Stikki Peaches is a street artist based in Montreal whose tagline, What if Art Ruled the World?, has been taking over the urban landscapes of Paris, London, Berlin and Stockholm since 2009. The anonymous street artist is strongly influenced by pop culture references, lowbrow, and street culture; created using a variety of media, including collage, acrylic paint and silkscreen, each piece encourages passersby to stop, analyze, and question, and is sure to leave them with a smile. Stikki Peaches has exhibited in New York and Montreal, most recently participating in MURAL Festival, the Armory Week, and the Permanence exhibition at Space 27. We caught up with this man of mystery to talk shop about his inspirations, social media and Bruce Wayne.
How did you first get into art?
I’ve always been surrounded by artists growing up; musicians, painters, dancers. It;s no wonder I followed this path. To me it was the only thing that kept me interested long enough to actually want to make a career out of it. I couldn’t imagine my life without the arts.
Do you remember your first art piece?
My first-ever street art piece was roughly four years ago, a huge 12-foot BatBond off of Highway 15 heading northbound. It’s still riding today, although looking as if it’s been through hell and back. I think it looks badass in its current state; it tells a tale of time, well weathered and worn.
You keep quite hush about your identity…
Yes, as does Bruce Wayne! I choose to remain low-key for obvious reasons, but I also love my privacy and not having to answer to anyone.
Have you ever had any encounters with the law?
I’ve had a few close calls. I’ve been lucky enough to either hide or bail just in time. Getting caught is part of the risk, but without that risk it just wouldn’t be the same. The adrenaline rush gets me all the time.
How would you describe your style?
Definitely influenced by pop culture, and anything that reminds me of my childhood. Within that, I like to add a little bit of a rock N’ roll edge, tattoo lifestyle, and humour to keep it light and pleasant. At least pleasant in my books; not sure how happy the owner of a wall is after they wake up the next morning to see they have a new neighbour.
What inspires you the most when drawing?
I’m inspired by life, the people in my life, and new encounters. Travelling is key to me; I get to see a lot and learn a lot when I’m away, and this affects my work as an artist. I try to keep it fresh and evolving, as I’m evolving as well.
Your stuff pops up all over the globe…
I’m a travel junkie and always thinking of where to go next. Where I go, my art follows.
Your social media following is quite major. How did it grow so fast?
I guess I’d have to say that my travels permit me to spread my art at an international level. People seem to connect with my work wherever it is, and today’s social media makes it easier to follow, track and document, so I guess I’m lucky my work is well appreciated. And for that I’m thankful for every single person who follows my journey.
You created a beautiful piece for the wall on my balcony…do you do a lot of custom pieces for people?
I’m quite busy these days. I do a lot of custom installations, and my gallery work is taking on a life of its own. It’s overwhelming at times, but it’s what I love to do. I’m blessed, but the street work is and will always be my escape from reality. It’s my zen place, as ironic as that might sound.
What’s the next move?
It’s almost noon… so my next move would be figuring out what I’m having for lunch!