Archive for the ‘graffiti and street art’ Category

Yesterday was not the first time that I walked the Milky Way; I have blogged about it a few times, mostly recently two years ago in July 2017.  What surprised me most this time was just how little has changed.  A lot of murals and paintings were done in 2013 and they are still there.

below: The two horses at the west end of the alley

mural street art painting of a horses's head and neck in Milky Way alley

mural street art painting of a horses's head and neck in Milky Way alley

below: A one eyed monster, melting ice cream cone figure with big black boots.

large gate (or garage door) in an alley painted pink with a painting of a one eyed monster on it

paint peeling off wood fence, street art painting only partilly still there

below: A star that has lost its shine.

faded street art, wood grain of wood fence showing through. pink star with black sides to look 3 D, outlined in yellow

below: Unused and overgrown

a door covered with graffiti that is closed, greenery is starting to grow upo and around the door, painted murals on both sides of the door that are difficult to see

below: Someone’s not pleased.

woman's face as part of a mural in Milky Way alley, text mural around her

below: Kaos in the alley.

black door and wall in Milky Way lane, with graffit on the door, painting of two spray paint cans on the right side of the door, kaos brand. text graffiti on the left side in orange and white

below: Dinosaur riding.

old mural on a wall in Milky Way alley, a young girl is riding on the back a dinosaur, with words that say was last night they were here

below: Rafiki from ‘The Lion King’ still guards the door but his words may be lost to time.

painting of character from Disneys Lion King on door in alley, with paintings of little aliens across the top of the building, ivy growing on the walls

below: This mural was ‘defaced’ (although the faces weren’t touched LOL) shortly after it was painted.  The black letters on the middle woman have been there since at least 2017.

part of a mural of 3 nude pink and purple women, tall and skinny by palm trees, orange background, in an alley, the women have been painted over in white to cover breasts

below: This was the only street art piece painted in 2019 that I saw.

text graffiti mural in oranges and reds on blue background, in an alley, painted in 2019

text graffiti mural in pinks and reds on blue background, in an alley,

old dark door with entrance sign over the top, with lots of graffiti on the door, mural painted on walls beside the door

below: Not the best seat in the house.

pale blue door with graffiti on it, a blue rubbish bin and chair in front of the door

Follow the pointy fingers!

4 black and white stencils of hand and fingers pointing, on the sidewalk, pointing towards a mural on a wall

In a Kensington alley just north of Dundas there are several new faces.

two large faces painted side by side in an alley

below: A very bright face by Curtia Wright

large face mural on an exterior wall in an alley, in bright fluorescent oranges and blues, wearing a large floppy hat

below: An up close look at ‘Lovely’ by ahayahisone (aka Philip A. Saunders, or P.S.)

close up of a face in a mosaic like style with shapes of different colours making up the skin, green eyes, red lips, by Philip A. Saunders, called Lovely

below: A portrait of Philip Saunders by luvsumone (aka Moises Frank)

portrait of a man in shades of brown, orange and purple, with a hat, by luvsomone, a mural in an alley

A Poser bunny face and a companion mini happy face too

a black on silver poser bunny painting on a wood fence in an alley, a little happy face is in the top left corner of the picture

Bonjour from the future

black woman's head in space helmet of clear glass, futuristic clothing around her neck, Jamaican flag painted on her collar, purple lips

This one looks very much like it’s another P.S. painting.

male head in many different colours

Not as bright, but still surviving in the lane, are a couple of older faces

faded, on an old wood fence is a profile picture of a woman that is faded, the wood grain comes through very clearly, some peeling paint on the edges

on a fence that is vertical slats of wood, a portrait of a woman in blue

Mario sticks his head above text graffiti that says flyguy

head of Mario from the Nintendo game peaks over the text graffiti

“Keep yo head out the clouds” to which someone has responded.  At first I thought the response was “Nah, Rock that cloud.” but on closer inspection I see that I am wrong.  I like my answer better!

wood fence painted red with yellow words that say Keep yo head out the clouds, with a couple of white clouds, one with green eyes and a nose and mouth

on a wood fence, a drawing in white pencil of a man in a tie, beside him are the words cloudy daze.  above him are two clouds

506 is the number of the Carlton streetcar which runs from High Park in the west to Main Street subway station in the east.  The older cars still run on this route and one advantage of these older streetcars is that they have windows that open.  This makes it easy to take pictures while travelling; yesterday I went eastward from Yonge as far as Coxwell, sometimes on the streetcar and sometimes on foot.

below: Pointing the camera out the window, D & J Mart Convenience store at the corner of Gerrard & Sackville.

