Archive for the ‘alleys’ Category

This is another Graffiti Alley post to accompany yesterday’s hearts and love post.  This time, I want to share some photos of the latest large mural in the alley, Uber 5000’s Toronto themed mural.  There are lots of references to things found in the city!

below: A pair of CN towers.

Graffiti alley, large building covered on both sides with murals by Uber 5000, marine life facing the alley and a new Toronto themed mural on the west side, partially obscured by garages in the alley, and behind a chainlink fence.

below: Looking in windows with a black cat looking back out, some fish and an owl in a tree.

part of Uber 5000 Toronto mural in Graffiti Alley, houses, cat, orange fish, apartments, owl in a tree,
below:  That Toronto Maple Leaf fan isn’t looking very happy – I hope that he’s not about to jump off the roof! Perhaps the Blue Jay is there to console him?  The Leafs last won the Stanley cup in 1967 (it ‘s the 50th anniversary!).  As for the Hubbo dog reference, I have no idea what that is about.

blue jay with yyz baseball cap, baseball bat, a maple leaf fan dressed in hockey shirt with large blue maple leaf painted on his face, sitting on a roof

below: A shout out to Canada’s 150th birthday.   An Uber 5000 yellow birdie flies a helicopter – with a couple of happy looking passengers!

part of a large mural, blue sky painted background, the underside of an airplane as it passes overhead, painted with 150 and a red maple leaf, flying beside it is a red helicopter with a Uber5000 birdie flying it.

below: The IKEA monkey in its sheepskin jacket is climbing the CN Tower.   Look closely and you’ll see that someone has already made it to the top.   Another little figure is on the crane!

part of a larger mural, a monkey in a sheepskin jacket is climbing the CN tower. A small black figure is sitting on top of the tower.

below: One of the “nicknames” used for Toronto is YYZ which is the airport code for Pearson, Toronto’s largest airport.  The YTZ in the mural is the airport code for Toronto’s other airport, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.   Also in the mural is the old Sam the Record Man sign that used to be hang over the store at 357 Yonge Street, a record/music store that was in business from there from 1961 to 2007.  The building has since been demolished to make way for the Ryerson University Student Learning Center.  There has been talk of installing the sign somewhere near Yonge Dundas Square but as far as I know, that hasn’t happened yet.

part of an Uber 5000 mural, yyz, condo building with balconies, a woman sitting on the roof with a yellow birdie, ghetto blaster on the roof, Sam the Record man sign,

below: A chainlink fence keeps people from getting close to the mural so taking photos of the bottom portion of the mural is difficult.  I think that the area behind the fence is actually someone’s backyard so I understand why there is no access.   The moose looks out over the fence.

a large mural on a wall behind a fence, painted moose, large, seems to be looking over the fence.

street art, graffiti, and murals on walls and garages in GRaffiti Alley

 

“Cupid draw back your bow
And let your arrow go
Straight to my lover’s heart for me, for me”
(from ‘Cupid’ by Sam Cooke)

green background to a piece of graffiti that is black line drawing of cupid shooting an arrow. The target is a real tap in the wall that has been painted bright red

This has me thinking about taps and faucets as hearts.  Is there a metaphor to be found here?  “Pouring out your heart”, or maybe “Let your love flow”, or maybe just a little “love tap”?

below: Graffiti Alley has been love bombed.  Hearts and unicorns by @heart_bomb bring their colourful messages of love and togetherness to the lane.

graffiti on a door in an alley, pink and purple hearts with the words, you've got to let love rule, a piece by heart_bomb

graffiti on a laneway door, two unicorns, one yellow and one blue, looking at each other with a heart above them, words say: stronger together, a piece by heart_bomb

below: Nearby, elicser has a more philosophical take on love.

street art by elicser of a man holding (hugging) a child, in blacks and white, with words, sometimes it's like holding fire.

below: Keeping the message simple (even when love isn’t!).
I also love the three little monkeys at the bottom.

the word love in white block letters that are outlined in red, background is turquoise bubbles. below that are three brown pasteups of monkeys

And that’s why I love to keep going back to Graffiti Alley!

