L’ÉQUILIBRE DU NAHUAL by ASHOP COLLECTIVE. Photo: Elias Touil
ANKH ONE and MONK.E
IN 2009, A GROUP OF MONTREAL GRAFFITI ARTISTS DECIDED TO POOL THEIR TALENT AND RAISE THEIR PROFILE ON THE STREET-ART SCENE
They founded ASHOP, a new collective that opened doors to business opportunities in tune with the members’ artistic visions. By adopting the core crew values of unity and mutual support, but in an entrepreneurial context, the collective has been able to set a new quality standard for street art in Montreal.
The reputation of this crew quickly travelled beyond the city walls. Indeed, ASHOP's artists have distinguished themselves internationally since painting murals in several major cities, including Toronto, Miami, Los Angeles and Paris. For the members of the group, the bonds that develop between local and international artists are a source of inspiration that enriches their creations. However, they say that “the relationship with the public - that is, staying true to the culture and environment in which you paint - is also very important”. The ASHOP crew is behind the ASHOP agency, which works with more than twenty Canadian and international artists.
Back in 2009, convinced they could have the same artistic and professional prospects as artists working in the fine arts, a number of Montreal graffiti artists decided to pool their strengths and take their rightful place in the world of contemporary urban art. Thus was born the ASHOP collective. With graffiti just starting to emerge as an art form in Montreal, the collective came along at an opportune time and was able to create business opportunities geared to its artistic practices. Thanks to the group’s collective values, its sense of belonging and its spirit of cooperation transposed to a entrepreneurial environment, the collective set new standards of quality for Montreal street art. It also gave rise to the ASHOP agency (as it is now known), which works with over 20 Canadian and foreign artists.