Now I agree that Mayor Rob Ford sucks, but ….
…Iiiiiiii just can’t endorse this message.
This is kinda bullshit…
…just like Rob Ford’s policies…
Recently, I had a very fun photoshoot and interview in Toronto’s infamous Graffiti Alley with TorontoVerve. If you don’t know, TorontoVerve is one of the more popular street style photoblogs in Toronto, and presents a really great cross-section of the personalities and characters to be found whilst traversing our awesome little city. Also, the photos are absolutely stunning! Anyway, they asked me if I would like to be one of their subjects, and I was humbled and flattered by the invitation.
It turned into a really fun 101 lecture on Graffiti and Street Art from Toronto, which as you all know, I can yap my freakin’ head off about! We wandered together through the alley for a few hours, and I even made him hike up Spadina to show him the last Banksy left in Toronto!
Here are some of the photos of me in the alley, but for the full interview (We talk about Banksy, Spud, Poser, graffiti turf wars, and of course, Mayor Rob ford), click over to TorontoVerve now!
Fanks for Nigel for the invite and for being made of awesomesauce.
(All photographs copyright Nigel Hamid/TorontoVerve)
a couple weeks ago I found two instances of this stencil on college street west (one of them has since been painted over… boo-urns). I knew this new one at College and Spadina had been there for a while, but I only got around to photographing it now. Shut up, I’m busy.
this dude came up to me as I was photographing it and asked who the person depicted was. I said i didn’t know. The dude then went on to say that he was from the Middle East and that this piece intrigued him.
people are always coming up to me when i’m photographing graffiti, asking questions and commenting on stuff. I kind of like it. In fact, I encourage more of it! Every day people walk down the street, and they are either looking down at their feet, or their eyes are covered by shades, and their ears are plugged with music. they cut themselves off from the experience of BEING IN THEIR OWN CITY.
in Weimar Germany, the act of experiencing ones own city was known as Flânerie – whereby you “make the familiar strange” by REALLY looking at your city and all the ephemeral experiences one can have in a given moment, in a given spot, that may not ever occur again.
if more people kept their eyes open and their wits about them, they wouldn’t have to rely on the odd sight of a girl like me photographing A WALL for them to see what they otherwise overlook.
i go by this wall often, and the “rob ford” had been there for a while, but the VAN-dalism wheatpaste is new. the two aren’t done by the same artist (i don’t think), but they are definitely related thematically.
$20 says right this very instant, Rob Ford is saying something stupid in public.
we all know rob ford loves his gravy
but now, our stupid monkey mayor Rob Ford has gone a step further and proved it.
back in January, our 330 lbs-of-fun Mayor launched a “cut the waist” program designed to inspire others to lose weight. since he is considered morbidly obese, he joined in with the goal of losing 50 lbs by June
guess who just scrapped the program because he was eating at KFC and McDonalds every day and couldn’t drop the weight?
Rob Ford found out that losing weight is analogous to being a Mayor. It requires EFFORT. And in both cases, he’s failed.
(ps nice work, as always, Spud)
the great thing about riding your bike around toronto is that you get to explore the nooks and crannies those stupid cars can’t squeeze into…. AND ya don’t hafta worry about parking. a couple weeks ago, i’m riding my bike through the annex and found this Listen Bird!
no where but up!
then i’m scooting south from the annex into parkdale and find this OTHER Listen Bird!
this Listen Bird looks like it’s a bit old, but it’s still awesome! it’s referencing out shiteous mayor rob ford.
Rob Ford once described himself as 330 lbs of fun….. lots of other street artists have poked fun at that…. and LB says he’s 330lbs of pure bullshit. last name WIN, first name EPIC.
I have a pretty cool collection of Listen Birds that i’ve found around toronto and montreal if you’re so inclined to click!
