Archive for the ‘alleys’ Category

As part of a larger mural project in David French and Barbara Barrett Lanes (near Bloor and Bathurst), elicser has painted another mural with more of the kinds of people that he is known for painting. Every day people doing every day things – with some emphasis on musicians and the people who listen to them.

For this post I’ve combined photos that were taken back in mid-September on the weekend that the ‘Wall Expressions’ project was started with those that I took a few weeks later.  ‘Wall Expressions’ was a StreetARToronto project to paint/repaint garages in David French Lane.

below: Elicser works on a face

street artist, elicser elliott, up on a lift as he spray paints the outlines of a man's head as part of large mural that he is working on.

below: The finished face.

mural, part of, by elicser, people sitting outside, a young child with red hair sits on the grass, her mother behind her. A black man sits on a wooden seat, a cassette player on his lap

below: More of the mural in progress.

view of most of a long horizontal mural on the side of a building in an alley, by elicser, who is in the picture, painting, mural is of people doing various things.

part of a partially completed mural, two girls sitting at a table and talking, one with brown skin and long black hair, one with short red hair, a glass of water in one hand

partially finished man with green sweater, grey hair, elbows on table

finished section of a mural, with man with grey hair sitting with elbows on a table,

elicser works on painting a mural, in the foreground is a large painted guitar player with a red uitar, painted behind a metal fire escape staircase

part of a mural by elicser of people - 4 people, a woman overlooks them, a small black man on a cello and a man with beard and glasses on a white guitar.

part of a mural by elicser of people - a woman is sitting on a stool and playing a guitar, a man in a red and black checked shirt

below: The complete mural

mural by elicser of people - whole mural, completed, on Barbara Barrett Lane, musicians and the people listening to them as they sit at tables

Sunny September days make good walking in the alleys days.   Here are some of the walls I saw and the compositions that they make.  The textures of wood and metal, bright colours as well as subdued ones, the effects of light and shadow, as well as shapes and patterns – these are some of the things that catch my eye and make me stop.  Throw a little nature into the mix and the following photos are the result.

part of an old wood door that is part dark turquoise and part blue, with a rusted latch holding the two doors together and closed

a vine with two red leaves hangs in front of a grey wall, sunny day so there are shadows on the wall fromother plants that aren't in the picture

three small windows in a wall, the top part of the wall is brick and the bottom is plaster that has been painted white

old rusty downspout with part of a wire coat hanger wrapped around ut, in front of a grey shingle covered wall that has been partially covered with purple spray paint

trunks of three trees growing in front of an old white building with a green door. windows in door are covered with plywod and a piece of plywood is nailed over parts of the lower half of the doors to keep them closed.

a bashed up grey metal door with splotches of light and shadow

part of a bright red double metal door in a brick building

a bright turquoise door in a building that has been painted white - some of the old brick shows throw the peeling paint.

part of a brick wall that has old windows bricked over in a different brick, an old window with old wood frame, unpainted, some graffiti on the wall

corrugated plastic panels on angle in front of concrete block wall with window covered with plywood

white drips of paint on a wood garage door, metal door handle

chainlink fence in front of rows of construction equipment

a grey plaster attempt to patch a broken rusted metal panel on the side of a garage - rust in shades of yellow and brown, a painted green stripe

red, white, and blue spray paint on three wood slats of a fence, tied together with string, some nails sticking out

paste up of a man's face over a wood door, door and wall have blue and red splotchy spray paint on them

Tucked away on a garage in an alley near Brunswick and Harbord is a garage with three murals, at least two of which are the work of Aaron Li-Hill.

a two car garage in an alley, murals on both garage doors as well as on the side of the building

below: This mural is not new but I am not sure how old it is.  I am not even sure if I have seen it before.   I can’t believe that I found an alley that I haven’t walked before in this area, but anything’s possible.   This mural is by Li-Hill for sure.

a mural in two pictures of two women and a large tree by Aaron Li-Hill on the side of a garage in an alley

below: This too is the work of Aaron Li-Hill as you can see from the signature.

women with sohort dark hair from the neck up, side view, eyes closed, mural on a garage door by Aaron Li-Hill

below: This seaside town scene has no signature.  I like the little people, one with a surfboard, some playing in the water, and a couple hand in hand.

seaside town mural, buildings, water, beach, people, seawall, on a garage door in an alley, laneway

One more reason to wander the lanes and alleys of the city!
(With thanks to Anita for walking with me and showing me this garage.)

 

I’m talking to you….

Well, I’m not the one doing the talking.  In fact, no one is talking, or shouting for that matter.  The words are silent, present..  but quiet.  They are written on the walls; scrawled on the walls.  They’re rarely beautiful and they’d rarely qualify as being profound.

below: But “Sometimes it doesn’t matter”.  I love the ambiguity and flexibility of the word ‘it’ in this context.  Write your own story. Develop your own plot.

below: … even if the plot doesn’t make sense, like Trump himself.

blue spray paint graffiti words on concrete by a chainlink fence surrounding a school playground and parking lot that say I shot Trump and I'd do it again and again and again

below: From Trump we jump to conspiracy theories.  That was easy wasn’t it?

on a red door, number 911, someone has added in white letters, was an inside job

below: I have no segue for 911 conspiracies to love.   A jump in the plot?

blue spray paint graffiti words on concrete by a chainlink fence surrounding a school playground and parking lot that say Love Yourself Kids

below: Sentimental feelings – dripping with sentiment.  Oh dear.

graffiti words stenciled on a garage door that say sentimental feelings.

below: .. or wishes for feelings of being loved

small square around these words, love me plz, written with black paint on a white garage door,

below: Pull yourself together and get it together….  But.. but..  Buddha once said: “Life is suffering; suffering is just part of life.”  Sooooo if you start suffering do you stop living?  Yes, I can be insufferable, just like philosophy and psychology and a few other ologies.

below: Did I mention that sometimes the words make no sense?

black sharpie words on a concrete utility pole, says Virgin Armour

below: These words, on the other hand, make sense: Bew Are!  (not technically graffiti but my editor didn’t question it!)

