Artist FVCKRENDER building on career ascension by opening gallery in Montréal

I made my first visit to Montréal in March of 2024. It had long been at the top of my travel “to do” list. Highlights included the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, the McCord Stewart Museum’s “Indigenous Voices of Today,” and a walking tour of the murals along Boulevard Saint-Laurent, one of the great avenues for street art in the world.

The neighborhood hosts one of the largest and most prestigious urban arts festivals – MURAL – each June. I highlighted the event at Forbes.com. Over 11-days, the open-air music and mural extravaganza turns Boulevard Saint-Laurent into an outdoor street art museum where the public can watch the creation of wall-sized masterpieces in real time.

MURAL’s 12th edition welcomed 14 headlining visual artists from around the world to paint walls. Among them was FVCKRENDER, aka Frédéric Duquette (b. 1991), a Montréal based artist pushing the boundaries of both street art and experiential, digital art.

At its core, FVCKRENDER’s art making comes from a place of self-therapy; a practice designed to overcome previous traumas.

“Losing my mother when I was 10 was a huge challenge that shaped who I am today,” FVCKRENDER told me. “My art helps me process those memories and emotions, turning pain into something meaningful. It’s a way for me to confront and understand my past, piece by piece.”

A 2016 bike accident resulting in the artist losing feeling on the left side of his body was another trauma to overcome. During his rehabilitation, brain exercises encouraged FVCKRENDER to engage more deeply with digital art, a part of his practice that would see him go on to partner with Lil Nas X, Lebron James, and Dior.

His artist’s statement, in part, reads: “I believe that art has the power to illuminate the darkness and inspire hope for a brighter future. This is my story. I overcame my own struggles through art. Building my sense of self through authenticity has brought me joy and a place in the world.”

The solace he’s found through the process of making art, he wants to pass on through his finished artworks.

“I hope my art resonates with people on a personal level,” FVCKRENDER said. “I want viewers to find their own meanings and emotions in my work. It’s about creating a space where people can reflect on their own experiences and find some comfort or insight.”

FVCKRENDER World Takeover

FVCKRENDER is on an amazing professional role at the moment. In addition to being spotlighted at MURAL, he had his first debut solo art show in May during Frieze New York, a presentation hosted by acclaimed pop culture critic and curator Carlo McCormick. On display were large-scale sculptures, original prints, and editions including a 70” polyurethane chain link sculpture. The show coincided with a 24/7 digital window gallery at 291 Grand St. in NYC.

Across the country in Las Vegas, his digital artwork featured on The Sphere, a domed, live entertainment venue on The Strip opened in 2023. The $2.3 billion venue has an LED exterior skin allowing for the display of digital/video art.

In fall of 2024, he along with his fiancé will be opening a gallery for the display of physical and digital artworks in Montréal’s Mile-Ex, a hip neighborhood for creatives, cafés, restaurants, and shops.

“Montéal is such a vibrant and diverse city. The art scene here is incredible, and the mix of cultures and styles constantly inspires me,” he said. “The energy of the city, from its architecture to its street art, pushes me to explore new ideas and techniques in my work.”

Unlike the snooty vibe fostered by so many art galleries, FVCKRENDER wants approachability to be the watchword for his place.

“We want to move away from the typical pretentious gallery atmosphere and offer something more welcoming and engaging. Our gallery will be located in a historic building that used to be an armory, right in the heart of Montreal,” he said. “This unique location adds character and a sense of history, making it a perfect spot to blend contemporary art with the city’s rich heritage. We’re excited to make art more accessible and to offer a space where visitors can feel truly connected to the artworks and the artists.”

Should you visit the city, FVCKRENDER offers these itinerary suggestions.

“Montréal has so much to offer for art lovers. Definitely check out the city’s amazing murals and street art—just walking around can be a great experience,” he said. “Visit the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for a more traditional take, but also explore local galleries and studios to see contemporary works,” he suggests. “For food, head to Mano Cornuto where the culinary experience is as artistic as the city itself. And don’t miss the festivals and cultural events—they really showcase the creativity and spirit of Montreal.”

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