words painted on a sidewalk in blue, love all art

Written in big bold letters – STRONG SMART UNITED

Those three words are what you see first as you walk down Lansdowne just north of Queen Street.  This striking wall is the beginning of a group of murals and street art paintings that now adorn some of the walls and doors in an alley on the north side of Queen Street West.   The paintings were done last weekend by a group of women artists.   The walls had been primed previously by four high school students (and organized by the Toronto Police Services).

mural with the words strong smart united written in rainbow colours, big block capital letters

below: Shapes and colours by controlartdelete (aka Rachel Wilmshurst)

abstract shapes, circles, rectangles, by controlartdelete

below: Emily May Roses’s women

mural by emily may rose of various women's faces, in black and white and pink, long black hair, pink head scarf, pink dress, short hair,

below: Abstract houses and greenery by Jieun June Kim

blocks in a mural look like abstract houses and circles for trees, by Jieun June Kim

below: Two kneeling women and a long necked bird with wings spread by Caitlin Taguibao

mural on a garage door in orange, black, white and green of a bird with wings spread, standing on flowers, with a woman kneeling behind each wing

below: Monica on the Moon, “Over the mountains under the stars”

a monica on the moon mural with a woman getting on a motorcycle in grey tones except for the helmet which is red. the words Over the Mountains and under the stars are written over the motorcycle

below: A colourful mural by _muisca_ (aka Daniela Rocha)

Spanish or South American themed woman with large sun shaped headdress and colourful dress by muisca

below: Unfortunately, this one has already been defaced, including the signature.

mural in an alley laneway

corner of a building in a lane showing the street art on two sides

below: Desert woman theme, by mska

a blue car is parked in front of a mural of a face with desert symbolism, a large cactus is in the mural beside the face

below: Geometric shapes, colours, and patterns, by hellokirsten (aka Kirsten McCrea)

mural by hello kirsten, shapes and geometry,

below: Left – by originalsmilez (aka Julieta Arias).
But on the right, help! I don’t know (do you?)

2 square street art paintings on an alley fence, one is a woman with a wand-like object in her hand and the other is swirls of colours

below: Looks a bit like a brightly coloured Picasso – the work of huntoland (aka Renato Hunto)

picasso like painting of round people in pieces, in bright colours, mural in a lane

below: My apologies but this another one where I don’t know who the artist is

mural on a wall in Toronto alley, part of #womenpaintTO

below:  … and this one as well I’m afraid

stylized throw up type graffiti

below: A elicser figure outside the door.  Elicser is definitely male – was this mural already here?

elicser street art piece in a lane, a face with another face with multiple eyes that might be part of the first's head or might be separate

below: Shades of pink with blue lips, by toest (aka Sarah Gilmore).

a smal street art painting by toes of a pink flower and a woman's head, long dark hair with streaks of pink, blue lips, and eyes closed

below: On a seriously cracked wall there is now a pink flower inside a green triangle surounded by a circle,  by CVBinns (aka Courtney Binns)

pink flower in a green triangle surrounded by a circle, street art

below: Long flowing hair and with eyes closed, a mural by carolannapilado

mural, black background with faces with eyes closed and flowing stylized hair

below: A collaborative effort between auralast (aka Monique Aura) and chiefladybird (aka Ogimaa Kwe Bnes) – mother and child with the city beyond.

mother sitting holding child (baby) in First Nation like theme, black city skyline in the background, by auralast and chiefladybird , yellow background with flowers

below: Also in the lane there are two urban ninja squadron paste ups by Tbonez

a tbonez urban ninja squadron pasteup of the ninja in the jaws of a shark, another paste up of a dog (cat?) is looking at the ninja

a tbonez urban ninja squadron pasteup - standing with hand up and fingers crossed, has a shadow

below: Looking east along the alley. The first road is Macdonell Avenue.  Lansdowne is in the distance.

a woman walking her dog in an alley, another woman walking away from the camera

This project was supported by the StreetARToronto program, Toronto Police Services and the Drake Hotel.  I talked briefly with a policewoman who was in the alley at the same time that I was – there is hope that the lane to the east of Lansdowne can be painted in the future.

Before then, a second all women street art jam and mural will be happening in Little India (1460 Gerrard Street East) at the end of August.   The street art jam will be on the weekend of August 26th and 27th and will showcase the Woman in the Walls mural being painted at that time.