Seriously Spud, can you pass me a kleenex or something?
take a good look at the blue underneath the SPUDR. I always knew there was something on this wall, but i could never photograph it because a building used to sit against this wall at queen and dufferin. recently it was torn down, and it has revealed something…..
THAT REALLY LOOKS LIKE A SPACE INVADER that either blended with another piece underneath it, OR someone spraypainted over it …. i can’t tell….. but yeah…. has Space Invader been in Toronto?!!!
“stay off real graf“
this much graff in the city is overwhelming. dude, i’m exhausted for you! you own like literally ever street corner.
found this in graffiti alley.
considering that Mayor Rob Ford weighs 330 pounds, and cannot lose weight even though he publicly weighs in every week in the hopes of cutting the fat, that man probably hasn’t eaten an apple in years …. unless it was in the form of a McDonald hot apple pie.
of course, this apple has a worm coming out of it…
no wait, that’s his brother.
Last night, DeadBoy launched his Under The Influence exhibit at the Don’t Tell Mama gallery (on the Ossington strip), and the exhibit is up for the rest of the month. I would highly recommend checking it out, and buying one of his pieces asap before they’re all snatched up. I’m telling all of you now – in a couple years, his pieces will be selling at Christie’s and Sotheby’s for 6 figures. Mark my words. Buy now! Collector items and they’re fucking gorgeous.
See for yourself:
from his “Adore” series.
this is the one Adore piece that hasn’t hit the streets… yet.
does this piece look familiar? it should.
back in October, Deadboy gave me this piece. it was the very first piece of his i had ever found on the street, and to this day, it is still my favourite and means the most to me. sometimes i get pre-menstrual just looking at it…. stupid girlie hormones. (sniffle).
the piece he’s selling is gold instead of white like mine…. it really makes the image pop and gives it a haunting, antiquated quality to it.
BUY IT WHILE THE PRICE IS LOW!
and speaking of “Madonna,” back in 1983 when she was working the club scene like CBGBs and Danceteria in New York, she briefly dated a then-unknown street artist named….
Basquiat! i think this is my favourite piece at the entire exhibit. it’s an homage to one of the first street artists to change and revolutionize the form. Deadboy actually created this on a door he found! i love found-art! if you know anything about Basquiat when he was a street artist, his tag was “samo” with the crown symbol next to it, which deadboy has incorporated here. Basquiat said that “samo” was in reference to art being “same old same old” but the word also is related to racist language (sambo) used during slavery (and for a century afterwards).
Basquiat influenced his girlfriend Madonna so much, that for a brief time, she engaged in graffiti around new york as well. Her tag was… you guessed it…. “Boy Toy.”
Basquiat eyes. I really really want this door, but I can’t actually USE it as a door because I have a tendency to slam my doors when i’m pissed off (which is often. i have a temper).
“thanks for not voting!”
this one guy showed up at the exhibit and said to me that he found this piece offensive because he’s a card-carrying member of the Conservative party. i said, “really? my condolences.”
the dude then went on and on about how he thinks Canadians abuse the health care system because it’s universal, whereas in other countries where they have to pay for it, they don’t go to the doctor as often. i told him he was talking out of his ass, and that caring for its citizens and ensuring the right to life for every member of society should be the first priority of a government.
he said his taxes were too high because of our universal health care…. to which i replied, “oh of course. who cares about the suffering and disease of other people. all you should care about is your bottom line.”
and he goes, “exactly. i don’t care about other people as long as i’m making money.”
and there you have it folks – this one douche perfectly sums up the Canadian Conservative party in one sentence.
he then got all defensive and was like, “i don’t want to debate my political beliefs!”
and i calmly replied, “you brought it up, dude. i didn’t ask for your political beliefs, you offered up the info to me and started ranting. if you don’t wanna debate it, don’t bring it up.”
opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. and while i respect your RIGHT to an asshole, i don’t respect the shit that comes out of it.
the eponymous piece.
la piece de resistance.
that’s goddamn right. ATHEISM FOR THE WIN!