picture taken out the window of a streetcar on Gerrard, an older 2 storey brick building with retail on the lower level, two large old wood hydro poles

below: A new curvy building rises up on the corner of Carlton and Church.  The older building on the left with the R U on the top is the old Maple Leaf Gardens, now part of Ryerson University as well as a large Loblaws.

new highrise building under construction beside the old brick building that was Maple Leaf Gardens on Carlton street.

below: People, striped hoardings, and closed sidewalks.

people walking past painted hoardings in front of a construction site, painted in stripes

below: Waiting outside Jenny’s at the corner of Parliament and Gerrard where the streetcar makes another turn.

a young man stands beside a stroller outside Jenny's Convenience store on Parliament street, large red and white sign with kit kat logo on it twice - once at each end

below: Another convenience store on a corner on Gerrard.  This time there is also a construction site in the picture!  Are there more construction sites than variety stores or vice versa in this city?

from the streetcar window, a food mart on the corner and construction across the street from it.

people sitting on a TTC street car, three people, two women and a man.

below: Looking south on Broadview at Gerrard.

Broadview looking south from Gerrard with utility poles and lots of wires, people crossing the street, some traffic, the clears with the sign with a red cross on it

below:  The 506 streetcar passes through Chinatown East (the area around Broadview & Gerrard) where many of the old houses are also businesses.

older houses turned into businesses on the ground floor, two semis with Chinese businesses, one is Ly Ly beauty salon

below: The southeast corner of Broadview and Gerrard now has an A & W restaurant which seems like an intruder in an otherwise Chinese/Asian section of town.

looking at the southeast corner of Broadview and Gerrard with a large A and W restaurant on the corner. Beyond that, the other stores and restaurants are Chinese

below: At the intersection of Gerrard and Carlaw, where the railway passes over the roads, the walls have been freshly painted.  The north wall is a series of abstract shapes and colours like this.

a person in an electric wheelchair, or motorized scooter, passes by a wall that is covered with street art, traveling on the sidewalk

below: The new painting incorporates the older art that was there. In the center of the newly painted rectangles are two grey shapes, these are originals.  They are part of a 1996 installation by Dereck Revington called ‘Blue Fire’.  There is still a plaque that describes these aluminum pieces as “a constellation of five paired aluminum fragments etched with traces of a poem by Robin Blaser and suspended from the entrances to the underpass”.   Strange grey shapes (flames?) on dirty white concrete.  Regardless of what you think of the concept, the reality is that it was drab.

part of a railway overpass has been painted with street art

below: Lead artist Kirsten McCrea (also known as Hello Kirsten) and her assistants, Victoria Day & Julian Palma, have certainly brightened up the space!  The south wall is a series of frames pictures of hands holding flowers.   As seen from across the street ….

railway underpass street art, seen throughthe supporting concrete arches, paintings of hands holding flowers, framed

below: … and from close up

a dark brown hand holding a sprig of small light purple flowers

below: And lastly, the end support wall of the overpass where the flowers and the stylized shapes come together.

painting on a concrete pillar of a railway overpass, a rose with leaves, stem, and thornes, a collage of abstract shapes and

below: Store signs near Pape including the bilingual Italy Hair Design – but not in Italian!

store fronts on Gerrard including one that is painted bright green, signs over the doors including the Italy hair design store with sign in English and Chinese

below: With remnants of the past such as string of pennants faded to grey….

old three storey brick building with big bay windows on the upper two floors. Ground floor is a store or restaurant with bright red door and yellow metal bars over the windows

below: … or an old street sign still attached to the building.

side of an old brick building with stone features, an old street sign on the building Gerrard Street, now a law office with signs in the windows

below: After Greenwood, the 506 streetcar passes through Little India before it turns north on Coxwell.

food and containers on a table outside a store, with pink and green floral table cloth

below:  In the late afternoon and evening, Little India is much more lively.  Many shops sell food on the street – roasted corn on the cob (a pile is ready to cook on the green table here) as well as south Asian foods.   To the right of the corn is a bundle of sugar cane.

Mumbai Paan shop on Gerrard Street in Little India with a barbeque on the sidewalk, a bucket of corn and a pile of sugar cane

These few kilometres on a streetcar route have opened a small but fairly typical cross section of the city starting with the newer, taller, shinier center.  There’s quite a bit of multiculturalism, some history, and some colourful new art.   It’s a story that plays out all over the city in many similar yet different forms.  Familiar but unique.

 

below: Searching for a story? 😇

three people looking into the sun. Two are shielding their eyes with their hands, wearing sunglases, looking slightly upwards as if searching for something.

 

In Graffiti Alley to be more specific.

