Some people might say that a Canadian street artist is an oxymoron since we are all so neat and tidy and polite. But Roadsworth is a Montrealer who is spreading his love and his message across town.
Maybe this should have been written for Valentine's Day, since Roadsworth, aka Peter Gibson, has a new series of work called Dead Hearts. He is focusing on heart-shaped cut-outs which frame a picture of the very urban and gritty environment.
This is a man on the move, capturing his targets in the city and outside.
Even the ones that aren't urban have a downtown, street feel to them. This heart on an abandoned stretch of still water has a poignant feeling.
Even the laundry has something to say.
Roadsworth explains why he chose hearts:
The hearts are a metaphor for dead spaces that exist in urban areas in particular, spaces that nevertheless exude a certain kind of soul. And yes, these dead spaces also speak of a certain kind of environmental neglect that is endemic of our time. Former industrial areas for example – and in cities around the world these areas are legion- which have been abandoned and which exist in a state of limbo of sorts. No longer are they used for industrial purposes but they are also often too toxic or problematic for whatever reason, to be exploited by developers or used by people. But aside from the physical spaces that these “dead hearts” occupy, they are also metaphor for a human state of being which is characterized by a sense of alienation, disconnection and general loss of soul that a modern urban world can bring about.
Roadsworth says "The dead hearts speak of loss but also of the beauty that is apparent once that loss is recognized."
Roadsworth started out his career in 2001, campaigning for safer bicycling routes and creating art which examined the car culture. He ran into trouble with the law quite a few times (we are Canadian after all) with his witty street stencils, but now he is a recognized figure. Unlike the British Banksy, he is public about his name, persona and intentions. And he is ours.