Imma be at CENSORED tonight, the gallery opening of graffiti artist SPUD. It’s at the Don’t Tell Mama gallery at 108 Ossington (2nd floor), and I fink it starts around 7:00ish but I’ll prolly show around 8ish. Oh, and look! Someone has been wheatpasting the show poster all over the city. I WONDER WHO DID THAT.
Found this at Bellwoods and Queen.
Expect big things from Spud really soon. Hint hint.
A few months ago, I sold a trove of my graffiti photos to The Grid, and it became known as The Rob Ford Graffiti Gallery. It was a very popular piece, and I am rather proud of it. Turns out The Grid took my photos and turned them into this nifty video. Enjoy!
speaking of Rob Ford graff, this is an old Deadboy piece, but i found it in a new spot recently, and it had some graff-comments on it.
first was Gregory Alan Elliot‘s smiling heart, and then there was the “stop this” which could either refer to Deadboy or to Ford. oh double entendre!
Spud grenades, that is. These are in graffiti alley, and i’m pretty sure i’ve photographed them before, but in case i didn’t, here ya go again.
queen west and bathurst
his Rob Ford laughing faces will never get old!
and the Ford sperms!
Check out my Spud category for more of his work.
i was driving along adelaide last night, and as i zoomed through the intersection with simcoe, i saw this stencil out of the corner of my eye. i immediately swerved, bombed around the corner, illegally parked, and ran back up to photograph this beeee-yute.
it’s a pighead on a man’s suited body. since the body is quite rotund, i’m going to pretend it’s rob ford cuz it makes me think someone’s calling him a Piggie. which he is.
this was the second instance of the stencil on this construction boards. it only appeared twice, but it’s pretty powerful, i think. it speaks a lot to the fattening greed and avarice of men who wear suits in the surrounding financial district. i love site-specific work like this! it comments on the neighbourhood that surrounds it, and forces you to use your brain to decipher it.
there were no identifying markers on the two stencils, so i have no idea who is behind it.
if you’ve done this, HIGH FIVE.
or, in the language of pigs, i’d say, “squeeeee! squeeeeeeeeeee!” and then a snout-snort for good measure.
now let us roll around in mud and enjoy the day!
i’m on the Rail Path a lot, i like to jog along it when it’s sunshiney. i’ve blogged about all the graff i’ve found there before, but i continually forget to photograph this NIGHTMAYOR stencil on the cement (which, considering its style, i’m going to assume is done by Spud). yesterday as i jogged along, i thought, “fuck this, you can jog in place for 2 minutes to photograph it!” (note: i usually don’t like stopping whilst running, unless i’m forced to by a red light. i’m either go-go-go or bust).
there are 2 NIGHTMAYOR stencils along the rail path cement, i think Spud strategically placed them next to red arrows that the City had already placed there during construction.
it’s clearly a play on words. Spud is infamous for his Rob Ford lampoons (check out my Spud category to see what i’m talkin’ bout), so he’s calling our mayor a “nightmayor/nightmare” GET IT? har har har.
you should take a stroll along the rail path sometime. it’s this great little elevated meadow in the heart of the city, and it’s blessed with so much good graff.
friend of this blog, and toronto graff superstar, Deadboy emailed me yesterday morning to let me know his new street art stencil lampooning Rob Ford had gone up in Graffiti Alley. it’s called Ebenezer Ford, depicting our NIGHTMAYOR (get it?) as scrooge, and with the byline “…enjoy the pink slips.” if you look at my Deadboy category, you’ll see that satirizing the Ford brothers is a running theme in his work, and greatly informs his ethos. so i was SUPER PUMPED to go photograph it. Unfortunately, by the time I made it down to graffiti alley at 6pm THE SAME DAY, it had already been painted over!
here’s the before shots that Deadboy sent me.
