Written by Ania Szneps on 16.08.17

This past spring, Station 16 Gallery was host to one of the world’s most renown, and therefore most private, street artists, Stikki Peaches during his first Canadian solo gallery exhibition The Bootleggers: A Stikki Story. We at Montreall.com had the chance to chat with the artist and learn a bit more about his methods, his influence, his persona, and what drives his creative madness.


For this event your work has obviously become more complex since you add more components to each piece. How did you find working with more materials and adding more dimension to each work? Was there a particular reason that you would add an element to a piece (We’re thinking of the “Grace Jones” piece where she has that massive Lego-looking block on her face with a giant eye staring out)? 

For this body of work, I’m actually revisiting a lot of techniques I used to use when I was younger, much younger. In my teens when painting, I always used elements in the works that had 3D layering, kind of like the Grace Jones piece that you mention. When you see a Styrofoam object in its natural white color, normally used for packing and shipping boxes, I see what can be turned into some type of neon Lego helmet on a fierce looking woman taking control. So this actual medium of work is not entirely new to me. It was more about fine-tuning it and being happy with the results, while bringing me back in time. Kind of like back in the day, when I was carefree and did work that made me happy.


You definitely brought the outside in to Station 16 with the distinct “under construction” feel of the space. Can you explain why you chose not to leave the walls pristine and added such a grunge element to the show? 

I felt the works looked great framed the way they were and presented at the opening. It really adds a cleaner look to what you can say are busy bodies of work. But at the same time, I wanted to show what the contrast was between the work being created in the studio among all the chaos and craziness and to have viewers feel the environment in which I work in. Together with Station 16 we wanted to create an experience, and I think we achieved that well.


What’s the thought process when you’re choosing which figures to represent in your work?

These figures are ones that I’ve always been surrounded by one way or another, either through film, song, magazines, etc. Growing up with parents who didn’t only sit me in front of a TV to watch Sesame Street (which I also did), I was exposed to people and things in their every day life whether it involved their work or what they enjoyed entertainment-wise and I’m very grateful for that as it shaped a lot of what I do.


And finally, how long would you say the Stikki Peaches persona has been around and was there a particular event that made that name click for you and what you wanted to do?

SP: Stikki’s been around for quite a while, just not as ”Stikki” per say. If we are to put a timeline on it, I’d say since 2008-2009. The name did stem from certain events in my life, but there are certain things I like to keep for myself and for others to wonder. To this day, I still have people wonder if Stikki is male or female. How? I have no idea, with social media it should be pretty easy to tell, but it keeps things fun and interesting.

Photos by Ania Szneps (@doughboy.89).


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