Having grown up around graffiti, I’ve always been interested in its grand format. Even though I never involved myself in the graffiti scene (I came to realize that the vandal/illegal thing wasn’t for me), I came to respect it very much. I still wanted to paint walls, and it wasn’t until I traveled to Mexico in 2011 that I discovered something that I could relate to on other levels. I learned about the traditional mural culture of the country (Rivera, Siqueiros, Orozco, Tamayo) and realized that mural painting was still a big part of the culture today. Graffiti artists, as well as mural artists or anybody who felt inspired, really, were painting legally in broad daylight.
The subject of my art is often, if not always, people. I’m inspired by the contradiction that exists in each of us, the dynamic that exists between what is real versus what is imaginary, what is active versus what is passive, the seriousness of adulthood versus the lightness of childhood, etc. Human interactions have never failed to capture my attention.
I like to work organically, I love using my hands and trying new techniques. This is another reason I like mural painting, it takes me farther away from the computer and closer to the outside. I find that this is my way of getting closer to poetry. In fact, I think I would have become a poet, but I was too shy to write so I started drawing.
In my process, I like to delve into the relationships that are created between the mural, the artist, and the people who live nearby the mural. The public space has a big influence on my approach, in that I always try to get to know the owners and neighbors of the house or building I will paint, and to integrate elements from the environment into my paintings. I want the people living around it to recognize a piece of themselves in there, and become a part of the mural. This kind of thinking is essential, seeing as a mural is a gift you give to the people of the area. In many cases, you never get to see that wall again, so it becomes somewhat of an emotional experience to leave it behind. All in all, painting in Mexico has an exceptional charm because the people are always so lovely.
Words by Cyrielle Tremblay
Born in Québec, Canada in 1986, Cyrielle Tremblay a.k.a. CY, is a muralist and illustrator. She works from both Querétaro, Mexico and Québec. She’s painted murals in Sweden, France, Mexico and Canada. She is a proud member of the Board Dripper Collective, which organizes the Board Dripper International Street Art Festival in Querétaro annually. You can view more of her work at www.cyrielletremblay.com and follow her on Instagram at @cytremblay.