SCARY FACES GRAFFITI MURALS
GRAFFITI STREET ART MONSTER MURALS 2002
SCARY FACES GRAFFITI STREET ART! Cartoon Zombie Monsters creep through the alleyways eating flies, staring with blank eyes and decorated with burnt orifices! I first street art experiment was a series of renegade monster murals which I made in alleys and on construction walls around downtown Toronto. The works consisted of quick gestural characters depicting strange humanoid creatures partaking in insect feasts, peculiar primal dances or watching T.V. When I started making these works I was interested in exploring the contradictory notion of collective alienation and the possibilities of public dialogue through art while questioning the traditionally destructive nature of graffiti.
The cartoon zombie characters I started painting with were initially developed in a series of small ink drawings and comics entitled “FLIES, HOLES and ROACHES” . The works featured crowds of people trapped in an endless line up and perpetually inflicted by a metamorphosis turning each individual into a nihilistically generic and uncivilized being. The comics and ink drawing suggest that most people are forced into an existence contradictory to there inner most dreams and desires creating a “society” that is nothing more than directionless, deformed and zombie-like institution.
Not only were these monster drawings ideal as graffiti art
because of the direct content, connections and criticisms of the city, but technically they were well suited to illegal midnight missions. Using a simplistic and gestural approach the works could be made very quickly using only two or three strokes of a paint brush and tin of black paint. This minimal technique permitted me to create large format images without running the risk of the interference of law enforcement or late night interuptions.
Despite being interested in using the streets to make a mess and raise questions I had no interest whatsoever in defacing private property. Too many times I’d seen angered storeowners repainting after “artworks” of no particular value had been scrawled across their stoops. I was very conscious of the places I chose to put my graffiti and stuck to heavily defaced alleyways and temporary plywood walls. My largest work of this time period was a 150 foot long monster mural on the back construction hoardings of the Ontario College of Art and Design during there renovations in 2003. The artwork ran the full length of Toronto’s Grange Park and lasted for almost three years while the new Sharp Center for Design was being built.
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