In the Studio with Young Jarus

Young Jarus is one of the most famous artists from Canada. His paintings and murals are all over the world and have many international fans. End of April he paid URBAN NATION a visit and left a visible mark!

Together with the Argentinean street artist Francisco Bosoletti he adapted the ancient story of “Apollo and Daphne” and created a huge and awesome mural in the middle of Berlin.

Originally from / now living in?

I was born in Saskatchewan. It is a prairie province in the middle of the Canada where most of the wheat of Canada grows. My childhood was mostly spent outdoors.

Today I have a studio in Toronto, but most of the time I live on the road and travel in my truck around Canada or I travel around the world and do my stuff.

You in the past, present & future?

I started doing art when I was four or five years old. My grandma, she was a watercolor-artist, pushed me into this and I loved it. In Highshool I started to take it more seriously, and it led into what I do now.

Where I grow up, you did not really get in contact with street art or graffiti. The only thing where you can see this kind of art, was on freight trains. Freight transportation is the backbone of Canada and it allows for a good art scene and culture within it because of how goods are transported and its nature.  This was my introduction to painting graffiti and also large scale figurative work.

Last year I was in a lot of Countries, so this year I want to slow down a little bit. After this piece with Bosoletti I will go back home, I want to work more in abandon areas and take more time for my artwork – one month time for one mural for example.

Favourite material & why?

I like hard shaped, flat brushes. But for me all materials are important, I like to try new materials (brooms for example), test them and try to figure out how they can be incorporated.

Favourite own work?

I really like my freight trains from 2013. It was honest and true stuff.  In part because I was not expecting any attention and was completely focused on my work.

Favourite work from another artist?

There are many artists I admire. Some classical masters and some contemporary. Also its not only the work, but also the way of life, which I admire.

Biggest inspiration?

Kwest. He is a mentor for me on how to approach a life as an artist as well as an incredible inspiration in his work and work ethic.

And of course my grandma. Without her, I would not have got in touch with art in such an early stage of my life.

One wish for free – what would you wish for?

My own sustainable studio in the woods, with my own dog.

Is there a special person you would like to portrait in one of your pictures?  

I observe life, characters and paint people I meet. Each painting is a unique avatar for a city, a mood, memory or mostly a person.

I started with painting my friends.  On special occasions, like the cooperation with Bosoletti, I use people, which I know well as a motive. The Apollo for example is a close friend of mine. He also shares similar attributes to the mythological Apollo but in modern day.

Pop, Punk or Electro?

Country Music

Legal vs illegal?

Illegal but I like to think about it, as if there is no difference.

What is the reason for your participation @ Urban Nation?

I met Yasha, the director of UN, 2013 for the first time at Wall Therapy in Rochester. Also again on different events like Art Basel, we stayed in contact and than she asked me if I want to create this mural in Berlin together with Francisco Bosoletti, I liked his idea to adapt this ancient story of Daphne and Apollo.

What is the story behind your work for Urban Nation?

Apollo makes fun about Cupid, Cupid gets angry and shoots one arrow made out of gold on Apollo, who felt in love with Daphne. Amor sends another arrow made out of silver to Daphne. Because of the silver arrow she refused the love of Apollo, who can not stop to desire her. To escape him, she asks her dad to transform her into a tree. She becomes a laurel tree and even than, Apollo can not stop to love her. He declares the laurel wreath to one of his main insignia, to keep her always at his side.

Francisco Bosoletti had this great idea of the Apollo and Daphne theme.  We met each other the first time in Mexico City and I have always appreciated his work.  Francisco and I had a few discussions about the realization and the interaction between the two characters from a conceptual and compositional point of view.

photos by Nika Kramer