A Farewell From Vandalist
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A Farewell From Vandalist

A retrospective of the last five and a half years.

good thing

BY: Kraus
LOCATION: Kensington Market
PHOTO BY: Anonymous
FIELD NOTES: In April, 2011, I took over the Vandalist column from retired street artist Posterchild. Every Friday since, I have featured a piece of local street art, from quick tags to organized alley takeovers. There have been: stunning pieces that ooze with talent, beautifully simple pieces, urban interventions, public awareness messages, activism, memorials, interactive pieces, unsolved mysteries, and so very many puns. But five-and-a-half years is a long time to write about graffiti. Even though I am consistently impressed and challenged by the graffiti I see, I think I’ve said all I need to about the art form. This will be my last Vandalist column. I’ve taken the opportunity to create a retrospective of my favourite posts.

This stunning Bacon piece

That time Rob Ford’s war on graffiti inspired a graffiti movement in and of itself.

Time and Desire’s intervention that captures the spirit of mischief and the joy of seeking out graffiti.

The tennis court at the south end of Trinity Bellwoods Park has become an unexpected canvas for artists. I especially like this piece.

Nick Sweetman’s huge rice paddy mural that took advantage of a post-condo-construction bare wall.

Birdo’s forced perspective horse continues to blow my mind.

I love the subtlety and silliness of Toon’s piece. Even after all these years it still makes me chuckle.

July i’s piece gets so many points from me. It’s sweet, it’s in an unconventional location, and it uses it’s environment.

I love the reappropriation of utilitarian objects, especially the ones that are borderline obsolete. ДCM did a beautiful job transforming this phone booth and, just maybe, inspired Drake’s Hotline Bling.

Early in my Vandalist days Super Grover was a graffiti misfit stencilled around the city. It’s not the most exciting stencil but it sticks out as one of my favourite pieces.

Who would have thought being an opportunist and being zen would go together so well.

This piece is so odd and random that it had to make it into my list of favourites.
And then there’s my favourite pun piece. The write-up might reveal a little too much about my love of classic Seagal movies but I am fond of it.

I am so proud of the incredible talent in this city, as well as the people who go out of their way to discover the many gems graffiti has to offer. Thanks, everyone, for the art, the documentation, the encouragement, and the discourse! I may not be writing about graffiti anymore but I’ll never stop appreciating it.