Archive for the ‘graffiti and street art’ Category

Graffiti Alley keeps drawing me back to see if there are any changes.    What is new and what has disappeared.   To see who is hanging out in the lane today and have a silent chuckle or two at the tourists.

below: Sunny days in Graffiti Alley

a woman carries an open blue umbrella on a sunny day as she walks down Graffiti Alley

below: Let’s Eat Sandwiches Together Forever, by elicser, seems to have been refreshed recently.

let's eat sandwiches together forever, a mural by elicser, with people and sandwiches, people in the middle are hugging

a mother and daughter walk down Graffiti Alley, past a lrge mural of a young man by Janus

below: He’s pointing to the sky because he’s giving us a detailed weather forecast.

a man in a yellow vest is talking in Graffiti Alley

below: The last time that I walked down Graffiti Alley, elicser was in the midst of painting this door.

a mural of a person in an old fashioned aviator's helmet and goggles, and wearing a blue dress, on a door in an lane
a mural of a person in a gas mask (spray paint mask) on a door in an lane with pink on either side

below: Hello!

a woman sits on a window sill on a building iin Graffiti Alley as a man takes her picture

below: Montreal and Toronto and the writing in between.

text street art with the words Montreal and Toronto written in the top corners

below: A lovebot of a different sort.  Almost unrecognizable except for that heart.  Only lovebot has a heart like that.

lovebot street art

below: A large carp painted by Nick Sweetman.  A fish out of water.

a large carp mural by Nick Sweetman in Graffiti Alley

below: Broken window

orange door and street art in Graffiti Alley

below: Pink roses and words of love and encouragement (and a little bit of flattery).  The future is bright and do more of what makes you happy.

pink roses and words about love on a mural

below: A new poser bunny at Portland Place

a poser bunny on a wall

below: Toronto Blue Jays vs. stencils are wack

street art painting of a street artist in grey hoody and mask, hoody has Toronto blue jays logo, but someone has used black marker to write words on hoody say Stencils are wack

below: Walking past the praying mantis which is memorial to Jesse.

people in graffiti alley with a large pink praying mantis mural

below: Rat and a spray paint can can’t keep the eyes in their heads.

below: Unfortunately, part of the uber5000 wintertime Toronto mural has been tagged over.

below: Honk! honk! An uber5000 yellow bunny offers a donut

A man avoids the puddles in the lane as he walks past an uber5000 mural of a yellow birdie with a donut, birdie is driving a little orange car

below: Starbursts (or flowers, or just interesting shapes) in pink and yellow

part of a painting on a metal garage door of two starburst shapes, one in pink and one in yellow

below: The elephant isn’t in the room, it hasn’t made it down the stairs yet.

graffiti above and below a diagonal metal staircase, an elephant above the stairs and a dog below. The dog is saying woof

below:  A collaboration between immortalwales and kyleghostkeeper.   Both are tattoo artists and they both have instagram accounts if you are interested in seeing their work.

woman wearing a white head scarf and large glasses, with red lips

The summer of the heat continues into August.  It’s still hot and humid.   But it was also the long August weekend, Simcoe Day or something like that,  so there was lots happening around the city.

I went searching for breezes and I walked on the shady side of the street as much as possible, often as the drops of sweat ran down my back.  A few stops in air conditioned stores (indoor window shopping) and a cold drink break or two made the days bearable.  It helped that, as usual, there was lots to see!

below: Be curious … and stay curious.

on a graffiti covered wall, a stikman picture with the words be curious written across it in white

below: Jumping skate boarders at Dundas and Bathurst

two young men skate boarding, both jumping at the same time, arm in air,

below: Casimir Street mural on Dundas (near Bathurst)

a man cycles past a pale yellow house on Dundas St that has has a bright coloured mural across the bottom of it, text, in blues and pinks

below: Sitting by the pool

a man site on a bench, in silhouette, with an outdoor pool in the background with people sitting around it

below: A shady spot for reading.

