East York is dotted with mysterious artistic murals. We see them almost every day on our way to work or school. But have you ever wondered: Who paints them?
Yannick Torres Ariel Bihan is responsible for several murals around Toronto, including one on the side of his dad’s East York art studio (LucSculpture) at Greenwood and Danforth avenues.
A 31-year-old painter who was born in the projects of France, Bihan has spent years honing his style.
“I used to try to paint realism, but now I just paint what I see in my head,” he said.
Bihan’s form of expressionism isn’t random. He tries to incorporate bits of his life into his paintings.
“I painted my dad in the mural and my little sister and some other people that are close to me,” he said. “I like to paint people I love because (the painting) stays there for a long time.”
Bihan is a sculptor, tattoo artist, still life-painter and more. His girlfriend, Laura Adams, is also a sculptor, and together they make much of their living through their art.
“I like doing art and murals because I don’t have to follow many rules,” Bihan says. “When I do tattoos, it’s always about what the customer wants, so sometimes it’s nice to paint whatever I feel like painting without anyone telling me what to do.”
He would paint more murals if more locations were available.
“I wish there were more spots for me to do paintings,” he said, “but the government says it’s illegal to graffiti in some places, so you have to be careful and get a permit.”
To see more of Bihan’s art, visit his Facebook page.