Posts Tagged ‘words’

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!

I was standing at the corner of King and Spadina waiting for the red light to turn green.  I looked up and saw the CN tower partnered with a crane and enmeshed in streetcar wires.  A bit cynical maybe, but that combination of images struck me as a good representation of what Toronto is at the moment.  There are even a few new buildings in the background.

CN tower, blue sky with some clouds, a construction crane and lots of streetcar wires. There are some glass condo buildings in the background. Street sign that says King St., traffic lights

Minutes later, I was walking up Spadina when I came across this mural.  It is on the side of the Strange Love Coffee shop – perhaps that’s why it says “We don’t take naps”. It was designed and painted by Ben Johnston and Dirty Bandits (aka Annica Lydenberg)

mural in shades of pink and purple that spell the word toronto, superimposed on it are pale grey letters that say we don't take npas, on the side of a grey building,

All we need now is a blue and white “Notice of Development” sign.

large trees in a park, a person walking in the park along with a white dog

below: After the rain the leaves lie stuck to the path and tangled up in the grass.

wet path in park, after a rainfall, leaves on the ground, on the path and amongst the blades of green grass still growing in the park

below: Or stuck in the fence

a few yellow and pale orange leaves have been caught in a chainlink fence, close up shot

in a park, after the rain, autumn, red leaves and yellow leaves on the trees, many leaves on the ground

below: You can’t escape the cranes…..

in a park, with picnic bench in the foreground, some people walking on the path, houses on street in middle ground and construction cranes and highrise under construction in the background.

below: … or the hoardings.

a small construction vehicle parked beside a sidewalk with orange barricade and sign that says pedestrians use other sidewalk, a path has been made on the side of the street for pedestrians.

large square brick house from the early 1900s, windows boarded up and green plywood hoardings in front

below: Magnus and Angel are missing…. Is this a coincidence?

two lost posters on a utility pole, one for Magnus the cat and the other for Angel the bird.

below: Pink flowers and a purple door.

closse up of the front of a row of white houses, a garden with plant with large pink flowers in front, one of the houses has a light purple front door

old black and white no parking sign on the side of a stone church, with engraved stone above it that says A.D. 1897

below: Built in 1892, this building was once the Church of the Messiah Rectory. The church is the next building to the right (with the slightly yellow stones)

stone building, with castle like features, former Church of the Messiah Rectory on Avenue Road, now office building and medical clinic. Three storey grey stone

below: Faded flower of a different kind

faded metal sunflower wedged between a fence and a small tree

below: Building behind the Rosedale Diner, as seen from Crown Lane

side of a garage painted with a couple of large red flowers

below: Locked door

particle board door on a shed, painted pale blue and with a large red flower

below: Graffiti on private property.

private property no trespassing sign on chainlink fence, trees and building behind, graffiti on the building

below: The limestone Summerhill LCBO store which was originally the North Toronto Canadian Pacific train station.  The clock tower is 43m high.

view of front of Summerhill LCBO store, former CP train station, olf light brown stone building.

below: From a different angle, the station when it was first built in 1916.  The tracks are still there but only freight trains pass by these days.  It only lasted as a passenger station until September 1930.   Back in the day if you wanted to take a train to Lindsay or Bobcaygeon, this is where you’d go although you could also get a train to Ottawa (via Peterborough & Smith’s Falls) or Montreal.

old black and white phot of North Toronto train station when it opened in 1916. It is now the Summerhill LCBO store on Yonge Street.

below: No stop ahead

trees and woods behind, a yellow diamond shaped sign with picture of stoplight, telling people that there is a traffic signal ahead, except that the red light has faded and disappeared

below: “Help negro and white people mass (?) produce painted stones and hide them” plus a lot of other lines and shapes that might be letters or words.

small sapling growing beside a concrete wall that has graffiti words written on it

below: I also came across this box yesterday – Sam the Chinese Food Man and other signs.

painted metal Bell box on sidewalk, painted with an old scene from Yonge street with signs for stores and restaurants

below: I have vague memories of such a Sam’s restaurant so I went online to find out more about it.  What I found is this image in a “Lost Toronto” blogpost.  It is Yonge Street just south of Gerrard (the Rio Theatre was 373 Yonge Street).   Did you know that Toronto once had a wax museum?

old colour photo of part of yonge street

Photo source:  ‘Lost Toronto’ blog, post titled ‘When Yonge St Was Fun

… and it ended with a trip down memory lane.

