A highlight in this year's Mural Festival was Elian, an Argentinian street artist recognized for his geometric style. While bold colours, shapes, and patterns are core elements to his style , Elian's work transcends beyond pure abstraction to reflect the community in which his public works exist.
Elian began bombing the streets of Córdoba at age 15. Being dyslexic, writing was a constant challenge for Elian; however, spray painting and tagging came naturally. "It was the first time I ever felt at home writing," described Elian in a 2013 interview with Street Art NYC. Citing pop art, minimalism, Russian constructivism, and neo-plasticism as his artistic influences, Elian has developed a style strongly grounded in form and abstraction. From his teenage graffiti roots, Elian's career has developed tremendously, with exhibitions and public projects across the globe.
When planning the design for his mural here in Montreal, Elian researched the neighbourhood to learn about the people living behind the wall that he would paint. The wall of Elian's mural is the exterior to the Foundation Sidalys (Secours AIDS Centre), a nonprofit organization that welcomes homeless individuals with HIV. This mural was his first time experimenting with the code of his digital sketch (Glitch) by allowing the computer program to dictate the final outcome of the mural. To incorporate the community surrounding the mural into its abstract concept, Elian learned of the individuals living in the centre - Christine, Eric, Sebastien Denis, Alain, and Rejean - and entered their names into the code to produce the sketch. Elian was intrigued to "lose total control over [his] work and let external factors influence without necessarily being protagonists. It is a good way to portray the environment within abstraction."
Photo by @juliiea
During the festival, we launched Scheme, Elian's latest print. The 4-colour silkscreen print features the abstract and colourful style of Elian by deconstructing the geometric designs into their individual components. Check out the print here.