DRAWING URBAN ZOMBIES 2004
STREET GRAFFITI ART! Apocalyptic premonitions, telepathic horrors, war torn angels and zombie monster denizens sprawl all throughout the metropolis’ walkways. Inhabited by omnipotent pigs heads and pestered by flies the downtown core presents itself as an urban gothic wasteland. The buildings crumble beneath the forces of a heavy black liquid though the annihilation remains visible only to those who can dream and even then echoing repetitive voices whisper screams from the unconscious turning those dreams into concrete and perpetual routines. The metropolis is a machine but one constructed by treacherous animals; commercial carnivorous beasts bent on chaos, consumption and demise. However, despite all the darkness there must be some sort of inconceivable balance, otherwise the city would have fallen and all the shoppers would have already all died...
Following a number of strange and inevitable occurrences I found my self sitting in the middle of the busy city sidewalks in downtown Toronto. After years of working with studios, educational institutions and fine art galleries my curiosity finally got the best of me and I wandered out into the wild. My earliest street art displays measured about 3 x 3 feet and featured a handful of existentially demonic black and white monster scribbles done on ripped pieces of illustration board and printed on pins. I'd no real expectations and probably little hope but oddly enough that little experiment ended up taking over my life for the better part of five years...
I started exhibiting street graffiti art in the summer of 2004. At that time envisioned the metropolis as a carnival of selfish, superficial and commercial ideologies but was really interested investigating further. I wanted to know more about the people, the buildings, routines and had already been doing a lot of on-site sketching downtown as well as storytelling at outdoor festivals. I found inspiration in the random encounters which would occur while working in public. So many weird things happen in the city that could never be experienced or understood inside the studio or gallery. The idea of actually working out on the sidewalk first in occurred to me in May 2004 after one of my friends mentioned that she sold pipes and jewelry in the streets to earn extra cash in the summer. I asked her if I could join in on her next outing and she was more than happy to bring me along.
The following Friday I packed a small tool kit full of cardboard sketches, some pins and a torn piece of black fabric. I met my friend and we rode bikes up to Bloor Street to set up our stuff. The first day was a financial failure for me but my companion was pretty successful and in her good spirits she was able to show me the ropes. I learned about the city by-laws, good places to sell as well as street vendor politics and was encouraged to get out again on the Saturday when the city would be a lot busier. On my second day we set up on Queen Street West and things really started happening. Before I knew it I was meeting people, selling works, dodging by-law officers and getting inspired. As I looked all around I felt an indescribable anomaly, I had accidentally discovered a way to thoroughly investigate the city. I continued to work with street graffiti art, finding success, inspiration and adventure, every weekend throughout that entire summer