. The pickles are a nod to the pickle factory formerly found next door.

Contribution to the 2015 edition of the Under Pressure Festival featuring Hsix (Eric Lapointe and Mars Attacks character), Zek (central letters), Mark Esprit (bottom left letters), Dcae and Dekor.

This Plateau mural by Benny Wilding features three depictions of Gilles Duceppe by Hsix.

Zek and Hsix in NDG, complete wall. See details of the 2 Hsix parts below.

Hsix detail #1 of the above collaboration with Zek in NDG.

Hsix detail #2 of the above collaboration with Zek in NDG.

Mural honouring Lea Roback, produced for Muralité.

This mural depicting then chief of police Marc Parent was quickly painted over under pressure from the SPVM. It is shown here as a work-in-progress because it was painted over very quickly after completion and this is the most completed shot I managed to get before it was censored by the police. Needless to say that this mural and its fate also got a lot of attention from the media.

Hsix (Ian Lafrenière character) and Mark Esprit (bottom left letters) for the 2014 edition of the Under Pressure Festival.

From the 2013 edition of the Under Pressure Festival: Ether TFB (middle letters), Scaner (bottom letters), Axe (bottom left), Serack (top letters) and Hsix (Guy Laliberté character).

Hsix’s part in a collaboration with Zek in Montreal West (Zek’s part not shown here).

Depicting Léo Bureau-Blouin in Hochelaga. This was not done as an honour but as a satire as the latter leader in the 2012 student strikes went on to flip his coat over in order to get into politics.

Much mediatized satire of Guy A.Lepage in Hochelaga. The media tried to figure out for a long time who the artist behind this piece might be. Giraffe by Dcae.

This Hochelaga mural shows Normand L’Amour. This is a work-in-progress, it was never completed because the owner objected to having a homosexual on his wall (!).

Sen2 (top left), Logek (bottom left) and Hsix (right) at the Cabot x Gilmore walls.

In negative in the Plateau.

Hsix contributed to this tribute to Prince Dock by doing Dock. The mural also involves the input of Stare, etc.

Zek (left) and Hsix (right) collaboration in Hochelaga showing Back To The Future’s Michael J.Fox and Crispin Glover.

Zek (left) and Hsix (right) collaboration in NDG.

Mr.T, a red-winged blackbird, Darth Vader and an unidentified character on this Hochelaga mural. There used to be a Jean Charest in the middle spot, but it was messed with and painted over.


letters

In a Rosemont alley.

In Rosemont.

Hsix’s part in a multi-artist wall in the Plateau.

Graffiti mural in the Plateau.

Collaboration with Mono Sourcil (left character) in a Hochelaga alley.

Old piece in a Hochelaga alley.

Hsix’s contribution to a multi-artist wall done for the Essencia Festival in 2010 in Hochelaga.

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