Waterfrod Walls - A Portrait of the Artist - FIVE8


FIVE EIGHT is a multidisciplinary artist, born and based in Montreal, Quebec. A fine-art painter since 2002, he favours a bold aesthetic over political commentary. His figurative murals and paintings feature dynamic compositions and vivid contrasting colours. FIVE8 has exhibited work in Montreal, Toronto, New York, Miami, and Tel Aviv.


Tell us how you first got into street art, what was the scene like where you grew up and how many years have you been painting?

I started writing in 2002 in Montreal where the scene is thriving.  Our community is strong and there is an abundance of talent.  I don’t know much about street art, but graffiti got me into painting.  Today I’m mostly focused on mural painting and studio work.


What has been your favourite place to paint and why?

Wherever my friends are painting, wherever there’s chill people cool vibes it’s all good.  I’m doing a bit of traveling this summer and I’m looking forward to discovering new places.


What is your biggest source of inspiration in your work? Do you have any favourite writers or artists? 

Lately my biggest source of inspiration has been my experience working with neon lights.  My list of favorite artists is constantly changing.  I’m really liking what Wes21 and Onur are doing together and individually.  Also Bond Tru Luv and Ques VRS are doing very interesting things with letters.  Back home it’s the gods Scan DA and Stare NME who keep innovating and inspiring generations of writers.  My favorite people to collaborate with are currently Earth Crusher and Benny Wilding, both from Montreal as well.


What city do you live in now? Has this affected your style, medium or technique in any way?

Growing up and maturing as an artist through Montreal’s graffiti scene I think has been a strong factor in motivating me to paint larger and to always try something new.


We’re very excited about having you at Waterford Walls 2017, What attracted you to the project? And what are you most looking forward to?

I was mostly attracted by the prospect of discovering a country I’ve never been to before, to meet and exchange with the local and international artists, and to explore the culinary hotspots of a variety of regions.


How would you rate Waterford Walls in terms of artistic quality standard? 

Let’s just say they set the bar pretty high with Smug One.


The theme of Waterford Walls 2017 is “Renewal & Regeneration”. What do you see as being street arts role in this? 

Street art doesn’t have a role to play in anything.  It is practiced by different people for a variety of reasons.  It doesn’t owe society anything. The whole movement comes from graffiti roots, which is a counter culture.  People will use it however it suits their agenda.  It is a vehicle to disseminate a message to the public.  The message can be an artist’s vision or a commercial or political message.


Do you have any projects, trips or shows coming up that we can look out for? 

This summer I’ll be traveling to several countries to paint.  Estonia, Germany, Ireland, USA.  When I’m home I’m usually building something in the neon shop.  If anyone is interested they can follow my work on Instagram or on my website.


Any shoutouts, thanks, links or comments?

Shouts to Earth Crusher, Omen, AShop, Gene Pendon, Siez Swift the General, Nickie Robinson, Neon Family, Gary Cummins, and Louise Flynn for inviting me to Ireland to participate in Waterford Walls 2017.


Follow Five8s travels this summer on his Facebook here.

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