546 Academy Road
"Starry Starry Wedding Night"
Location: SW corner Academy & Lanark; East Face
Occupant: 7th Avenue Fashions
District: River Heights
Neighbourhood: Sir John Franklin
Artist(s): Charlie Johnston (C5 Artworks)
Sponsors: Take Pride Winnipeg!, Academy Road BIZ
Charlie Johnston: "My first idea for this wall was to do a version of a Gustav Klimt
painting, 'The Kiss'. I was going to make it into a wedding kiss, and put her in a
wedding gown and use a lot of gold leaf in the design. This is Academy Road, so I
wanted to do something with a bit more of that European flavour, and the 20th century art
movements of Europe. There are a lot of those style of shops in the Academy Road BIZ
district. I did up something and showed it to the client who declined, having some very
specific ideas of what they did want. This is Seventh Avenue Fashions. They're from
New York so she wanted a New York skyline, she wanted van Gogh's 'Starry Starry
Night' as the sky; and she also gave me these stylized cartoons, similar to 60's style
characters that you would see in the opening sequences of movies (e.g., the Pink
"My task was to amalgamate these elements into a cohesive image, and this (the finished
Mural) is how it came out. She gave me a lot of input about colours and style, dresses,
and that sort of thing; because it's about fashion. And, as Carrie says in Sex and the City,
'it's all about the dress'. So the dress became the principal element of the Mural."
"I like the idea of the metallic reflectiveness in the design. I used a silver enamel as the
finishing element in the dress. I also used it in the windows of the city, and a little bit of
it in the stars themselves. I wanted everything to glimmer."
"I was also thinking a lot about some of the more urban stylizations of characters,
particularly using big eyes in their art, drawn from the anime style, and the doe-y cartoon
eyes. In this case I wanted to apply that into more of a fashion sensibility. It's a girl's
Mural! The Empire State building and the Chrysler Building are both there- the rest of
the skyline is stylized."
"It was a mid-range stucco wall, and I'm happy with the way it turned out. It was fun to