Graffiti has become the wallpaper of urban life as much of it tends to blend into the city landscape. But a creative person has been doing some fabulous stencil-cutouts and posting them around the downtown core and west-side neighbourhoods over the last month and a half of 2006. Outside of the controversial “Drake You Ho” tag from late 2005, I can’t remember a graffiti piece (in this case pieces) that’s had so many tounges wagging outside the graf artist scene.
I love this form of graffiti because of the time, energy and thought that has gone into the installations. It also challenges viewers to think of the ever-expanding nuances of the graffiti art world — the police try to portray graffiti as an extension of gangs, but the scene encompasses a wide variety of styles and techniques. It is very difficult to lump this type of work into the same category as a young kid who tags his nickname on to a wall for vain and selfish reasons.
The other graffiti-inspired art project from 2006 is the Bell Box project initiated by Councillor Joe Pantelone’s office and the urban arts organization Style in Progress. Over 40 of these telephone switcher boxes were converted into a canvas for local artists to showcase their talents. While I recognize that part of the allure of graffiti is the risk and excitement of doing something covert, this project shows you can still produce interesting graffiti art even if the powers that be give you permission.
photo by Martin Reis