<PHOTO ABOVE – by Riley Snelling; BELOW – by Yonge & St. Clair> Although his art has been commissioned around the world, birdO loves working in TORONTO because it allows him to live with his pieces longer. “As an artist, I’m not here to inundate you with visual clutter – my intention is to brighten street corners and make you scratch your head. I moved to TORONTO when I was 18 years old and the first place I landed was at Yonge and St. Clair. It’s a special moment in my career to return to the area and paint the largest mural I’ve ever done,” says birdO.
The Residences are housed in a former 1970’s-era Brutalist hotel, not far from the University of TORONTO, OCAD University, George Brown College and Ryerson University in or near downtown. The precast concrete building now provides beds for 620 and several communal spaces – a gymnasium and cafe among them. <PHOTO ABOVE – Lisa Logan/Contactdesign.com>
Knightstone Capital Management enlisted TORONTO-based Diamond Schmitt Architects to “establish a dialogue with the previous architectural character of the building,” says Bryan Chartier, DSAI’s director of interior design.
Coming this summer – a brightly coloured mural by Spanish street artist OKUDA, on a blank eastern Parkside wall, facing traffic-heavy Jarvis Street at Carlton. The project is a partnership between STEPS (a public art-funding charity), the City of TORONTO’s StreetART program, and Parkside’s property owners. The city will provide $50,000 as part of its Graffiti Management Plan.
For OKUDA’s biography and more examples of his work go to http://www.streetartbio.com/about-okuda-biography
The mural, in the Monte Carlo Laundromat in North York, is about TORONTO and the personalities who live here (or once lived here). Among the 400 references to the city – Sam the Record Man, former mayor Rob Ford, fashionista Jeanne Beker, radio and television personalities, Mayor John Tory, Spider Jones, disc jockeys and everyday folks.
“I had options. Stay home and get drunk, or challenge myself to create the mural, and for me it was mind therapy,” Mr. De Luca says. The response to his work has been very positive.
San Francisco’s ANDREW SCHOULTZ has created a stunning 100-foot-long mural at the corner of Howard Park and Dundas Street West. “The Winds Are Changing”, partly sponsored by the City of TORONTO, and with an assist from artist, JEFF BLACKBURN, depicts an abstract landscape very much in motion. “I try to use icons and imagery that, in a very vague sense, make note of what’s going on in the specific area I’m painting.” In this particular neighbourhood, that means ‘gentrification’ and replacing the old with the new. Or in Washington DC it could mean something else entirely. PHOTO OF THE ARTIST (below) – http://www.arrestedmotion.com