Archive for the ‘graffiti and street art’ Category

Late in November, work was started on a new mural in Graffiti Alley

below: Working on the facial details

a man on a ladder painting a mural in Graffiti Alley,

below: The work in progress.

one man with video camera filming another man painting a mural in Graffiti Alley

It is a memorial (and tribute) to Mike “Wunder” Kennedy who was active in Toronto’s street art community.  He was the one who coordinated the painting of the large murals around Broadview and Gerrard that featured the seven new wonders of the world.  You can find pictures of these murals in a blog post from September 2016 .

below: Mike’s portrait when it was partially finished.

middle section of a partially painted mural, in honour of Mike Kennedy, his portrait.

The mural was painted by Getso, Sight, Arms, Wales, Tenso2, Braes, and CTRJ

 

painting the Mike Kennedy tribute mural

tribute memorial mural to Mike Kennedy in Graffiti Alley

below: The finished portrait.

Mike Kennedy portrait

mural, white dog, with a row of spray paint cans in front

I like to think that Mike would be happy with the results.

Recently I saw a blogTO article about “A massive Overwatch mural” that was being painted on King Street West.  I was curious so off I went to check it out.

below: Here is the mural.   Yes it’s big, but massive no.  When I think massive I think Phlegm’s mural at Yonge and St. Clair, or Adrian Hayles music murals near Yonge and College.   And whoa, what’s that in the bottom right corner?  This is an ad for a video game and this is a picture of Karya, one of the characters.   Under the heading of ‘you never know where things are going to lead’ – Overwatch is a multi-player team game where competitions are held and prizes won.  There is an Overwatch World Cup which was won by South Korea in both 2016 and 2017.  This year there was a Canadian team and they came second.  Yeah Canada!

mural on the side of a building with words join us overwatch. Blizzard entertainment is the sponsor. character from the game is featured.

below: Around the corner is another mural.  This one is painted onto the side of an old brick building by Omen514.  As you can see, it is part of the most recent ad campaign by Sick Kids Hospital to raise 1.3 billion dollars to rebuild the hospital starting with the building at Elm and Elizabeth streets.  The black and white of the mural matches the black and white of the video advertising.   Omen514 had help from Nick Sweetman, Earth Crusher, Poser, and Five S, all of whom are street artists as well.

mural on the side of an old building, black and white, by omen, an ad for Sick Kids hospital, 4 sick kids waiting for treatment.

below: … And another mural in the same neighbourhood.  This one is on the side of the Kiin restaurant (Thai) and as you can see, the name of the restaurant is in the mural.  Again, street art but not street art.  Whatever you choose to call it, it’s much more appealing than a blank grey wall.

mural on the side of Kiin restaurant, a purple elephant standing beside a river with four boats, flowers growing beside the river.

below:  Businesses, such as Champs Food Supplies pictured here, have been using murals to draw attention to themselves for a long time.

older small building Champs Food Supplies Ltd with a large new condo behind it, red car parked beside it, mural on the side wall

below:  It is still standing even as it’s being dwarfed by the condo developments around it.

older small building Champs Food Suplies Ltd with a large new condo behind it, red car parked beside it, mural on the side wall

below: And even farther back in time – This is the MacLean building that was built in 1914 (designed by George Wallace Gouinlock).  It is at 345 Adelaide St. West, and the sign is on the east side of building.   Hugh C. MacLean publications  was founded in 1909 by Hugh Cameron MacLean.  It published mostly trade journals such as ‘Footwear in Canada’. The company was bought by the Southam family and become Southam-Macleans… and then finally Southam Business Publications in 1964.  As it turns out, there were two MacLeans brothers in the publishing business,  Hugh and brother John Bayne MacLean who founded the MacLean publishing company that would eventually become MacLean Hunter – the home of MacLeans magazine before it was swallowed up by Rogers Media.

 

old brick building on Adelaide street, parking lot beside, cars in front, up on top storey (of 6) is an old ghost sign,two in one, one for Hugh C. Macleans publications and another that is too faded to read

below: This ghost sign is actually a double.    The words ‘head office’ can be seen by the word MacLean and there is a box to the left of that.  The number 33 is on the box and obviously means something.  I haven’t been able to decipher the rest of the sign.

old ghost sign,two in one, one for Hugh C. Macleans publications and anther that is too faded to read

And then there is street art that is just that, decorations on a wall.

mral on a low wall, two orange safety markes in front,

After I took the above photos and before I had finished writing this blog post, I came across another Sick Kids fundraising murals by the same artists as the one above.

below: Looking north up Broadview at Thompson street, just north of Queen.

mural on the side of an old building, black and white, by omen, an ad for Sick Kids hospital, 4 sick kids waiting for treatment.

below: The central portion of the mural.

mural on the side of an old building, black and white, by omen, an ad for Sick Kids hospital, 4 sick kids waiting for treatment.
below: In the mural the kids are collecting pieces of lumber, pipes, and concrete blocks.   This is similar to the ad where kids are “running through city streets and alleyways, gathering building materials and running to an empty piece of land ready for construction.” (source)

mural on the side of an old building, black and white, by omen, an ad for Sick Kids hospital, 4 sick kids waiting for treatment.

