In which AdamK ventures out of his cave and goes to Llama Ink’s exhibition
This past Saturday night, I found myself at beloved Montreal bar Le Social taking in the rarest of cultural events: hip-hop concert/art sale. The party was organized by llama Ink, a collective of local artists whose stated mission is to put art back in the hands of youth, who for years have been pushed out of being able to buy and collect original artwork due to its prohibitive cost. When I spoke to an organizer who introduced himself as Peter, he told me that Llama Ink also acts as a way for artists to be able to express themselves without having to compromise. “We’re trying to take the ‘starving’ out of ‘starving’ artist.”
Performers included hip-hop sensations More or Les and Big Bricc (who some might know as part of Montreal’s Underground RealRoad collective). When I spoke to Bricc about the show, and how he related to it he told me “Llama Ink is bringing the art to the masses which is what I try to do with my music” followed by an exclamation of his trademark “Dowgie!” More or Les brought an old-school hip-hop feel to the show, bringing audience members up on stage to freestyle with him. Great fun watching an MC with his skills throw out tongue-in-cheek rhymes off the top of his head to an incredibly receptive crowd. Unfortunately, due to a prior commitment (i.e., working at Starbucks) I was unable to be there for Big Bricc’s set, but having seen him on numerous previous occassions, I can honestly say he puts on a high energy performance, so if you get the chance, check him out.
As for the art? There were numerous portraits that were done in a unique way: when one Llama Ink artists picks a subject, he starts the portrait, which is then added to by other members of the collective. The result? When all these works were in one place, it was pretty cool to see a little bit of every members influence in each piece. You’d see each ones distinct style, despite each sketch having a different overall vibe to it. There were also some wonderful skateboard decks and drawings done on vinyl records. The prices were cheaper than what you’d see at your standard art show, with sketches and vinyls going from anywhere between $20-$40, while the decks went for as much $80.
If you’d be interested in vising Llama Ink, they welcome all comers at 3234 Rue de Verdun in Montreal. You can also reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.