a woman sits outside a coffee shop reading a book. the window of the coffee shop is open and there are 4 people sitting inside

below: A front yard full of tall yellow flowers

many tall yellow flowering plants in the front yard of a white house

below: Not everyone has a green thumb.  A rose is still a rose even in death.

outside a window with white window frame, on beige house, a plant pot with dead roses

below: An even sadder window sits behind a metal fence.  Plywood.  Waiting for demolition.

behind a metal fence, an old house with a boarded up window

below:  Sitting in the painted window, Graffiti Alley. It looked like they were filming a music video.  I’m not too sure what they thought of me (I didn’t think that I was disturbing them, long lens used).

graffiti alley, a group is shooting a music video, black man in on window sill lip synching the words while a woman films

below: A quiet spot for a cigarette.

a man with a yellow t shirt sits on a back step in an alley and smokes a cigarette

below: Red hot.

a man leans against the wall in a doorway of a building, the building is all red including the doors

below: An old mattress and head board lean against the side of a house.  Great juxtaposition here as the mural is called ‘Lust’

an old mattress and white head board lean against the wall, outside, of a house that has a large mural painted on it of legs with feet in bright red high heeled shoes

below: Jelly window on Queen West – What is a modern doughnut? Especially one spelled the old fashioned way? The store was closed, so it’s still a mystery.  Beautiful painting on the door.

front window of Jelly, a modern doughnut store on Queen West, small tree in front of it

below: Cycling in the jungle.  I say ‘jungle’ because I see the lion and think “King of the jungle” but lions don’t live in the jungle so maybe I need to rethink that caption.  Cyclist as prey?  Bikes on safari?

a bike is parked beside a mural with a lion on it

below: Prince is now at Kensington Market. A purple Prince.

a poster with the picture of Prince on it, on a pole, up high beside sign saying Kensington Market

below: Graffiti in Kensington. Frowning while watching them fight. Little black figures with rifles. Are they angels that are shooting back or devils?

graffiti, black stencils of men with rifles and angles with rifles, shooting at each other, about 20 to 25 of them on a wall beside a brown frowning face drawn on yellow

below: More violence. What happens when you pull this pin?

small black stencil of a hand grenade on a fence, the top of the grenade is a girl's head in profile, with a ponytail

below: It’s wedding season which mean wedding photo season.  Picture perfect.

a bride adjusts the groom's collar, long white dress with lacey sleeves and veil tied back on the bride. groom is in a blue suit

below: Or maybe even wondering why?  (I hope not!)

a bed of flowers in a garden, red and white begonias. The red flowers make the shape of a question mark. In the background are a bride in a white dress and a groom having their wedding photos taken.

below: Honest graffiti

behind a green hedge is a wall with graffiti on it

below: Blue wall in rectangles of glass.

three two storey houses on a street with a tall building behind with blue windows, mostly glass

below: Missing a black glove anyone? Tucked behind the wire.

a black glove has been left on some wires by a wall with street art on it

below: Lots of wires.

a utility pole with a lot of wires coming out from the top of it in front of a pale grey wall with a window that is reflecting the blue sky

below: Reflections and lots of stuff including the painted lady in the House of Energy, Augusta Avenue.  Life.

window of a store in Kensington market area, mannequin sitting cross legged that has been painted

below:  Death. How many skulls in the window?

skulls and other things in a shop window, with a bike parked outside

below: Lots of smiles

two faces, black line painted on a white background, smiling faces,

I’ll be smiling more once the temperatures cool. I think that it’s been hot long enough that I can complain about it – perhaps even long for winter? How Canadian of me!  In the meantime, as long as there is shade I’ll keep walking (and sweating!).

below: Waiting for the green light.

a group of scantily clad black women wait to cross University Ave

More words!

below: You’re awesome!

large white letter across a roof line that say you're awesome

below: Embrace peculiarity

side a garage plus wood fence beside it painted with abstractr shapes in reds and oranges, with the words embrace peculiarity written in blue cursive writing

below: Love will win 🙂

on the side of a grey metal box, written in black, with a smiley face under the words, love will win

below: I love you!

