Technique : Mixed media

Zïlon, painterBorn in 1956 in Laval, Zïlon is not only considered a leading figure in the Montreal underground punk movement of the ’70s and ’80s, but he is notably recognized as one of the pioneers of Quebec’s street art, making this practice and its aesthetic shine throughout the world. He currently resides in Montreal.

Zïlon first revealed himself to the public through the punk music scene of the city, and an accident occurred during one of his performances… a piano fell on his hand, forcing him to express himself in a manner other than the strings and sounds of his guitar. It was during this time that his now emblematic face, which the artist draws and renews through his works, appeared for the first time. Painted on canvas, paper, wood or even on the walls of Montreal, these faces multiply, accumulate, and overlap, to expose and express the emotions of a man, of his generation. Whether they are composed of a multitude of colourful elements, or some simple black lines, these works thus seem to enclose his portrait, fragmented through the choice and impulse of each line and each colour.

Since the beginning of his career, Zïlon has distinguished himself throughout numerous projects with Quebec and international artists. Having notably worked with Gilles Carle, Jacques Languirand, Robert Lepage, Wajdi Mouawad and Claude Péloquin, Zïlon has also participated in several major artistic events, including the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Montreal International Fashion and Design Festival, the Festival of the film on art and the Grand Charivari. In addition, the graffiti artist painted clothes for Philippe Dubuc’s 2003 parade in Paris (works which are now part of the Moët et Chandon collection), artworks for the launch of Givenchy’s new make-up products in Paris in 2013, drawings integrated into the decor of the video game Far Cry New Dawn in 2018, as well as the mural at the theatre le Diamant in Quebec City in 2019

Shown in more than fifty exhibitions, from Montreal, to Paris, to Tokyo, Zïlon’s artworks can be found today all over the world, marking the legacy of this major, multidisciplinary, and irreverent figure of street art.

Individual exhibitions

  • 2019 – « Zïlon et le Montréal underground », Écomusée du fier monde, Montréal
  • 2019 – « Les divinités spectaculaires », Le Diamant, Québec
  • 2016 – « Apocalypse Disco », Centre Diane-Dufresne, Repentigny
  • 2014 – « Dépanneur Peur fermé 24 sur 24 », Montréal Mural Fest, Montréal
  • 2013 – Lancement Givenchy, Paris
  • 2009 – Maison de la culture du Plateau-Mont-Royal, Montréal
  • 2008 – « Ville froide », Galerie Yves Laroche
  • 2005 – Galerie Yves Laroche, Montréal
  • 1996 – O'Connor Gallery, Toronto
  • 1993-94 – Galerie Stornoway, Montréal
  • 1993 – Maison de la culture Frontenac, Montréal
  • 1990 – Centre national des arts, Ottawa
  • 1989 – Pitt International Gallery, Vancouver
  • Collective exhibitions

  • 2010 – Maison culturelle et communautaire de Montréal-Nord, Québec (avec SEAZ)
  • 1995 – Galerie 55 Prince, Montréal
  • 1992 – Maison de la culture Marie-Uguay, Montréal
  • 1991 – Centre de design de l’UQAM
  • 1989 – SMASH Gallery, Vancouver
  • 1987 – Maison Lavalin, Montréal
  • 1986 – École des beaux-arts, Paris (France)
  • 1985 – Galerie Noctuelle, Montréal
  • 1983 – Salon international de design et de création, Montréal