Recently, a few pasteups have appeared in Graffiti Alley that are either text based or have a lot of words written on them.

One series consists of posters with sayings credited to A.J. Maldo whose instagram page calls the work “Poetry for the Mind, Body, Soul”.  You’ll find many more of these positive messages if you follow the instagram link.  I saw three in Graffiti Alley yesterday. 

a poster with a saying or perhaps poes credited to A.J. Maldo

“A simple notion to reveal an ocean, without commotion, you can swim in stride if only you tried, even in times of waves, be confident, you have what it takes.”

.

a poster with a saying or perhaps poes credited to A.J. Maldo

“Dig in deep where beauty grows, see in you where the magic rose, your soul is at stake, no time to waste, choose your fate, inside it waits.”

.

on a wall in Graffiti Alley, a poster with a saying or perhaps poes credited to A.J. Maldo, with a woman in a turquoise sari walking past

“It’s not easy realizing that you’re the one who has been holding you back this entire time.”

The next paste-up, seen up high on a wood utility pole, is by hnr_hnr (aka Henrique Nobrega from Brazil).  You probably recognize the girl in the picture.  I am not sure what the words say but the text starts with “girl” and ends with “half woman”.    A lot of Nobrega’s paintings and stickers involve words.

on a wood utility pole, a picture of the girl in the Vermeer painting with words written part in English and part in Dutch over her face

below: The woman and the text/symbols below her are both by Nobrega.  The words talk about ups and downs and enjoying the ride in this cosmic world.

six paper paste up graffiti pieces, four with mens faces in profile with top of head missing but eye beside the chin, one with black woman in profile with yellow over her face, and one with words and symbols

And last is this hand written note, a poem.   By ending with this one, I am ending on a down note but c’est la vie, swim in stride, it’s all part of the ride.

hand written note on white paper written in pen, pasted onto wall in Graffiti Alley

A Thought without Warmth
More powerful a trauma
a wound of fright
Most and all the sadness
in the darkness with
no light
To be alone
alone in the night
[a drawing of an open book of paper matches]

***

I am me!

Slaps, stickers and paste-ups in Kensington.

below: Stickers on a pole

slaps on a pole in Kensington, people on bikes in the background.

below: Ohhhh, Portland is burning

slaps stickers on a pole, top one is Portland is burning with man pasting sign to wall, another has a man with a fat chin and mouth open in O shape.

below: Feelings boi hanging out on a wall with a morose pot belly poop

feelings boi pasteup beside a pot belly pop pasteup on a wall

below: Riding zebras in pairs

two copies of a small pasteup of a yellow figure riding a zebra

below: The words flow. “She clasped my face in her bones and kissed silence into my mouth” a quote by Amiri Bakara

pasteup on a wall, of a skull looking down at a man's head, who is looking up at skull, Letters are between the two mouths. words written below the man

below: Four urban ninja squadrons and a couple arguing

5 black and white paste ups on a wall in Kensington, four are urban ninja squadron and the the fifth is of a couple arguing, him on the left and her on the right, in the middle between them dark angry figures come nose to nose

below:  Even aliens check their phones.

sticker on a grey box on sidewalk, little figure, martian alien like, with head mostly one eyeball, human shape,

below: An ad, a drawing, and some knowledge

parts of a few different posters and drawings on a wall, a man in a red shirt on blue background which is part of an ad is on the left, a drawing of three naked women is in the middle (but is faint and hard to see), and a drawing on yellow labelled knowledge

below:  Black and white photos of people’s faces with the eyes missing.

black and white photos of faces, cut and manipulated to remove the eyes, i.e. forehead lowered to cover eyes

below:  More missing eyes, but this time some of the faces have eyes.   For the latter, the faces are composites

black and white photos of peoples faces. Some have eyes from a different person inserted, others have eyes removed by lowering of forehead

below:  One is blind and one is the merging of three.  I’ll leave it to you to figure out if it’s three different people, or the same person photographed three times.

large black and white faces on grey metal box on sidewalk, one side has person with eyes missing and the other side is a face made of a composite of at least three different faces

below: Urban ninja with Grey Owl and its large (and very sharp looking) talons

urban ninja squadron sticker with hooded ninja character with arm up, and owl on forearm, owl has face of Donald Trump

below: Go vegan for her. A pig’s eye?

sticker on a pole that says go vegan for her, shows one eye of a pig, on pole near drawings of other eyes

Those are what I saw today.  You could probably walk Kensington and see others.   Many are hard to miss but keep your eyes open for the little things in unusual places!