Tdot, an affectionate nickname for Toronto.

graffiti words, large, on a garage door in an alley, tdot,white on red background.

A lovely walk on a lovely afternoon discovering lovely things about love and affection.

below: Love but Think.

graffiti words on a garage door, love but think

stone statue of a girl seated, in front of a house that has a statue of Jesus in a niche in the outside wall as well as a ceramic religious scene

below: Mother and child.

under two hinges, on a post, in front yard of a house, a faded framed print of a mother and her baby

below: Batman and Robin, oh dear.

orange stencil, batman kissing robin the boy wonder

mural of a woman with very long wavy hair, side profile of her head and face, blue lips, blue eyelashes

below:  Some love is fleeting and some may be eternal but his love for Leila was never meant to last.

words on a garage door that say I love Leila. A big X is drawn through those words and beside it is written Honestly it wasn't meant to last

below: Even the insults sounded nice.  Except of course if the pizza had pineapple on it.

words scrawled on a wall in an alley that say Trump is a facist piece of pizza

below: And then there was this….  As it turns out these words are a line in the lyrics of a song but I’m still not sure why would write them on a door.

white words graffiti on a grey metal door that say When I do wrong I am with God

street art painting of a dragon, or monster, head with purple horns, green eye, and lots of teeth, seen from the side,

May all your walks be lovely!

It’s taken a few days, but here is the last (of three) of the blog posts featuring photos that I took this past weekend when I walked Graffiti Alley.

below: Levar Burton is my father, or at least that’s what’s written on the wrist.

mural in Graffiti Alley - a large blue hand the size of a door, with watch on wrist and words Levar Burton

below: Swimming with the octopi?  Or else she’s landed in hot water?  An other worldly mural by Planette.

mural in Graffiti Alley - by planette, a womanwearing face mask and helmet and in water up to arm pits, tentacles coming out of the water in front of her.

below: Mural by earth crusher,

mural in Graffiti Alley by earth crusher - man in black suit, white shirt and black tie, small rectangle machine head and a smart phone in each hand

below: How can it be evil if there is a cupcake and an ice cream cone? I think that Choo Choo the cat from Hanna Barbera’s Top Cat.

mural in Graffiti Alley - Choo Choo the cartoon pink cat from Hanna Barbera Top Cats,with white t-shirt on, Mike Myers evil character from movie, a cupcake and an ice cream cone

below: Huckleberry Hound seems to have reason to fear the cops.

mural in Graffiti Alley - cartoon dog in blue on door, with words run cops!

below: But everything is A OK with this guy!

cartoon character with pyramid shaped body, small black arms and large white hands, open mouth with red tongue = mural in Graffiti Alley

below: The hamburger probably isn’t coming out of the garbage bin! It doesn’t look like she’s too impressed with it though,.

below: @kyleghostkeeper, another tattoo artist. Red eyes, eyebrows, and lips but turquoise hair.

large woman's face, blue hair, re lips, over done make up

below: A stencil and a sticker.  Another @stick_tags  “Are you living your dream?” sticker.

stencil graffiti of a person in white coat

below: There’s a lot going on here – all small and not all noticed the first time in part because of the mess.  The cat, a small man screaming, and the words “just a pawn” written a few times.

graffiti in a doorway. stencil cat, words that say  just a pawn, stencil small man screaming

graffiti words on a wall in Graffiti Alley, bad man no take no selfie

There are always words written on walls.  Sometimes funny, sometimes profane, and sometimes just weird.  Today, we have comments about selfies and queer witches.   Both made me smile.

graffiti words stencilled on a wall that say Queer witches for a better tomorrow

mural in Graffiti Alley - person wearing gas mask and holding a spray paint can in outreached hand

The next two blog posts are also from Graffiti Alley.