Art on construction hoardings.

below: Looking northwest at the intersection of Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue West where seven large collages by Daniel Mazzone dominate the corner.

intersection of St. Clair and Yonge, looking northwest, construction hoardings, people crossing the street

below: On the right, James Dean.  It’s difficult to see in this photo, but there are some pink letters on either side of his face.  On the left it says “Dream as if you’ll live forever”.  On the right is says, “Live as if you will die today”.

a man stands at a bus shelter on St. Clair Ave, two large paintings on construction hoardings, by Daniel Mazzone, are behind him

below: She repeats.  This woman is at the two ends.  As far as I can tell, the only difference is the colour of the pattern in the background.   On St. Clair it’s purple while it’s red on Yonge.   Superman is on her forehead and, in fact, most of the pieces that are used in this artwork are from Superman comics.

large maural by Daniel Mazzone, on construction hoardings, a woman's face and head, created by a collage of smaller images

below: Charlie Chaplin above the bus shelter.  Many of the images used to create the face are also pictures of Charlie Chaplin.

a man sits on a bench at a bus shelter on St. Clair, with a large collage picture of Charlie Chaplin behind him, created by Daniel Mazzone

below: Love sees no colour, with Michael Jackson above Yonge Street.

two murals by Daniel Mazzone, one of which is Michael Jackson in his red Thriller jacket, and the other is a woman in a cap blowing dandelions white puffy stuff, other flowers and butterflies too along with the words Love Sees No Colours.

below: “Looking for Beauty” by Daniel Mazzone.  Does she see any?  There are a few Supermans here too, especially in her face.  “Splow” is written in green on her neck.

mural above the sidewalk, as people walk by, Yonge Street street sign, traffic,

What are words?   How do we use them?

below: “Excuses injurieuses” 2007, by June Clark.  One of her “Wine and Tea” pieces.  It consists of the words Invective and Apology written over and over again starting from the top left corner and moving inwards toward the center.  Instead of a spiral it is a pyramid shape.  Perhaps it rises upwards, or perhaps it sinks down.  It’s only 40cm x 40 cm so the words are tiny.  I’d love to know how many words there are but I think that I’d be screaming profanities before I finished counting.  What I can tell you is that the pair of words ‘invective apology’ is written 32 times on the outer square.  If  invective is a noun that means, expletive, or abusive language, what does ‘invective apology’ mean and is that the same as the french title, ‘Excuses injurieuses’?

close up artwork of words written over and over again, invective apology, in smaller and smaller circles.

June Clark was born in Harlem NY but moved to Toronto in 1968.   At the moment, the AGO is featuring some of her work.  For whatever reason, I was more attracted to the pieces with words.

below: More of Clark’s “Wine and Tea” series, 2007.  Each one is a 40cm x 40 cm square and they are made with wine, tea and paper except for the one on the top left.  It is “Poubelle Lune” and the circle is a rusted lid that fits in a circle that has been cut out of the canvas.

a grid of 8 square artworks by June Clark on a gallery wall

below: Close up of another of the eight squares, a collage of sorts, the silhouettes of two people (men?) in front of flags, one American and one ? Titled: “All Some Many”.  If you look closely, you can see small words cut out of newspapers or magazines, some, all.

close up of an artwork, ink and collage. Brown squares in checkerboard shapes, with one shape being a photo, 4 small words from a newspaper, all (twice) and some (twice).

below: The next two photos are panels from “Formative Triptych” 1989/1990.  The first one says “I always imagine that I never received anything as a child, but I do remember being disappointed that the chocolate Easter Bunny was hollow and then of course there was the red broom and dustpan set.”

old black and white photo of a black girl, smiling, in dress, with words beside that say "

below: The words say “I decided that I must become so famous and so recognizable so the they could never let me die in an emergency room.”

picture of the head and shoulders of a middle aged black woman, old black and white photo, with words beside that say "

below: More collage and more words, this time it’s “Homecominghome”, words on paper towel.   Words like proactive, dulled integrity, impotent, hostage, elation, victim, underwhelmed, illusion, and satisfied surface desires.   These are only some, there were many more, each in their own little black frame.  Paper towel, that stuff we use once and then throw away.  Can we throw away the words?  Or what is behind the words?  Do we want to?