… and here’s the after shot!
i was standing there in Graffiti Alley, so bummed, and also a bit haunted. there was a tub of wheatpaste sitting off to the side, and as i photographed this, an empty spraypaint can rolled past my feet, tumbling loudly, echoing off the hollow walls.
the graffiti gods are laughing at me.
that’s the thing about street art: you snooze, you lose. it has such a short shelf life, and that’s why i try to document it as much as i can, because if you try to find most of the pieces i’ve catalogued on this blog, you’ll find the majority of them long gone.
fear not, Deadboy told me he’ll put up some more around the city soon, so hopefully I’ll get to photograph them before THE MAN gets to them.
speaking of Ebenezer Scrooge, i think Christmas is a humbug too.
just call me Lebenezer Scrooge.
sidewalks always give up the goods. make sure you keep your eyes open next time you beat the street.
if you’ve done some photograffiting and want to send me the snaps, or if you’re a street artist looking for some exposure, shoot me an email!
SPUD BOMBS GALORE!
Spud’s body of work has always dove-tailed off of the idea that Mayor Rob Ford is a demon. if you check out my Spud category, I’ve photographed his street art depicting Ford as flying spermatozoa’s, as a devil, as a massive Jabba The Hut character, and this most recent find seems to be an amalgamation of all those themes. Spud has also created work which depicts himself as the Mayor endorsed by Ford, which I find cheeky and clever.
Naturally, since Spud’s arrest, I have refrained from posting the locations of any of my Spud finds, because I don’t want The Filth to use my blog as fodder for building their case against him. So all I’ll say is – if you find this alleyway, stand in awe of the glory!
Spud has gone from making Spudbombs to SpudGrenades! These ones look awfully happy.
i did have better snaps of this alley, but as i posted earlier today, my camera fucked up, and most of my brilliant pics were corrupted. i need to go back, retrace my steps, and re-photograph everything now. SUCKS TO BE ME.
tiny Fords and Dollar signs being swallowed by King Spud Demon
this King Spud kinda looks like bubble gum . . . or dishwashing liquid.
pull the pin….KABOOM.
we love stoned-grenades.
i want my mommy.
people were actually stopping on the sidewalk to let me take this photo, i kept telling them “no, please keep walking! don’t mind me!” and then when they’d pass and see what it was i was photographing, they’d all get these really screwed up looks on their faces. it was hijinx hilarity. i guess the power-suit crowd of yonge and adelaide doesn’t expect such graffiti.
relax, it’s chalk, it’ll wash away.
but it will LIVE ON FOREVER ON THIS BLOG. oh yes.
he may be rob ‘fucking’ ford (“i’m the fucking mayor of this town, bitch!“), but Health Canada would advise against actually fucking that disease-boat.
earlier in the summer, i found some EVOLVE stencils around the city depicting old-timey lamp posts, but i haven’t seen any of his work lately. that all changed after taking a stroll down Yonge street!
this was on Yonge, a few streets north of Dundas, but i forgot to note which street specifically because i was shitting myself at how fucking cool this stencil is.
i spraypaint toronto!
i hate rob ford, toronto!
this especially made me giddy because i fucking hate walking down Yonge street. Yonge street is such a shit hole and is only good for peelers and dealers. i hate the Eatons Centre, i hate the gaudy monstrosity of Dundas square, and even though it’s the longest street in the world, it makes me want hurl. real Torontonians stay the fuck away from that street.
some WICKED SWEET Spud finds yesterday! as i said when Spud was arrested, i will no longer post the location of any of his pieces, because i don’t want to give the vandals squad any ammunition against him, so i just hope you will be lucky enough to find these massive Rob Fords in adjacent alleys. OCCUPY STREET WALLS!
someone has tagged all of his stuff with “fag.” are they calling Spud a fag, or Rob Ford a fag? Cuz neither is cool.
oh good idea, put a dick on the tongue, that will drive the point home.
