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Astro and Matel play at Camiondepompier

Posted by Gabby / July 12, 2008

astromatel3.jpgLast night was the Monsters and Letters vernissage at the very well known geek-boutique and fancy toys store Camiondepompier, which is a space as peculiar as the name would suggest. Works of Québec City artists Matel (real name Mat Laroche) and Astro (real name impossible to find on the Internets), former graffiti artists turned artists, period.

Monsters and Letters featured pieces on a variety of media, ranging from skateboards and surf boards to the classic canvas stretched, or cubed. The works were displayed on three of the main boutique area walls, among other products like collectible figurines and plush toys, with one skateboard even hanging from the ceiling.

It was pretty much the first time I'd ever set foot in an "art toys store", let alone done so to see an exhibition. It was also the first time I'd paid really close attention to what graffiti artists were doing, and let me just tell ya, I was pleasantly surprised.

astromatel2.jpgFirst off, I just loved the colors on those pieces; they were vibrant and alive, and gave a lot of character. There were explosions of purple here and speckles of blue here, to create something that I never thought would be so detailed and polished.

What also really impressed me were the various characters represented on the canvases, as well as the symbols used, which were very clear. One of them in particular, called "La Mort en Rose" featured a plethora of plankton-shaped little critters all purple and waiting in ranks, on top of big gray letters which eventually spelled out "Astro". The graffiti influence is beyond obvious, especially with the shapes of the letters and the way words are always present somehow.

If you're into that stuff, and I know I am, you absolutely have to check out the works of Astro and Matel, two really up-and-coming artists in the Quebec scene.

According to one of the owners, the exhibition will be there for about a month.

323 Ontario Est
(514) 282-3930

All photos by Gabrielle Lefort



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