And that’s the end.   No more words.  I have no more words. Fini.

Elvis has left the building.

a man is walking past a wall with street art, a construction sign is leaning backwards against the wall blocking part of the art. THe picture can't be seen but the words that went with the picture are still visible. They say The artist isn't present

Women in the Walls was/is a mural project where most of the painting was done on the last weekend in August. Twenty women participated to create murals in the alley behind the north side of Gerrard Street East near Craven, Rhodes and Woodfield. One van and one car were also painted.

below: Courtney Binns and Kerry Marie (kairo) work on their murals.

two women painting a mural, one mural each, one on the back of a building in an alley and the other on the side of the same building.

a woman sprays paint, light blue, onto the background of a mural that she's painting, blue, green and pinks that merge together with no defined lines or edges

street art painting of a fuzzy orange fox, lying on the ground by C V Binns

a woman is in the beginning stages of painting a mural portrait of a woman outside

below: Princess Nokia

portrait of a woman on a wall, a mural by kairo, long dark hair, a blue bow on the top of her head, some blocks of the concrete block wall are painted in shades of pink

below: Caitlin Taguiboa paints her mural starting with the black and white background that will turn into ripples and reflections on water.

woman spraing black on a black and white mural, standing beside a ladder, on a garage door in an alleyy paint

pink white and orange flowers by a black pool with with and pink reflections and ripples

below: Kim adds some blue to the background of her mural.

a woman is painting a street art mural

on a garage door, a painting by Kim, blue background, close up of two yellow women pilots in a green airplane

below: The deer mural was preserved (it’s been on this wall for a number of years).  You can just see the faint outlines of a salamander that @mmnador is creating.  That’s Kim working on her pilots (astronauts?) in the background.

two women painting murals, Kim is in the background painting on a garage door while another woman is outlining a picture of a chameleon on a wall

a dark purple salamander in a street art painting on a background of orange, yellow, and light blue polygonal shapes with 3 to 5 straight sides on a wall with a tree to the left

below: Rolling on the pink, background that is.  Anya Mielniczek’s latest mural is a woman’s face in shades of pink and green.

woman rolling paint to make pink background on a mural

street art mural of a woman's face in greens and blues on one side, moving to pink on the other, lots of black hair. red lips, yellow eyes

partially finished mural on black background in an alley, green stripes near the bottom, blue circles beside brown squiggles, milk x weed

below: Painting a tribute to Smokey the cat, by Stacey Kinder.

a woman is crouching beside a wall where she is painting a picture of a blue cat, on the wall beside her is a large black section that has just been painted in preparation for another mural

a woman with long blond hair, Stacey Kinder, is painting a picture of a blue cat on a wall,

finished mural of Smokey the blue cat, with a sunflower behind his head,

below: Up close to the central portion of a mural painted by Chief Ladybird and Auralast.

detail of center of mural of an indigenous woman with long braided hair and feathers

below:  The words in the stripes are “One Voice”.  There is a blue and a pink stripe that didn’t make it into the photo, on them is written “Powerful”.

part of a mural by chief ladybird and aura of an indigenous woman with a feather in her hair, in front of the sun and circles of colour, red and blue flowers on the outer layer of colour (light blue)

below: A shout out to Debbie who lent her car, Lightning, to the cause.  Here, a black stenciled dog adorns the back door panel – in memory of Harley.

side of a car that has been prepped, for painting partially painted with turquoise section and pink splotches, also a black stenciled dog, called Harley, by the back wheel,

below: Lightning is now fueled with flower power!

back of painted car, large flower and many colours in the background, a bumper sticker that says Honor Diversity

below: And the last, a van.  It was parked behind the Flying Pony while one side was painted by Erika James….

a woman is taping stencils onto the side of van. The stencils are of words, Don't worry you haven't hit your stride yet

below:  … and the other by Jieun June Kim.   When I went back later in the week to take pictures of the completed murals, the van wasn’t around.  If you see it, let me know!

a woman spray paints on the side of a van that is being covered with street art, masking tape to keep the spray paint in straight lines.

below: Hands and stylized florals

black background mural with stylized floral in bright colours, also a hand in the middle in many colours

part of a mural with magenta background, green arms reaching up from foliage and weeds at the bottom, hands open, revealing a large blue eye on each hand

This project was supported by StART program at StreetARToronto as well as Cultural Hotspot 2017.  The latter is a summer-long initiative whose aim is to encourage art, community, and culture in the east end of the city.

below: Monstawall by Monica Wickeler (aka monicaonthemoon), one of the principal organizers of the weekend.

small street art mural of many stylized abstract goofy faces in bright colours, on a wall.  a car is parked in front of it and some is reflected in the windshield

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