Bad Habits

With Billy Goodkat

Artist’s Take on Old World Portraits


Originally published in the Owen Sound Hub.

Visitors to the European Bakery Cafe’s flagship eastside location have a variety of eye-catching new conversation pieces to enjoy over lattes and one of the best breakfasts in town.

Local graffiti and mural artist Billy Goodkat has just wrapped up a six-portrait project in the restaurant’s interior—each with a fun twist. The six portraits are based on classic, well-known paintings, and five of them incorporate European Bakery Staff in a muted caricature style.

In one, the typically dour-looking woman in ‘American Gothic’ is replaced by European Bakery Cafe server Megan, who is playfully giving her sombre ‘husband’ bunny ears for the viewer’s enjoyment.

In Goodkat’s take on ‘Son of Man,’ the mystery of who might be hiding behind the apple is solved. Staff member Tyler P. is revealed smirking for the audience, holding the apple in hand.

Other iconic paintings incorporated into the cafe’s interior include Girl with a Pearl Earring, Whistler’s Mother, the Mona Lisa and the The Last Supper.

“This project was so much fun; it really showed how integral staff are to this business and this space. It reflects the sense of humour and positive nature of the workplace, really,” Goodkat shared. “The owner, Sophie, was totally comfortable immortalizing her staff in these paintings. It says great things about their relationship and I’m sure if you asked customers, they know these staff well and are delighted to see them adorning the cafe’s walls.”

Goodkat spent several weeks painting in the cafe after-hours, using oil-based alkyd spray paints to first create the portraits, then add a faux stone finish to approximately 300 ft2 of wall space.

“Sophie gave me her ultimate vision and then let me get creative and run with it, which made this such an awesome project to be involved in,” Goodkat said. “Having a mural really brings your space to life in ways that hanging art just can’t accomplish… it becomes part of the environment, atmosphere and experience of your home or business.”

You can check out and the European Bakery Cafe murals for yourself (and enjoy them over a meal) from 7:30am to 4pm daily. Goodkat is also hosting an online contest where European Bakery Cafe customers can win free tickets to any Art Nightz event by sharing photos of these murals via social media. Simply visit the cafe, take a selfie with one of murals and post to social media using the #osmuralselfie hashtag on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (posts must be publicly visible to be counted).

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