graffiti on a brick wall, red heart with words I love you, instead of the word love there is a white heart

below: A mural with a pink skate boarding raccoon with a hockey stick and a Blue Jays baseball cap.  Also words of encouragement (or at least that’s how I’m going to interpret them today), Keep Pushin.  It’s actually an ad for Kadence World, a store that is opening up on Ossington, a place where art, music, and skate boarding all converge.

large yellow letters that say keep Pushin, on a mural with a pink raccoon wearing a blue jays baseball cap, looking at a wrist watch with a dollar sign on the face,

below: And last, a final Buh Bye

yellow stencil on a sidewalk, in cursive writing, buh bye

A new mural in town,
Equilibrium, by Okuda San Miguel, aka Okudart

below: As seen from Sherbourne street.  It’s tall!  23 storeys tall in fact.  Not just a new mural but also a new landmark.

a man walks up Sherbourne street, on the sidewalk, past a vacant lot, in the background is the back of some older brick buildings and beyond that is a tall building with a mural on it, equilibrium by okudart

below: As seen from Allan Gardens.

Allan Gardens conservatory with its glass dome roof in the foreground, tall buildings in the background. The side of one of the background buildings has a colourful mural on it with a rainbow striped background

below: It’s painted on the side of the Parkside student residence (once the Primrose Hotel) on the SW corner of Jarvis and Carlton streets.   It looks finished although the ropes and lifts are still in place.  No one was painting when I walked past this afternoon.  The artist, Okudart, has already signed the piece.

car stopped at street light at Carlton and Jarvis. Behind the car is a very tall mural, bright colours, geometric shapes, some human like figures too, with blue conical noses, equilibrium by okudart

below: The very top portion.  A blue conical beak and feathery wings on a female human like figure who is sitting on three large heads.

very top part of mural, equilibrium by okudart

below: Just a bit lower on the mural – more beaks but this time they look like carrots.  A black and white globe with a mouth in Africa.  One blue eye in the Atlantic Ocean and one orange eye in Asia.   Is that a man on the left?

middle section of mural, equilibrium by okudart

below: Under the globe another female figure with a blue nose.  Nude but discreetly so.

lower portion of equilibrium by okudart

The background of the mural consists of large rainbow coloured stripes on top and black on the bottom.  These were painted by local artists before Okudart finished the piece.

below: Street level

street level part of mural, equilibrium by okudart

below: The church across the street does not have stained glass windows.  The colours are reflections from the mural.

part of mural, equilibrium by okudart, reflected in church windows across the street from it

part of mural, equilibrium by okudart, reflected in church windows across the street from it

The mural was part of the STEPS Initiative Program and it also involved StART (StreetARToronto), the owners of the residence, and a number of other partners.

July is still hot and still humid.  Not complaining though – it’s just part of my excuse as to why I haven’t posted much recently.  Yesterday morning I managed to get myself out the door around 7:30 so I could walk comfortably – without drowning in sweat.

below: Getting ready to walk.

looking out the window of a Starbucks, backwards writing on the window, a dog tied to a tree, a bike,

I followed the morning light but still trying to stay away from places that are too familiar.   The following pictures are in no particular order.

below: With hands on hips, in an alley near Queen & John.

a woman walks down an alley, away from the camera, metal fire escape staircase is above her, brick buildings beside her

below: Vincent Van Gogh has taken up a position on Dundas Street across from the AGO.  This 8′ x 8′ sculpture sits in front of the Mayberry Fine Art gallery.  It is the work of Saskatchewan artist Joe Fafard who recently had an exhibit at that gallery. Fafard has other works in the city – he is the artist that produced “The Pasture” which is the seven life-sized bronze cows outside TD Centre.  I don’t have a photo of the cows for this blog post, but if you don’t know the piece (or want to see it again), here is a link to an article about them.

large square blue and yellow artwork that looks like the face of Vincent Van Gogh in front of a building with pillars and front steps. A young woman is walking by

below: A large flower in an alley doorway.

painting of a large flower on a door in an alley

below: Beside the flower is a black and blue butterfly.

