Roadsworth; Bethany Gibson Roadsworth

ISBN 13: 9780864926388

Roadsworth

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Winner, Design Edge Regional Design Award

In October 2001, paint was spilled on the streets of Montreal. A stark, primitive bike symbol, looking suspiciously like the one the city used to designate a bike path; a giant zipper, pulled open down the centre line of the street on a busy commuter route; the footprint of a giant, stomping through the city while people slept.

Inspired by a desire for adventure and galvanized by a loathing of car culture, Roadsworth got down with an idea that had been incubating. The time had come for him to articulate his artistic vision, to challenge the notion of "public" space and whose right it is to use it. By 2004, Roadsworth had pulled off close to 300 pieces of urban art on the streets of Montreal. In the fall, he was charged with 51 counts of public mischief. It seemed to signal the end of his career. Instead the citizens of Montreal and lovers of his work from around the world rallied their support. A year later he was let off with a slap on the wrist.

Since then, Roadsworth has developed as an artist, continuing to intervene in public spaces and to travel the world, executing commissioned work for organizations such as Cirque de Soleil, The Lost O (cycled over in le tour de France), and for municipalities, exhibitions, and arts festivals. In this playful and sometimes subversive book, featuring more than 200 reproductions of his unmistakable work, Roadsworth takes the urban landscape and turns its constituent elements on their heads, both indicting our culture's excesses and celebrating what makes us human (lest we forget).

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From the Inside Flap:

A stark, primitive bicycle, looking suspiciously like the one the city used to designate a bike path; a giant zipper, pulling asphalt open on a busy commuter route; a giant's footprint, left behind after stomping through the sleeping city. By 2004, Roadsworth had pulled off close to 300 pieces of urban art on the streets of Montreal. Where would the nocturnal street artist strike next? Nowhere — or so it seemed. In the fall, he was charged with 51 counts of public mischief. Then the citizens of Montreal rallied their support. A year later he was let off with a slap on the wrist.

Since then, Roadsworth has continued to intervene in public spaces. He now travels the world, executing commissioned work for Cirque du Soleil and The Last O (cycled over in the Tour de France), and for cities, galleries, public institutions and arts festivals. In his brilliantly inventive art, Roadsworth takes the urban landscape and turns its constituent elements on their heads, both indicting our culture's excesses and celebrating what makes us human (lest we forget).

About the Author:

Roadsworth began painting the streets of Montreal in the fall of 2001. Initially motivated by a desire for more bike paths in the city and a questioning of "car culture" in general, he continued to develop a language around street markings and other elements of the urban landscape using a primarily stencil-based technique. In the fall of 2004, Roadsworth was arrested for his nocturnal activities and charged with 53 counts of mischief. Despite the threat of heavy fines and a criminal record, he received a relatively lenient sentence which he attributes in part to the public support he received subsequent to his arrest. Since that time, Roadsworth has received various commissions both locally and internationally and continues to be active in both visual art and music.

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