In a little lane that runs south of Graffiti Alley towards Richmond Street, I found four paintings that I don’t think that I have seen before.  The first one is this very realistic eye that looks like it’s keeping close watch on the rat with the red heart.  It was painted by @soortattoo aka Suren Davtyon, a Russian tattoo artist from Moscow.  That is the ‘one’ in the blog title.

street art painting by soortattoo aka Suren Davtyon, a realistic eye looking to the side, to see a rat holding a red heart

The ‘three’ refers to the fact that the next three that were on the same wall are by the same person, @inkcanon, who is also a tattoo artist.  Portraits of three women.   The first one is blowing bubbles, very big bubbles.

street art painting by inkcanon of a woman blowing a large bubble with bubble gum, in shades of pink and blue

street art painting by inkcanon, a k a Nico, of a woman's portrait in profile, blond hair, grey tones in face, blue and pink background

street art painting by inkcanon of a woman with long hair, vines growing up on either side of her.

I wouldn’t have a staring contest with this guy if I were you.

When I walked down Graffiti Alley yesterday, I discovered quite a few new things that I hadn’t seen before.  There were too many for one blog post so I decided to concentrate on the little things this morning.

below: Little stickers stuck all over a piece of metal.  My favorite is the “All my friends are awesome” sticker.

stickers graffiti in an alley

below: The window on this wonderful orange door was covered with stickers and spray paint.  These three stickers were in the bottom corner.

stickers graffiti in an alley, on orange door

below: Pasteup collages with pictures of Campbells soup labels, and old camera, and a coca cola bottle.  A woman is yelling something in Russian while Lenin peaks out from behind her.  Meaning?  Maybe only Merz knows?

stickers graffiti in an alley

below: Soada.

stickers graffiti in an alley

below: “Do not attempt to think, or depression may occur.” Sticker by @stick_tags.

stickers graffiti in an alley

below: An octopus by Georgia and a @slole_slaps “It’s All Over” because they really are all over.

stickers graffiti in an alley

below: J isn’t here but another stick_tags wants to know if you’re living your dream.  Are you?  Maybe J is elsewhere, busy living their dream.

stickers graffiti in an alley

below: I told you that they were all over.

stickers graffiti in an alley

And now this blog post is all over too.

big bright pink flowers, mural on a garage door by Blazeworks
above: Bright pink flowers by Blazeworks

I shared David French Lane with some garbage men, a bright green truck, and a lot of smelly garbage the other day. Luckily there were lots of murals to distract me from the smell!

a green GFL garbage truck in a lane as men pick up garbage on garbage day

below: The north end of David French Lane is at Barbara Barrett Lane, immediately south of Bloor.  Here, elicser painted a mural in his characteristic style that I have already blogged about.   It is also where there is a mural of a blue and white train.  I didn’t take any photos of it this time because it isn’t new and it wasn’t part of the Wall Expressions project.

corner where two alleys meet, a green P parking lot and a building with murals on two sides.

Quite a few of the garages in David French Lane had been painted sometime in the past.  Many had been tagged over or were in need of updating.  The ‘Wall Expressions – You are Here’ project provided the lane with a fresh coat of paint back in mid-September.

below: A large TTC bus drives into the alley by dudeman, surrounded by skulls of many colours.

a mural by dudeman, TTX bus, spadina sign, and lots of different coloured skulls

‘You are Here’ was the result of a collaboration between StreetARToronto, the Tranzac Club, the local community, and last but not least Team Spudbomb who organized the artists who participated.

below: More colours here too – lots of movement and energy too.   Mural painted by Chris Perez.

a garage covered with colour splotches

below: Almost didn’t get this shot – the garage door started opening as I stood there.  A geometric abstract mural by Andre Kan.   It reminds me of the chaos of roads in the city

geometric abstract mural in browns and red and blues, by andre

below: Another geometric design – this time by mediah.

geometric abstract mural in browns and greys, by mediah,

below: whales by wales, swimming in the lane

large mural with marine life theme, whale, blue background for water,

a row of garages with the doors painted with murals, garbage ready for pick up in front of them, in a lane, large tree too

below: Midtown cinema by ACK

mural on a garage, red and light brown text on the botto, grey tones picture of midtown cinema on the top part

below: A portrait of Ed Mirvish holding an iconic Honest Eds sign, painted by spud.

street art portrait of David Mirvish holding iconic Honest Eds signs

garage with two sides painted in street art, lane, backs of houses, no leaves on tree,

sides and front of garage with street art on them

below: Mural by fly vandals

mural on side of building, purple,

mural on garage

below: An apt phrase – ‘Be Here Now’ beside a fence of spudbombs.

a garage door with the words Be Here Now beside a fence painted with spud bombs, hand grenade shaped characters with eyes and smiling mouths