Graffiti is often associated with negative vandalism, but sometimes an artist with a serious purpose uses graffiti tactics to spread important messages to the masses. That is certainly the case with Montreal-based artist MissMe — dubbed by Vice as an “art vandal” — who creates masterful pieces of art that she leaves in the streets with a technique called wheatpasting. She came to Denver in September 2017 to install larger-than-life posters in the Comal Heritage Food Incubator (a project that was unusual because she was asked to do it, rather than illegally pasting it.) Since then, she has continued her relationship with the Mile High City through connections at The Source Hotel and Zeppelin Station. This weekend, MissMe will come back to Denver once more. But this time anyone who wants to hear her point of view can sit in on an artist talk at Big Trouble on Monday, November 26 with the famous — and masked — street artist.
And her point of view is not one to miss. Well-spoken, intelligent, passionate and fierce, MissMe is the embodiment of empowerment on many levels. She creates images that speak for the marginalized, the restless, the discontented — and she shoves them in the face of those who aren’t any of those things. Often, she highlights and advocates for strong women role models, while at other times she critiques the roles that women play in society, such as Instagram stars. Her wheatpastes are sometimes so large they engulf buildings, coercing passers-by to take notice, like the ones she installed in Comal. Those images were hand-drawn portrayals of influential women — Malala Yousafzai, Frida Kahlo, Simone de Beauvoir, Maya Angelou — and their giant size mirrored MissMe’s understanding of their impact on history.
One of the most inviting aspects of MissMe’s career, to some people at least, is her continuing insistence to post her art illegally. In the interview 303 Magazine conducted with her last year, she explained, “I think it’s important to keep a balance in society by doing something illegal that isn’t necessarily harmful. But more than that, there’s something beautiful about using your own time and money to share something just for the sake of it. People understand and pick up on that because it’s the opposite of everything else — it’s the opposite of wanting to make money off something, just doing it for the idea and message. That’s a strong, powerful energy that humans share and connect through.”
And there is undeniably a sense of urgency that comes with MissMe’s guerrilla tactics. Someone doesn’t need to go to a gallery, museum or little boutique to experience her art — and the people she wants to impress upon the most probably aren’t going to those kinds of places anyway. Her art is unapologetic, in-your-face, forceful and captivating — and so is she.
Before the artist talk on Saturday, November 24 and Sunday, November 25, The Source Hotel will host a pop-up featuring some of MissMe’s non-street art. MissMe’s artist talk is being co-hosted by the Denver organization Safeword, a group focused on networking events for creative women. This falls in line with MissMe’s powerful inclination to uplift women all over the world through art.
The event will take place on November 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Big Trouble in Zeppelin Station and is free to attend. MissMe will sell exclusive prints of some of her work for that night only.