spray paint street art mural of a blue and black butterfly

below: A heart bursting with colour on Cayley Lane.

garage and garage door painted in mural with a red heart in the center, surrounded by pink, purple and blue triangles

below: Black face, white face. What emoji face are these?

graffiti on wall and on wood pole, both are faces with mouth and two round eyes

below: Harriet Boulton Smith is the ceremonial name for the section of John Street between Queen Street West and Stephanie Street.  Harriet Smith was the last owner of “The Grange” and Grange Park.  When she died in 1910, she left her home and seven acres of land to the Art Museum of Toronto (AMT).  The site is now the home of the Art Gallery of Ontario.  She also bequeathed the family art collection to the AMT.    This section of John Street was once the driveway to the Grange.

Toronto street sign for John Street, also called Harriet Boulton Smith Way

below: He lost his head in the lane.

a headless cardboard cut out of a Toronto Blue Jay baseball player, in a doorway, in a lane.

below: Taking the bathroom stall with him.  The toilet paper holder is empty though.

a man carries a metal divider from a bathroom, with toilet paper roll holder still attached, carrying it on his shoulder

below: One of my favorite windows.  Sunday was the day of the French vs Croatia soccer/football World Cup game and there was a group of France supporters gathering on Peter Street to watch the game.  Apparently the party after the game, celebrating France’s victory, spilled out onto the street afterwards but unfortunately I missed it.

the window of Nickys coffee shop, on red brick wall, with two women walking past, both are carrying French flags

below: Old rusty metal barrels and butterflies.

a tree grows behind old rusty metal barrels and a wall painted blue with little butterflies painted on it.

below: The ice cream “mane” is still there.  I frequently walk down an alley and wonder if I’ve ever been this way before… and then I spot an old friend and recognize where I am.  That was the case when I spotted the ice cream guy (mane?  why mane?).  I think he dates from 2014.

street art painting in a laneway of a man in white uniform and hat, holding popsicle in one hand and ice cream cone in the other, words say ice cream mane

below: Same alley as the ice cream man, perhaps the same vintage originally?  The white swirls and the ‘love’ came after I think.

old street art, paint fading, of a blue man's face, and the word love

below: 24 hour public parking on the large sign, private parking on the small pink one but no one’s parking there anyhow.

parking lot, white wall behind, parking lot attendant booth covered in signs, 24 hour public parking, private parking,

below: Pasteups on plywood hoardings.  A love love love lovebot and a blessed urban ninja squadron amongst others.

paste ups on plywood hoardings,

below: Reflections

reflections of City TV building in a puddle

below: Large mural behind Queen Street West (south side) featuring queens of different sorts – cards, chess and people at the minimum.  “Queen Street West” designed and painted by Christiano De Araujo near the end of 2017.

large mural on the side of a building in an alley, theme is Queen Street west, queen of hearts heart, musicians,

below: Looking south on Soho Street towards Queen.  On the right is the new Mountain Equipment Coop store under construction.

looking down street towards Queen Street West

below: Street art in the greenery

street art in an alley

below: Lines. Electrical lines.  Horizontal lines of the stairs.  Vertical lines of the buildings.

metal staircase on upper level, street lights, electrical wires,

below: The next two photos are of a large mural on the back of a new building.  The first picture shows the figures on the right hand side of the mural.  Figures in action.

below: The Umbra building is clad with vertical lines made from a material that takes on different colours depending on the light.

building, umbra store, vertical lines on exterior of a material that changes colour depending on the light

below: Who is she?

below: Bent metal bracket

bent metal bracket on a white (painted) wood utility pool

Today, Monday, the sky looks stormy.  Perhaps a good thunderstorm will take away the humidity.  Whatever the weather, I’ll be back soon!

It was quieter than usual when I walked down Graffiti Alley today.

