It’s a larger-than-life work of art, for a larger-than-life artist.
On the one-year anniversary of Leonard Cohen’s death, a massive mural of the famed artist was inaugurated on Crescent Street.
Some of Cohen’s friends and family were on hand Tuesday for a ceremony at the Montreal Fine Arts Museum.
“Leonard doesn’t approve many projects,” said his friend, manager and estate trustee, Robert Kory. “I rarely would encourage him to do a project. He reluctantly said OK, but that it had better be good.”
The mural took two artists, 13 assistant artists, 240 cans of paint and thousands of hours of work. The 22-storey portrait measures a whopping 1100 sq. ft.
Part of the reason Cohen gave it his blessing was the source material. The mural is based on a photo his daughter Lorca took in 2008.
“Leonard approved because we had Lorca’s photo,” Kory said.
The tribute to Cohen came from a non-profit organization called MU. It was the 100th mural they’ve painted in Montreal. MU has also painted other cultural giants like Oscar Peterson and Oliver Jones.
“It took years of preparation and negotiations and exchanges with the family, with the city, with numerous funders. So it’s been a lot of work,” said MU co-founder Elizabeth-Ann Doyle.