seriously guys, if you don’t want street art and graffiti to have a bad reputation, don’t tag stuff that violates the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms, fanks.
i found these last night by accident. I was driving along a quiet one-way street, and passed these alleyways, and just HAPPENED to notice the first Rob Ford face. Spud has used this laughing-Rob-Ford motif a lot (check out my Spud category for more instances of his work), but this is probably the biggest one i’ve been able to find thus far. I screeched the car to a halt, rammed the car in reverse, and swerved into the alley.
after i photographed this, i ran across the street to the adjacent alley just to see if there might be anything else.
and pay dirt!
i tried pulling some strings recently to get an interview with Spud, but apparently he didn’t want to.
ONE DAY, SPUD! you will be mine. oh yes. you will be miiiiiiiiiiiine.
THINGS is a really prolific and highly documented street artist in toronto, but i’m only learning his name now! he reached out to me recently to let me know that some of his work was in my The Grid article that was published a few months ago, and as it turns out, he’s the genius behind some great work such as the Rob Ford “ass” and “piss here” pieces, the light switches, and one of my personal favs, the “post no bills” piece!!
yesterday i found some more of his work, and got all snap happy.
his flying Grover only went up on this wall a few days ago, but already it’s been tagged by another graffitist.
it was so beautiful yesterday as i was taking these photos, the wind was crisp and everything was fragrant. the only thing i didn’t like were the huge tractor trailers zooming by, honking at me like i’m supposed to take that as a compliment. WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO, run after your huge lorry and say ‘fanks for noticing!’ don’t honk at women! and don’t whistle at us either. horns and whistles are for dogs and cats and other animals, but not for humans, and certainly not for me.
woah. i think i just quoted the sound of music there. i’m not deleting it. whatever, it fits.
i used to love sesame street as a little girl. i used to watch the French-Canadian version growing up, they had a whole bunch of muppets and characters just for us frenchies. IN FACT, sesame street helped with my bilingualism SO MUCH, that because of it, i learned how to say the alphabet backwards IN ENGLISH AND IN FRENCH in under ten seconds.
i shit you not.
i love this piece. the great thing about work like is that, at every street corner you turn, there’s always a new opportunity to be wowed by new designs, new colours, and new ideas. Art is just waiting around the corner for you, and if you’re not paying attention, you could miss it.
grover looks like he’s reaching out to cup my chin. KISS ME! FOR I AM FLYING GROVER.
I then walked along the rail path for some time, humming to myself, even though i didn’t have my music on. it was such a lovely day for a walk, and the rail path is a nice little elevated meadow in the heart of the urban jungle. oh and look, more THINGS to be found! that’s his lightswitch.
it’s pretty clever. imagine if we could flip a painted-on switch and all the lights went out.
WHO TURNED OUT THE LIGHTS?
oh look, another one!
flip a switch and just like that, bang.
(kinda like death, non?)
speaking of my The Grid article, it turns out that The Grid has this deal in place with Pizza Pizza where their articles are promoted on flatscreen TVs in each location. I didn’t know that (I knew not eating pizza would come back to haunt me). I was sent this photo of my article flashing across the screens at one such location. Next time you get the munchies at 3am, think of me.
local street artist Deadboy has erected a new wheatpaste in graffiti alley, and he sent me some snaps.
EDIT! turns out deadboy spraypainted it up, so it’s not a paste-up.
it’s Rob Ford as Humpty Dumpty! or Humpty “DumBty” as deadboy puts it. i love how he put it up right next to his older Rob Ford piece where he’s flipping the bird.
deadboy has great timing. every time Ford has done something stupid (talking on his cell phone while driving, him & his brother not knowing who margaret atwood is), a new deadboy piece has gone up within days. seeing as how Mayor Ford ridiculous 911 call is making even Keith Olbermann cringe (fast forward to time index 2:15) , now was the time to say something, and deadboy nailed it.
Rob snapped this photo of it at night