  There were some guys painting a new street art piece

a street art piece in progress, man spray painting,

below: Elicser (and someone else) painting

elicser paints a person on a wall, another man is beside him, also spray painting street art in Graffiti Alley

The first thing that happened on my walk was that I was yelled at by the woman inside this ‘tent’. She obviously didn’t like the camera in my hand so she screamed how was stalking her and harassing her. So I took a picture.

graffiti on the wall

Not the best way to start a walk. Grump. Grump.  But it could have been the heat and humidity….

graffiti of a star with a frown

Or maybe because it was the day that Doug Ford officially became premier of Ontario.

Or maybe because someone has littered Graffiti Alley with numerous stencils of this kind…. this is the largest.

Mood – it certainly affects the way you look at the world. Grump. Grump.
Then along comes a little lovebot to make you smile.

stickers on a metal box, urban ninja squadron, also one with words that say Choose people who choose you

graffiti on a wall, and orange door with graffiti and stickers, Graffiti Alley

And maybe all is okay after all.

Caterpillars and butterflies is the theme of the latest laneway painting project.  A year ago, Nick Sweetman led a group of street artists who painted garage doors in a lane near Garrison Creek park with pictures of butterflies.   These murals appeared in blog post in June 2017

This year’s project was similar.   Many of the same artists were involved again this year.  They used garages, fences and gates in a lane near Felstead Park (a block south of Greenwood subway station) as their canvas.  Once again, the theme was butterflies as it too was part of the David Suzuki Foundation’s butterflyways project.  This time, a similar blue background was used in all the murals which has given it a more unified appearance.

a lane with many painted garage doors, butterfly murals, summer time, green leaves, lots of trees, two people walking

The project was curated by Nick Sweetman and it had the support of Start aka StreetARToronto

below: Felstead Park, by @braes_ack

title mural on a garage door, Felstead Park murals, butterflies

below: In the shadow of the weed are the letters CTR

geometric, angular butterflies

below: Mural signed by Kehoe, the face of David Suzuki

a butterfly and a face merged into one, the eyes look out over the top of the red and yellow wings

below: Green and yellow toadstools by mska

mural by mska on a garage door and fence, green and yellow toadstools

below: Mural by @oriah_scott

two large butterflies in a mural by @oriah_scott

below: butterfly among the pink and red flowers, by P.S. aka Phillip Saunders

large pink butterfly with pink and red flowers by P.S.

below: A sombre dark piece (is it finished?) by @poserabm

dark grey and brown painting, one small butterfly by poserabm

below: Three butterflies by Serina

butterfly mural by serina

below: Collaboration – A monarch painted by Nick Sweetman and a wonderful rose by Wales

mural by Nick Sweetman, large realistic looking butterfly and a large pinkish rose

below: A bright and busy mural by Spyone and Tensoe

mural on a wood fence - butterflies and flowers

monarch butterfly painted on a garage door

below: The hookah-smoking caterpillar from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” is crawling across the fence.  Painted by elicser

caterpilar

below: Red panda out on a limb, perhaps chasing the butterfly, by Ted Hamer (@The1astRonin)

an animal (possum, red panda?), walks out on a tree branch towards a blue butterfly, mural on a fence

below: A butterfly in the garden; the work of Anya Mielniczek

mural running horizontally across garage, garage door and adjoining fence, butterflies and flowers

below: Two flowers, one pink and one blue, by Chris Perez

blue flower painted on a garage door, by @chrispperez

below: It looks  a lot like a skull on the back of this butterfly painted by @cmazzulla aka Christine Mazzulla

colourful butterfly mural on a garage door, blue background

below: A curled up caterpillar in pink and black, very larger than life!, by Spud.

a large pink and black caterpilar curled up on a garage door - mural

below: By Dezed, a butterly, mushrooms, and a bit of water

butterly mural, pond, mountains in the background, pinkish sky

below: Reaching out to the butterfly, giving the butterfly a helping hand, painted by @drippin_soul (Kalkidan Assefa)

a mural by @drippin_soul of a hand reaching towards a blue butterfly

below: On the right, Emma, the property owner’s dog who died recently.  Nick Sweetman painted the dog while @mr_tensoe2 painted the dog’s name

geometric striped butterfly with a dog head beside it. above dog is written the word Emma