#womenpaintTO

a man walks away from the camera as he walks down an alley that has graffit and street art on the garages and buildings

Sometimes graffiti and street art have a short life span.  Many taggers don’t care about what they are tagging over.  Street art can also be “interactive” in that stickers and paste ups can get “added” to a piece.   Anyone with a marker can have their say.  On the bright side, new murals get painted and new paste -ups appear.  And that is why I go back to the my favorite alleys every once in a while.  This morning I walked the Milky Way again.

two stickers on a pole in an alley. one is a pink and purple striped tail of an animal disappearing down a hole. the other is a white face with angry expression and cigarette in mouth

below: The Parkdale mural by Race Williams is still looking good.

mural in magenta and turquoise that says greetings from parkdale, large magenta streetcar in the mural by Race Williams

below: The naked women are a bit more modestly dressed than they once were .

street art mural of three naked women. Someone has painted white over the private parts

The most noticeable change is the fact that many pieces are now at least partially covered by greenery – small shrubs and tall weeds have proliferated and are looking quite healthy.

below: This lion is looking more and more like the king of the jungle even as the words faded and peel.

tall weeds and small shrubs grow in front of a painting of a lion (from the Lion King) painted on an unused doorway in an alley

below: The small aliens at the top of the building are now in the shade of a fast growing tree.

small aliens painted along the top of a building are now partially covered by the branches and leaves of a small tree

below: And the larger aliens on the fence really need a hair cut now.

space alien mural painted on a corrugated metal fence are now partially covered with vines from the top and weeds from the bottom.

below: A large pink peony (at least that’s what it looks like)

street art painting of a large pink peony

below: The fence around the garden.

wooden fence around a backyard that has been painted with garden scenes, cabbages, flowers, sun, and a donkey

a line of black and green rubbish garbage bins along a wall that has street art on it, picture of a boy with a spray paint can in his hand along with some text , stairs leading up to the upper level of the building as well

text graffiti on two buildings in an alley

Previous Milky Way posts
Back to the Milky Way – Sept 2015
Walking the Milky Way – Oct 2014

metal gate that has rusted. large numeral 47 on it as well as some graffiti scrawls

an orange, or salmon, coloured wall with a window. in the window is a reflection of a pair of eyes from a large street art mural. under the window are two ladders lying horizontal.

On Dundas West, just west of Dufferin, there are two lanes with large murals by clandestinos.

One is the alley to the west of the Lulu Lounge where both sides are covered with fantastic paintings by fiya, shalak, and bruno smoky as well as a few others.  I blogged about it just over two years ago and here is the link to the original post, “life as the shadow of vida“.   Earlier this week I took another look at it – it’s still looking great and there have been no changes so I didn’t take any photos.

The other alley is nearby but on the north side of Dundas Street.  Actually, it’s hardly an alley, more like a driveway which made taking pictures of the whole mural difficult.   Also, if you are traveling eastbound on Dundas, you’d miss it.  Here are the pictures that I managed to take:

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - close up of a large gorilla face

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - a crocodile or alligator coming out of the water

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - a small bird sitting on a rock by a creek

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - bird, turtle and croodile in a nature scene

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - a small bird on the base of a tree trunk

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - a large bird with its wings out stretched getting ready to take off

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - a turtle on a rock

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - lareg greenleaves with their signature

street art on a low retaining wall that says butterflyways in bright pink letters

Garrison Creek park is a small strip of green between the railway tracks an alley of garages. Many of the garage doors were painted last weekend with murals all on the theme of butterflies.  There are about 30 paintings and they are the work of a number of different street artists.   The project was curated by Nick Sweetman and it is part of the David Suzuki Foundation’s Butterflyway project; StreetARToronto was also involved.

