STRANGE CITIES &
MONSTER STREET ART
GRAFFITI SKETCHES! A subliminal invasion is overtaking the metropolis. Strange technological tentacles are assimilating mankind. Weird wires, diabolical devices and amorphous air waves have attached themselves to the ears, eyes and appendages of the city’s citizens. As this symbiotic synchronization spreads all traces of compassion, individuality and humanity are at risk. When the system chooses a song, everybody must sing.
However there are still many who refuse to join the enlightenment and only use these extraterrestrial technologies for the benefit of mankind. As in every battle, the lines have been drawn while madmen and heroes don unusual decorations and costumes in, on and behind the front lines. Beware of the Superhero who stands in front of film crews, beware of text messages suggesting new songs for you, and most of all be wary of yourself for this war is being fought inside your wallet, you hard drive and most importantly your mind…
Throughout the summer of 2006 I set up a small “portable gallery” on the sidewalks of downtown Toronto. I spent most of my time sitting in the middle of the busy streets talking to people, drawing monsters and super-hero graffiti sketches and doing live street painting performance works on the weekend. I started exploring various comic book type characters including costumed heroes and villains as icons for the struggle between good and evil.
The characters represented all sorts of conflicting symbols including man, nature, technology, humanity, greed, compassion, excess and progress. One of the more interesting aspects of the investigation stemmed from the fact that I couldn't reconcile any of these ideas as being entirely good or evil. As a result the superheroes tended to be generically twisted and almost impossible to distinguish from anti-heroes and diabolical maniacs
After finishing a hard days sketching on the streets I took to evening missions painting a giant wall mural and several quick characters on billboard and construction hoardings around Toronto’s fashionable Queen Street West shopping district. There were easily more the 300 artworks ranging from 5 x 5 inch works on canvas up to 10 x 10 foot made through out the second half of the 2006 season (July-Dec) however I rarely took the time to document them.
Sometimes things moved really quickly on the streets and no sooner had I finished a drawing than it was being whisked off to some far off place. In fact the few photographs I do have from this time were all given to me by random friends, fans and strangers while I was sitting outside working away. The picture of the exploding head shown to the left just appeared beside me and to this day I have absolutely no idea where it came from. (Thanks Everybody!).