Posts Tagged ‘Graffiti Alley’

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.”

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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.”

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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!

a red and white Canadian flag printed on a sticker that says Toronto Canada that someone has added their tag to, stuck on a utility pole in an alley

Today’s wander down Graffiti Alley yielded more than just a few new paintings and bits of graffiti.  I also came across a group of students from da Vinci school who were there doing an assignment that involved filming each other giving rants in the alley.

one woman is filming another woman who is talking in graffiti alley

two girls checking a video on a phone, other people nearby, in graffiti alley

below: Nipsey Hussle memorial mural by Sum Artist

black and white mural portrait of a young man in a toque, signed sum artist

one boy is filming another as he talks in the alley, in front of a colourful mural

woman in red dress and red shoes, graffiti on an alley, on a wood fence that has been painted white

two stickers on a graffit covered metal utiity pole. one sticker is a black drone in a grey circle

one woman is filming another woman who is talking in graffiti alley - in front of Uber 5000's mural

one woman is filming another woman who is talking in graffiti alley in main part of alley

below: Smile!

graffiti, word smile

three girls working on a video in a corner of an alley, on is filming with a phone and one is talking and one is holding the paper with the words on it.

a poorly done blue faced woman with red hair, beside a doorway with a black, white, and red, geometric face

a boy in shorts and a baseball cap is filming another boy in blue fleece and camo pants as he is talking in front of a mural in graffiti alley

mural of a pink praying mantis on the right and some students in graffiti alley on the left

teacher, students, and other people in graffiti alley

black and white painting of a man's face, very large, part of a mural in an alley

Today’s encounter reminded me that I once encountered Rick Mercer in the alley as he filmed a rant for his TV program – photo from October 2011.

photo from 2011, Rick Mercer and film crew walking down Graffiti Alley as he filmed a rant for his TV program.

One last thing that I want to address here – maybe you could call it a rant of my own.  Except that it will be in pictures not words.  There’s something new in Graffiti Alley; it’s not unexpected but that doesn’t make it any easier, or better.   The old Stephenson Rental building is on its way down.

demolition sign on a metal fence in front of a graffiti covered wall

In fact, it’s mostly down.

only one corner remaining, demolition of building in graffiti alley, covered with street art

demolition of building in graffiti alley

and mostly sad

demolition of building in graffiti alley, remaining buildings in the background

A winter walk down Graffiti Alley and Rush Lane

a lone beige running shoe on the ground beside a pile of snow in Graffiti alley

people taking pictures in graffiti alley

below: Posing with a blue mask (you can also see them in the photo above).

a young woman in a blue mask poses in front of an Uber5000 mural

below: A little red dress with flair

little graffiti stencil, a red dress on a white background

below: TBJ, Toronto blue jay

street art mural of a blue jacy, in stylized geometric shapes, shades of blue

Graffiti Alley in winter

below: A large rose by Josh Creighton

a large stylized rose in a mural in a lane

below: Yin and yang

close up of a spray paint artwork in alley, a yin yang symbol in black and white with red drips of paint running through it

below: Rust, grime, and the remnants of stickers on an old window.

an old window with stickers on it and rusted bars in front of it, graffiti all around it

below: Horst

a text graffiti by horst, yellows and pale pinks

looking down Rush Lane on a winter afternoon, snow and ice on the ground, some people walking

2 young men looking at street art in a lane, a large mural with two black and white mens faces in the foreground

below: This blog post would have been finished a day or two earlier but I fell behind because of this photo. I fell down the rabbit hole when researching these condos. I have since decided that rather than getting bogged down now discussing this development, I would leave it for a later date.  The red face sums it all up.

a sign advertising new Rush condos has been defaced, it is against a wall with street art and graffiti on it

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

The weather’s been all over the place, warm, cold, hot, cold again, back and forth…. like May weather usually is.  We were fortunate to have great weather this past holiday Monday and a lot of people took advantage of the day!  As I walked around, this is some of what I saw.

a man stands and watches another man playing the drums outside on Yonge street, some other people standing around too

by the fountain at Nathan Phillips Square, a man dressed in orange hugs a man dressed in brown who is checking his phone after just taking a selfie

women and men standing outside the Eaton Centre on Yonge street

people crossing the street at an intersection, a woman in a pink top and white sweater is pushing a stroller with a fluffy small white dog in it, a man in a blue Jay t shirt, camo jacket and baseball hat, smoking a cigarette, is walking beside her

Graffiti alley, walking past an uber 5000 mural, a man and a woman with their backs to the camera. on the back of the man's camo coloured jacket are the words true freedom is being unknown

two women in the O of the 3D Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips square in front of city hall, examining photos that they have taken on their phone

2 young men and 2 young women walking down Graffiti Alley

a woman in a purple dress is sitting on the sidewalk, patting the cat wearing the superman costume that is sitting on a box. other people standing around, corner of Yonge and Dundas

a girl and her mother playing in the fountain at Nathan Phillips Square, in front of city hall,

a woman in jeans and pink top poses in the doorway of one of the back doors in Graffiti Alley

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.