Archive for the ‘graffiti and street art’ Category

More of the bents holding up the road that passes over Underpass Park in Corktown are in the process of being painted.  Back in 2015, the bents and pillars on the west side of Lower River Street were painted as part of the Pan Am games preparations.   The latest mural project involves the bents closer to St. Lawrence Street.

below: Looking east towards Lower River Street, skateboarders in the park behind a mural by Chief Ladybird and Aura. In the background is a pink elephant by Christopher Ross.

people at Underpass Park, under the expressway, with pillars painted in murals, guys on skateboards,

Thirteen bents by seventeen artists have just been completed, or are in the process of being painted for this project.  The artists are:  Al Runt, Andrew Dexel, Annie Hamel, Aura, Chief Lady Bird, Carlos Delgado, FONKi, GAWD, Jill Stanton, Kalkidan Assefa (aka Drippin_soul), Lacey & Layla Art, Meaghan Claire Kehoe, OMEN,  Ness Lee,  Rob Matejka  Anya Mielniczek

a large blue face mural, horizontal, looking down at the park below

below: As Al Runt works on his mural, he is reflected in the mirrors above him.

a man is painting a mural on a concrete bent at Underpass park, up on a lift, he is reflected in the mirrors on the ceiling of the park, Al Runt

below: Some faces by Carlos Delgado

conrete pillar in Underpass park that has been painted with large orangish toned faces, by Carlos Delgado

below: A social gathering around the mural painted by Annie Hamel… although the youngest one seems to want to join the skateboarders instead.

a group of people is having a small party in Underpass park, standing around a concrete bent that has recently been painted with a mural by Annie Hamel

below: I’m not sure why they would choose this location for their photo shoot when they are covering the mural with a grey screen.

a photo shoot in underpass park, grey screen in front of a mural covered bent, a woman in workout clothes, men behind the camera

below:   A face in orange and purple tones by @drippin_soul aka Kalkidan Assefa

a mural of a woman's face in orange and purple tones, large, purple lips, on a concrete pillar, with young woman sitting in the park in the background

below: One side of the bent painted by Lacey & Layla Art

cars parked under a bent that has been painted with a wrinkly brown man's face wearing glasses

below: And the other.  The mural is accompanied by a Robert Browning quote: “Grow old with me, the best is yet to be.”

urban open space under a bent that has been painted with a wrinkly brown man's face

below: At the far west end, a gruesome spike being plunged into a heart.

A concrete bent in an underpass that is a hand holding a large spike that is being plunged into a bleeding heart. Cars are parked underneath

The project is managed by Mural Routes and is part of the StreetARToronto Partnership Program in collaboration with the Corktown Residents and Business Association, the City of Toronto Parks Department, and Relay 2017 – Friends of the PanAm Path.

below: Just starting, background figures in white

a person stands on an elevated platform and looks at the white outline that they have made in preparation for painting the bent white, the beginnings of a mural

***

This is the fourth blog post about the murals at Underpass Park.  Others are:

First stage of the project (Pan Am games),  in two posts:
Underpass Park  July 2015
People Overhead  July 2015

The next stage were the pillars along the sidewalk on the west side of Lower River Street
New neighbours at Underpass Park, Oct 2016

 

 

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

Over the past few weeks I’ve seen a number of new pasteups of people – or at least they are new to me.  The first three are ones that I spotted in Graffiti Alley yesterday.   I am not sure if they are portraits of actual people.  You can see more of her work here on instagram.

poster street art of a black woman's head and shoulders. She is wearing a head scarf that is striped fabric wound round her head. The words on the poster say Diversity is Hope

poster street art of a black woman's head and shoulders, 3/4 angle. She is wearing a head scarf that is patterned fabric wound round her head. The words on the poster say Diversity is Hope

poster street art of a black woman's head and shoulders, 3/4 angle. She is wearing dreadlocks. The words on the poster say Diversity is Hope

The other series of portraits that I have seen are of musicians.  I do not know who the artist is.

below: Woody Guthrie with his fascist killing guitar.  He is on Queen West near Graffiti Alley.

black and white paste up of Woody Guthrie standing, holding onto his guitar that has the words This machine kills fascists, written on it.

below: Gord Downie outside number 28.  He is near Ossington and Dundas.

a black and white image of Gord Downie from Barenaked Ladies group, wearing his hat, outside a blue door at number 28

below: Joni Mitchell is also on Queen West.

a black and white pasteup of Joni Mitchell playing her guitar and singing

below: A younger Leonard Cohen

a black and white pasteup of an image of a male guitar player, young man, on a grey wall

The last person is just someone weird pasted onto a door.  I don’t think that he’s anyone in particular.   He seems to have a beard and a high collar but I could be wrong!

street art paste up of a man's head and shoulders, ugly, long beard, high collar, striped shirt

The next time you’re walking around downtown you can try people watching too!

 

 

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

Across the back of a row of stores in Port Union there are some doors that have been painted over with a mural.  These are some of them:

a maural painted on a wall and door, historic scene, women in period costume (early 1900s?) sitting on the grass with some baskets, old fashioned car behind them.

door at back of store covered with mural, grass, people on bikes, looks like bikes are headed to the door

 swan swimming in the lake, a mural on the back door of a KFC restaurant

They are all part of the same mural.  The mural is so big that I couldn’t get a picture of the whole thing unless I made a very long skinny panorama – which I decided against.   I think that you should get a good idea of what the whole mural looks like from the following set of photos.

below: The mural tells the story of Port Union starting with a First Nations settlement in the area.

part of a larger mural showing the story of Port Union - First Nations people in canoes on the river with teepees and people on the shore

part of a larger mural showing the story of Port Union - two brick buildings, houses, a group of women sitting outside with baskets on the ground, a vintage car

part of a larger mural showing the story of Port Union -

below: North end of the Port Union mural.  The mural faces the parking lot of a complex consisting of the Port Union Community Centre plus a library and Charlottetown park.

left side of a large mural showing the history of Port Union, first nations, first white settlers, up to the early 1900s

below: The railway comes to town.

part of a larger mural showing the story of Port Union - a steam engine pulls a train into the station

a woman pushing a stroller with a toddler in it, with 2 dogs on leashes walking in the park, a group is having a picnic in the background

part of a larger mural showing the story of Port Union - this time, the Port Union waterfront park is featured, cyclists on the bike path, a skateboarder, people enjoying the park, 3 entrances to the backs of stores, including Audreys flowers and Councillor Ron Moeser's office. a

below: And that brings us back to the swan and KFC at the south end of the mural.

two doors at the back of a KFC restaurant, lake side scene, a large white swan on one of the doors

two doors at the back of a KFC restaurant, lake side scene, a large white swan on one of the doors

This mural was painted by Blinc Studios and was part of Mural Routes.  Artists are: Allan Bender, John Nobrega, Azadeh Pirazimian, Jesse McCuaig, Chris Brown, Frances Potts, and Melissa Bessey.

Other blogs that feature doors can be found at Thursday Doors, courtesy of Norm 2.0.  (see the little blue link between the end of the blog post and the comments section).