I once read an article in Vogue where an artist being interviewed said something to the tune "I dont do backgrounds". As an artist that loves texture, of course I thought "what a lost opportunity!". After approx 2 years of trying and failing (because Im too lazy to go paint on train station walls), I have finally worked a mixture of Cement, Latex binder and a glue polymer that has allowed the troweling on of a product that looks and feels like a cement slab. This includes the edges so it really does look like a slab of concrete.
It sticks to Canvas like any texturing product, retains flexibility, strength and structure, yet remains totally rigid on the canvas. The canvas does NOT sag in any manner. It can handle the same (or more as it is concrete based!) types of consumer treatment such as any normal artwork including cleaning, lying flat, knocks etc.
It is only slightly heavier than a normal canvas and can be hung with traditional methods. For example there is about 3kgs of concrete base on a 160cm x 100cm troweled to thicknesses of about 7mm to 12mm.
I have long avoided doing the simple kind of street art stuff, without having a background that I considered worthy of such. If this were done on a plain canvas (even a textured one) it can tend to lack that authentic feel. Even fake rocks, though clever, still look like fake rocks. I have long believed that if you want something artistic to replicate a tactile object, it must be that "thing". I use dirt in my art if I want it to look grungy and dirty. I use water and sugar sprays when creating urban pop pieces if I want them to look like dirty water has run down the face of a painted wall.
Industrial styling just made a new friend!
Happy trails Franko