Actually there was a story about why paper towels were used – “…was made during a residency in New York City.  I had been cleaning the space so it was empty aside from paper towels.  It was a way of dealing with my emotions around how I felt living back in Harlem.  Cutting out the words, I felt like I was captive but free – a sort of ransom situation, of calls for help and demands for responsibility. ”  Quote taken from the words on the wall at the exhibit.

a grid of 8 square artworks by June Clark on a gallery wall - black frames around pieces of paper towel with words on them formed from cut outs from newspapers,

Words are fascinating.

June Clark’s work is on exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario until December 2018.

 

And while we’re on the subject of words and the AGO, there is a whole room of panels like the one below.  This is “Jack and the Jack Paintings: Jack Goldstein and Ron Terada”

Goldstein was an artist who published his memoirs in 2003, just before he committed suicide.  Terada has taken words from the book and made them into 14 panels, sorry, I mean test-based paintings.  They are Goldstein’s words? Or are they now Terada’s words?  Whose story are they telling?

below: A large painting by Jack Goldstein (lightning) and four of the panels by Ron Terada.

The Jack exhibit continues until 16 September.

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

below: What is happening? By the looks of it, Doug Ford and John Tory have taken up cricket. Nice uniforms but something’s not cricket…

a woman with light brown hair holds a sign at a protest, seen from the back. The sign says what is happening? Picture of John Tory and Doug Ford as cricket players.

below: What is happening is a protest. A decent sized crowd gathered at Nathan Phillips Square late this afternoon because why?  Because another Ford, another protest. Been there, done that, and is he really going to do what? Sigh.

crowd gathered at Nathan Phillips square for a protest, TV cameras, microphones, speakers, protesters, signs, placards,

below: Making a point.  Doug Ford recently dictated that the sex ed curriculum brought in by the last government will no longer be taught because not enough parents had been consulted about its contents.  Today he announced that the number of Toronto city council seats will be reduced from 47 to 25 after he consulted with zero zilch nada of Toronto’s 2.7 million people.  Hypocrisy.  It also gives credence to the theory that this is all sour grapes – he lost the last mayoral election to John Tory and his ego is damaged.

a man in a green t shirt holds up a protest sign that says Dick-tator Ford

below: “To succeed we must secede #provinceofontario”  An interesting concept?

Crowd of people at protest rally at city hall in Toronto. One man holds a sign that says to succeed we need to secede

protesters at an anti Doug Ford and anti PC Ontario provincial government for their announcement to cut the number of city council seats

two middle aged red headed women holding a sign at a protest at city hall

a young woman holds up a sign that says Dud Ford. Words followed by a sad face. Seen from the back. Lots more people in the crowd at the rally

below: Ford did campaign on cheap beer, a dollar a can if I remember correctly.  There was no beer at Nathan Phillips square this afternoon.   No consultations AND no beer.

a woman holds a white hand written sign at a protest, the sign says You campaigned on cheap beer, not on cutting my representation in government with no public consultation where is my beer?

Young women in a crowd, holding a sign that says Ford - F for Fuck O for Off R for rude and D for Doug

below: A lone dissenter (or at least the only visible one). “Thank you Doug Ford.  You saved me a part of my battle, for the Mayor’s office.  Harris suggested this at amalgamation you put it in to action. Jim McMillan.”

people sitting by the Archer, a Henry Moore sculpture, at Nathan Phillips Square. An older man is talking to another man. He is holding a hand written sign that says Thanks to Doug Ford

Once the speeches were over, some of the protesters went inside City Hall to the council chambers where a city council meeting was in progress.  We’ll see what happens in the coming days and weeks.

below: Like most days, there were lots of tourists in the square too.  But that’s a whole other story!

a father and son by the light purple O in the 3D Toronto sign. In the background is a group of people at a protest