Recently, Art Eggleton Lane, south off Harbord Street, was the site of the third annual butterfly laneway painting project organized by Nick Sweetman with help from StreetARToronto and the David Suzuki Foundation.

below: Putting the finishing touches on a mural that was a collaboration between Nick Sweetman and Christina Mazzulla

Nick Sweetman on a ladder adding the finishing touches, with spray paint, to a large mural of butterflies on the side of a garage in a lane. Another ladder leans against the same wall, boxes and can of spray paint on the ground. On the same garage, there is a colourful mural on the garage door

three butterfly murals on three garage doors in an alley

below: Bird on a branch with butterflies in the background by luvsumone, muisca, and Javid Jah.  This mural is on the same garage as theone with the three butterflies on the left in the photo above.

painted mural in a lane, butterflies behind a large bird

spray painted mural in a lane, purple butterfly,on bright green, covering two doors

below: Black line butterflies on a wood fence by Oriah Scott

spray painted mural in a lane, butterfly and circle, on wood fence, by Oriah Scott,

below: This mural gives the impression that the butterfly is as vast as the universe, flying with the stars.

a very large butterfly on a mural on a grage door, wild colours in blues and red, It looks like the butterfly is superimposed on the whole universe

below: She becomes a butterfly in orange and pink, by Anya Mielniczek

spray painted mural in a lane, woman lying on her back, orange face with pink features,

below: In the foreground, a rainbow wasp moth by @drippin_soul aka Kalkidan Assefa

butterfly murals painted on garage doors in an alley

below: Butterflies in bubbles in a futuristic world by Sadar aka blazeworks

painted mural on a garage door in a lane, butterfly,

below: Butterflies and milkweed by Mique

painted mural in a lane, butterflies and milkweed plants

below: Chris Perez working on his mural

a man on a short ladder spray painting a mural on a garage door in an alley, Chris Perez

below: Sunset mural by @roshnisart aka Roshni Wijayasinha

sunset mural in pinks and blues by Roshnisart

below: Another face, with eyes closed as the butterflies flutter around, by @curtia aka Curtia Wright

mural on a garage door with large pink face, eyes closed, butterflies flying around

below: Triangles put together to form a butterfly, by CTR (aka Christian)

two butterfly murals in an alley

below: Another butterfly mural, this one is by Pascal Paquette

butterfly mural by Pascal Paquette

below: A multitude of butterflies around another pink face by MCK Studios aka Meaghan Claire Kehoe

spray painted mural in a lane, butterflies, lots of butterflies around a pin face by M C K studio

below: An abstracted butterfly (or more?) by Jacquie Comrie

painted mural in a lane, butterfly, very abstract, by Jacquie Comrie

below: Two monarch butterflies on a bright blue background, each with a flower of its own, by Leyland Adams

a mural with two monarch butterflys by a flower, bright blue background, garage door

below: A butterfly amongst small red flowers, by Phillip Saunders

small red flowers growing in bunches, in a mural, along with a butterfly, on a garge door

below: A stylized and very angular butterfly by Andre Kan

monarch butterfly, mural in alley

below: A gnarly yellow creature by Braes

braes butterfly mural on garage door

gigantic butterfly head and antenae

stylized butterfly with lots of colours and spots, on a garage door

below: An orange tiger lily flower with both a butterfly and a hummingbird interested in it, a mural by c_mack2.0 aka toner2

mural on a garage door in an alley, large purple and black butterfly, an orange tiger lily flower and a hummingbird

painted mural in a lane, butterfly in pale blue behind a man's head. Man in oranges and blues, wearing sunglasses

below: Large yellow butterfly

spray painted mural in a lane, large yellow butterfly,

The previous two butterfly laneway projects are
2018, Felstead Lane
2017, Butterflyways, by Garrison Creek Park

a mother and daughter walking down an alley

On the east side of 1533 Dundas West there is a large mural, partially obscured by trees but easily visible from the street. It was painted last year by Jieun June Kim, Pablo West and Giovanni Zamora as part of a cultural exchange between (Toronto) Canada and (Valparaiso) Chile.

large mural on the side of a building beside green space, with a couple of trees in front

It can also be seen at the new Dundas West Museum. This is an open air museum that features the murals and street art in the area  bounded by Lansdowne Avenue on the west, College Street on the north, Bathurst Street on the east and the Union Pearson Express railway tracks on the south.  They are brand new – their official launch was just this past week.   Check their website for more information about the murals and the artists who created them.

part of a mural by Jieun June Kim, Pablo West, and Giovanni Zamora, a male guitar player, with large brim hat, on background made of multicoloured cubes on point

part of a mural, two women musicians, a trumpet player and a violin player

violin player in mural along with woman playing a drum with her eys closed and head bent forward