Toronto was the last stop on my seven city mural tour and it was a fun place to end the tour with a bang. A bunch of the Obey Clothing crew from Canada and the U.S. came through to support and rage at various parties and grimy dives. Despite the late nights, Romeo Trinidad and Jon Furlong were up early to help with installation and photography. As always, my crew of Nic Bowers, Rob Zagula, and Dan Flores were essential to the deft completion of the two murals we did in Toronto, one on a music venue called The Tattoo (where the great Hennessy party went down also) and the other on an art themed hotel called The Gladstone. The proprietors and staff of both venues were incredibly generous hosts. I walked around Toronto’s Queen West district putting up stickers and found a bunch of cool record stores, cafes, bars, boutiques, etc… I loved the area, and beyond just the euphoria of finding a Dead Kennedys 7″ singles box set, I really could see hanging out in that area of Toronto for more than just a few days. Toronto’s people were super cool too. I got to hang with a bunch of great artists including Gary Taxali and the Lovebot crew who were all very friendly and genuine. There is a lot of good street art and graffiti in parts of Toronto too, so basically the city gets two thumbs up.
The whole mural tour was amazing! Public art is such an important philosophical component of my art practice, but it is rare for me to be able to do so many large scale works in so many cities. I think art enriches people’s lives and these murals are free for the public to ponder. One reason public art on this scale is not more prevalent (especially compared to the prevalence of advertising), is that it is very expensive to do. In that regard, I’m very grateful to Hennessy for their support and subsidy of my mural tour. Hennessy had no involvement in the content of the murals, but they wanted to support my art practice as I traveled to the parties for our limited-edition bottle collaboration. I give Hennessy a lot of credit for their generosity. As Keith Haring said “the public has a right to art” and after many years of hit-and-run street art, and many arrests, I’m working every angle I can to bring free art to the public on a larger scale. I want to thank every person in every city who helped to facilitate these murals. THANK YOU! Oh, don’t worry… there’s a lot more to come!
2014 International Mural Stops:
Photos by Jon Furlong.