Decompoz is shaking things up in the urban street art and related industries. Founded in 2013, it was created to put some emphasis on a market that deserves a lot more credit and attention. I had the pleasure of meeting the co-founder, Rachel Machalani, in her own words, an always-affable party guest, art-enthusiast, workaholic, gluten-free very very serious but mostly goofy city girl, at a Young Mind New Art event in Montreal’s plateau neighborhood. I was immediately drawn to her energy and evident drive. Her ¨baby¨ the newly published third Decompoz issue on New York City was fortunately available for me to flip through on the spot. Having the ambition to eventually to fully cover international cities/artists/etc – I was happy to find out that, the concept was founded in creative Montreal. Decompoz is made up of two part:
1) A city to city focused magazine on urban artists and innovative endeavors
2) A cultural blog on affiliated subjects without geographical boundaries. One thing led to another an I was delighted to interview her on this inspiring art-related project
How would you describe street art/urban art?
To me street art is “the people’s voice”, as much as the comments may be positive or negative, its for the public to love, cherish, criticize, hate and that is the beauty and pure definition of freedom of speech. The artists not only add some colour to the city but he/she also brings an emotion, a message to carry out, to share, to interact with and this is what our world needs today.
Why do you think street art is so important in our society today?
The world is a sad sad place – I can’t say now more than ever because in some countries and cities, it might seem like forever – but art will always find its way to help, heal, inspire, cheer up, distract and that is the beauty of art. It is a source of expression with a strong message, and our world needs to speak, scream, cry, smile, and laugh. Street art is probably the best medium to share that.
What are your general objectives with Decompoz? Where do you see it evolving in 3-5 years?
The main objective with Decompoz is to create, on one end, a hub for all artists and art lovers, where you can read, learn, get inspired, purchase items and discuss, all from one place. On the other end, I would love to see Decompoz become an official journalistic collective where bloggers, writers, photographers unite from all 4 corners of the world to work on the different pieces we publish!
How would you describe Montreal’s street art world? How has it evolved in the last few years?
Montreal is fresh and daring because it is open-minded and curious, it is young and vibrant and hungry for bold. Thanks to festivals like MURAL and UnderPressure, amongst others, street art has grown incredibly fast and took a massive hype in popularity in the last 4 years. Those who saw street art as vandal might see it today as “visual art” and the millions of people who visit the art festivals in Montreal every summer prove this! This encourages so many artists to speak out and showcase their art, more Montreal artists are starting to be known around the world and more galleries and collectives are being created within the center or our little island.
Who was your favorite artist to interview/meet and why?
RON ENGLISH! While we were in NYC for the 3 rd issue, we were hoping to get to meet with him and have a face- to-face interview, but no answer. On our last day, we get an email saying Ron would like to meet us the next morning at 10:00AM but 1 hour and half away from where we were staying, and we were supposed to be taking the road back to Montreal. You have never seen 6 people pack so fast. As we drive up to the given address, we realise we are at his residence. We got to spend an amazing day with an incredibly inspiring artist, in his home, where over 30 years of his art decorates the walls. It was simply perfect.