Jack Layton’s death, which gripped our country and sent us into an everlong wave of mourning, has somehow been inextricably linked with street art. When he passed, ordinary citizens grabbed pieces of coloured chalk and wrote their condolences into the pavement in front of city hall, as I did here.
And then, the street art community responded with their own spraypainted tributes and stencil’d remembrances.
To this day, it continues. This above photograph is of Jack Layton’s home. His wife, MP Olivia Chow, still lives there. When he passed, that porch and walkway was covered in flowers, lit candles, little gifts, and notes. Now it’s clear.
Or is it?
Look closer. Do you see it?
I took this photograph, and then had to walk away really quickly down the street and around the corner. I slammed my heels down with each footfall, with an exaggerated force, so that my tendons would ache and my toes would callus. I pulled my hoodie over my head and didn’t look anyone in the eye for the rest of the afternoon.
i miss you, sir.
to the anonymous street artist behind this stencil … fist bump & high five.
that was the name of the first short story i ever had professionally published. I blogged about it when it happened way back in 2005… that paycheque paid rent that month. i took the above photo in october of last year during my war child challenge campaign, and this was an outtake that was never published, so i thought i’d have fun with it. the blending of two creative projects.
even though i miss house-sitting, i won’t miss that building being the only one in sight for miles in every direction.
found in the alleys behind the drake hotel. i thought Spud already was the mayor.
the background of Ford’s stupid monkey face says “Spud 4 Mayor” over and over.
I love Spud’s work, he’s one of the greatest Toronto street artists who eludes everyone. Gregory Allan Elliot told me that some of the dudes in Kensington market know who he is and can put me in contact. His work is everywhere and has been around for years. His Ford-sperms and Ford-faces made it into my The Grid article that was published a few weeks ago. And he always seems to score the greatest walls and locations. The rooftops of Queen and Spadina have all been Spud bombed. One says “SpudR” not sure what the R is for, but hey, we know it’s him because of his style and imagery.
here are some old Spud photos that i’ve taken but have never published. this one above was found in the Ossington-Humbert alleyway (I spend most of my days in alleys, seriously). He took over an entire garage front, and even copyrighted it in the bottom right corner.
this is just a spudbomb sticker, but i love it.
when i grow up, i’m going to bovine university.
this is a moo point.
you know, it’s like a cow’s opinion. it doesn’t matter. it’s moo.
i published a photo of this exact same piece a few months ago, but it was someone else’s photo. thought i’d go back and take my own, for copyright/ownership purposes.
i have another photograph of a piece that was put up in graffiti alley, it’s the exact same rob ford face, but instead of “piss here” it just says “ass.”
hhaha! this is in the alley behind dovercourt and queen. the “work in progress” has always been there, but like the new writing to the left indicates, it has been a work in progress for EONS. C’mon son. GET IT TOGETHER.
do you see what i see?
so fucking cool. this was on abell street behind the wreckage of construction.
i love the unused/abandoned storefronts along queen west.
speaking of Gregory Allan Elliot….see what he did here? He took a black marker to the movie poster for Colombiana… so fucking clever, sir. Yes, I know it’s him because the gun is now shooting his “heart/love” symbol.
the night, with garin, outside the drake hotel, where the woman with the typewriter sat on the sidewalk and tapped poems for passers-by. it sounded like morse-code.
headlines the day after Canada went into a state of mourning…
i was walking along Bloor and this guy was just sitting there holding this while fondling his smartphone.
fanks for letting me take your picture, guy.
it’s the fat-lip twins!
my wifey is so nom-nom-nom.
as i spoke about before, Ford Canada is lending me a car for this Labour Day long weekend (Ford Canada recognizes exceptional awesomeness, clearly) , so I’m going on a roadtrip! I’m going back to the place of my birth, Montreal, to hang with my gay boyfriend, my old school mates, to practice mon français (maudit enfant chienne), and wander about to see what’s cool around the plateau since i left at the age of 12.
frankly, after all that i’ve been going through lately, this opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time.
hopefully i’ll find some amazing Montreal graffiti, and see some great Montreal theatre!
if you have any graffiti/theatre leads, please send them my way. or if you’re throwing a hipster douchebag party event clusterfuck that kyboshes other attempts, let a sistah know.
bloggin will resume next week.
à la prochaine, mes ti-choufleurs!
What Would Jack Do?
Thank you, sir.