If you don’t like pictures of butterfly murals, I suggest that you skip this post because I’m sharing photos of a lot of the garage doors!  In no particular order here they are:

 

mural of an orange and blue snake loosely tied in a knot around a purple tree, blue butterfly hovers in front of snake's face, mural by Cruz 1

Artist: Cruz1

 

Three black line drawings of a butterfly, with details and shadowing, very realistic looking, on a fence

Artist: unknown (by me)

 

Artist: blackburn

 

many whimsical butterflies and caterpillars

Artist: J. McKie

 

pink water lily painted on a black background

Artist: C Mazzulla

 

a mural on a garage door in an alley, part of butterflyways project - a possum and a butterfly by wales

Artist: wales

 

a mural on a garage door in an alley, part of butterflyways project - a person's face in profile, with a butterfly spread over the back part of the head

Artist: 2US & XYZ (not positive about that)

 

a mural on a garage door in an alley, part of butterfly ways project - very stylized abstract picture of a butterfly and a flower

Artist: XYZ & MAC

 

a mural on a garage door in an alley, part of butterflyways project - two adjacent garage doors, the left one is by mska and is a brown butterfly and mushrooms. on the right is an hibiscus flower by horus taffytats

Artist: (left) mska, (right) horus, tuffytats

 

a mural on a garage door in an alley, part of butterflyways project - two adjacent garage doors, the left one is a monarch butterfly landing on pink flowers, on the right is a riot of blues and greens

Artist: (left) braes, (right) C. Perez

 

a mural on a garage door in an alley, part of butterflyways project - a pink and purple butterfly that looks like a face, with daisies

Artist: @anyamielniczek

 

a mural on a garage door in an alley, part of butterflyways project - a black butterfly with orange and blue highlights, on a green leaf

Artist: P.S

 

a mural on a garage door in an alley, part of butterflyways project - two adjacent garage doors, the left one is painted on a light green fence and is a flower in pale oranges and beiges. On the right is a purple butterfly

Artists: unknown (by me)

 

a mural on a garage door in an alley, part of butterflyways project - a red butterfly with a bright light in the center of it.

Artist: NEDO

 

a mural by smugugly on a garage door in an alley, part of butterflyways project - a red, black and bluish butterfly

Artist: @smugugly

 

a mural on a garage door in an alley, part of butterflyways project - two adjacent garage doors, the left one is a stylized (cubist) butterfly in blues and purples. On the right is a Nick Sweetman yellow butterfly with black details as well as a white Scottie dog that looks like Tintin's dog Snowy

Artist: (left) FIP or FYP? , (right) Sweetman

 

a mural on a garage door in an alley, part of butterflyways project - two adjacent garage doors, the left one is painted by braes and is a portrait of David Suzuki. On the right is a blue mural by C. Perez

Artist: (left) braes & wales, (right) C. Perez

a mural on a garage door in an alley, part of butterflyways project - two adjacent garage doors, the left one is width=

street art mural of a Japanese girl upper body and head, hair in two buns kept together with chopsticks, looking aghast at something behind her

people walking down Graffiti Alley on a sunny afternoon

I found myself on a sunny Friday afternoon with time to spare.  I haven’t walked Graffiti Alley in the warmth for quite a few months so off we went, hunting for new things, forgotten things, and special ‘are they still there?’ things.

below: Vitality at 505 “It’s showtime baby girl, own it”

street art painting of a black woman's head, short hair, eyes closed, also on the door is the word vitality and the number 505

below: I guess that it’s painful to have your face stuck on a wall.

a dark grey three 3D rendition of a man's face. He looks like he's in pain.

below: Some black line drawn figures on top of text street art.

two figures, drawn abstractly with black marker on top of orange street art,

a drawing of a large eye on top of pink and green street art

on top of pink and green abstract swirly street art, a drawing in black marker of a hand, with a face (eye and mouth) coming out of the back of the hand.

below: Arty strings by lek_gold

a man on a lddder, a car parked, multi coloured strings used to make art by stretching it between nails on an outside wall.

below: This little giraffe has aged well.

a small stencil of a giraffe stands at the bottom corner of a wall

below: It looks like he has a strawberry beard and I’ll assume that that’s a can of spray paint in his hand, not a can of shaving cream!

street art painting on a garage door, turquoise background, a man standing with a spray paint can in his hand, awkeardly drawn, simplistic, man with only one eye and a large beard that looks like a strawberry

below: A yellow monster rises from the barrels.

behind a red van and two green metal barrels, a yellow monster street art painting on a wall

below: I didn’t touch it.  I just took a picture of it.

street art in blues and greys over whish someone has written in blue marker, don't touch this.

below: Anyone seen a guy running around in his underwear?

a pair of blue jeans are lying on the ground at the foot of a wall that has pink and green street art on it.