In Greece, Monastiraki is a funky flea market neighbourhood in the old town of Athens filled with crazy little shops and amazing people watching opportunities. Think of jugglers, rastas, tourists, skaters, cool kids, traders and other miscellaneous folk all gathered on one big ant hill and you’ve got Monastiraki.
In Montreal, Monastiraki is the shop of Billy Mavreas and Emile O’Brien, two multi-talented Montreal artists. Among other things, Billy is a cartoonist and illustrator while Emilie is a poet and sculptor. The boutique abounds with hundreds of magical curiosities, from art to ephemera, creation and other awesome and “uncategorizable” things.I was walking my friend’s dog in Mile End last weekend, when I walked pass the store and randomly decided to go in. Best decision of the day.
Mainly because the shop carries an incredible amount of local art, including an impressive selection of comics and prints which I am gaga for. In fact, Billy tells me Monastiraki is the shop with the biggest quantity of local silkscreen posters, rock posters and art posters in the city. I believe him.
The shop used to belong to his father up until 2000, when Billy and Emilie decided to clear out the front and turn Monastiraki into a gallery. They completely re-imagined the space and often organize vernissages, book launches and other fun events, such as their last happening during Montreal’s famous Nuit Blanche.
Also, if you’re an emerging artist visiting Montreal, I suggest you drop in and show Billy your work, art, comics, music, fanzines….he might just buy a few!
Finally, to understand the full extent of amazing that can be found at this Mile End gem, here are a few pics.
5478 Saint-Laurent Boulevard
Wednesday: 12pm – 6pm
Thursday: 12pm- 8pm
Friday: 12pm – 8pm
Saturday: 12pm – 6pm
Sunday: 12pm – 6pm