Covid-19 in Montreal urban art

This article features photos of Montreal street art and graffiti inspired by the Covid-19 virus and everything that is related to it:
– the social measures to prevent its spread such as the confinement, hand washing, distancing, masks, etc.
– appreciation for the health workers and concern about their status
– the population’s reaction to the crisis, such as the rainbows and “ça va bien aller” slogan, as well as the fear of the vaccines being developed.

Cet article présente des photos de street art et de graffiti créé à Montréal et inspiré par le virus Covid-19 et tout ce qui peut y être rattaché:
– les mesures sociales de prévention telles que le confinement, le lavage des mains, la distanciation, le masque, etc.
– l’appréciation pour le personnel dans le milieu de la santé et les revendications sociales relatives au statut d’une part de ce personnel
– les réactions de la population vis-à-vis la crise, telles que les arcs-en-ciel, “ça va bien aller”, ainsi que les réactions quant au développement éventuel de vaccins.


murals

This is the only mural done in Montreal related to Covid-19 and its social impact. It is a beautiful tribute to the health workers who were on the frontline of the fight against the virus. It was done by Patrick Forchild on a wall of the Jewish General Hospital for the 2020 edition of Mural Festival. The JGH was the Montreal hospital that was most equipped to deal with the sanitary crisis, with a whole department ready to receive patients from the very beginning.

This mural is not actually street art in the strictest sense, as it was commissioned by the government of Quebec for a music video encouraging young people to wear a mask. The artist who created the piece asked to remain uncredited. See the video here.


other painted work

This is Emily Read on a garage door in Villeray. With its rainbow and a pangolin, there is no doubt this was inspired by the events following the spread of the pandemic. The virus is suspected to have spread to humans from pangolins sold in a wet market in Wuhan, China.

A graffiti piece by Rizek done in an abandoned building very soon after the arrival of the virus in Montreal.

A tribute to the health workers by Hoar done on a legal-ish wall in Rosemont.

A self-portrait by Omar Bernal painted at the Rouen legal graffiti tunnel near the beginning of the sanitary crisis. The correction in red paint is by the artist himself and part of his message.

This piece by Lost Claws in a Plateau alley is very likely a comment on the crisis.

This stencil by Carnior was found on a Petite-Patrie high school when kids were returning to school in September. It was a hot topic in the media at the time, with half the population seeing it as a good thing and the other half thinking it was a dreadful idea.

Kesta/Masok and Labz fighting the virus at the Rouen legal graffiti tunnel.

Hob on an overpass pillar.

Deep and Stephlxo on an abandoned building in the South West.

Namepiece and Covid skull by Axe Lalime in Rosemont.

Omar Bernal and Lino collaboration at the Rouen legal graffiti tunnel.

Riok at the Rouen legal graffiti tunnel around the time when the government started making the mask mandatory in indoor public places.

An unidentified artist at the Rouen legal graffiti tunnel. “Ca va bien aller”, the ‘slogan’ of the crisis, means “Everything will be fine”.

In Montreal like in many other cities, families with kids used their free time in confinement creating these “Ca va bien aller” rainbows and displaying them in their windows. This particular rainbow was painted by an anonymous person at the Papineau legal graffiti wall at the very beginning of this trend.

One more optimistic rainbow painted by an anonymous person, this one at the PSC legal graffiti wall.

As the sanitary crisis started dragging on for longer than what we initially expected and people’s patience was being put to the test, jokes on the crisis’ ‘logo’ and slogan started appearing here and there.

This piece by Abir appears to be a comment on the whole year’s events, beyond the pandemic per se.

The fears surrounding the production of a vaccine to the virus, and particulary about Bill Gates’ involvement in its production and distribution, were also a source of inspiration to some artists. This is Maniak in Rosemont.

One more by Maniak on the same subject as above, but this time at the Papineau legal graffiti wall.


pasted work

Posters by Huile d’Olive such as this one appeared here and there from the very beginning of the crisis. English language ones were also pasted, see below.

An english version of the above poster by Huile d’Olive.

For this Petite-Patrie piece CSRK was inspired by the unexpected toilet paper shortage that marked the beginning of the confinement. There was actually a bit more to it, see the artist’s account to view the complete original which had the text “Wash your hands” on the unrolled toilet paper.

One more wheatpaste by CSRK found in Petite-Patrie, this one from later into the crisis.

This piece by Lost Claws found on the wall of a Mile End church at the beginning of the Great Confinement is presumably about the virus. The caption reads “Up to your old tricks?”. See close-up below.

Close-up on the above piece by Lost Claws.

As the number of deaths was rising every day and the governments started asking the population to stand at least 6 feet apart to help contain the spread of the virus, this dark humour piece by Lost Claws appeared on a Plateau wall, as “six feet away” also recalls “six feet under”.

While the rising number of deaths was the main topic in the news, this piece by Lost Claws with the caption “You get used to it”, appeared on a Petite-Patrie wall.

Poster by the Artists 4 Long Term Care, a social action initiative that uses art and storytelling to raise awareness about the crisis facing residents and staff living and working in long-term care facilities during the pandemic.

Poster by Faustova, an Artist 4 Long Term Care.

Poster by Super Puper Art, an Artist 4 Long Term Care.

Tribute to health workers by Cara Carmina.

Mini-posters by Shifty Cat. This artist made many more on the subject, but these were the first ones encountered. More below.

One more mini-poster by Shifty Cat.

One more mini-poster by Shifty Cat.

One more mini-poster by Shifty Cat.

Covid-19 sticker by Waxhead, one of many colour variations.

Red/orange variation of Waxhead‘s Covid-19 stickers.

Blue variation of Waxhead‘s Covid-19 stickers.

Green variation of Waxhead‘s Covid-19 stickers.


other

This bollard was already made into a minion by François Poulin a long time before the arrival of the virus, but masks we added to it, presumably by the artist himself at the beginning of April.

The opposite side to the above mask-wearing minion bollard by François Poulin.

This ia a miniature installation replicating a Plateau housefront with bicycle, cat, etc. To give an idea of scale, the whole thing shown here is the size of a small basement window (it actually looks like a boarded window). This existed long before the arrival of the virus, but a rainbow and the ‘Ca va bien aller’ slogan were added in the ‘windows’ at some point so it would look like so many housefronts in the neighbourhood.

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