The Surreal City! In the distance we can see crowds of faceless little bubble people filing into the big buildings. Once inside they spiral into the gears of the city. Like giant windmill shapes these seemingly anonymous denizens spin the gears making the city go round. As the work day comes to a close the gears slow down and all the exhausted bubble people make their way out onto the streets. Car engines roar as the roadway traffic comes to life and as the sidewalks fill up we enjoy an entirely new perspective. From this vantage it becomes obvious that there are no anonymous crowds but instead we meet and greet a cast of amazingly diverse and unique individuals each with their own stories, goals, and dreams. There really is no “Big City” entity, it's just a whole bunch of extraordinarily crazy people.
This detailed city scape was depicts the city of Toronto as seen from my Queen Street West street art location. I drew this on site while working as a full time street performer. The image includes many of the city's notable skyscrapers combined with the symbolic cartoon imagery of my mythological city of gears. As explained in the parable above I really wanted to draw a picture that compared peoples notion of a big city as a cold and heartless place with the street level experience of interacting with real people face to face. While working as a street artist I was always amazed and inspired by the variety of people I'd meet and all the different stories and perspectives on life we'd share.
It is also of interest to note that I chose Toronto as the subject for three particular reasons. First it was only natural to draw ones own surroundings, second I really wanted the audience to connect with imagery and feel as though they were the subject of the work, and the final reason was as a street vendor city drawings are very popular but are only every straight forward illustrations so I wanted to tap into that appeal in order to share my surreal stories. The original drawing was approximately 10” x 18” done with pen and ink on illustration board 2005.