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Graffiti Alley / Style in Progress '05
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'graffiti alley' in toronto runs south of queen street from spadina to portland. i'd say there is about a kilometer's worth of wall space of varying quality, but one thing is consistent - it's all covered.
each summer for the past few years, a group called 'style in progress' (www.styleinprogress.ca/SIP05.php) has taken over graffiti alley for a 24-hour period of legal painting. it's great to see so many people - artists and fans - converging on an area that's usually empty except for delivery trucks and garbage cans. i've never seen so many spray cans, cameras, and 40's of malt liquor in my life. and of course that sweet smell...
from sunday, the day of:
from monday, the day after:
(note: not all these are new pieces, i just shot whatever caught my eye. needless to say, this is just a drop in the bucket.)
This article has been viewed 72658 times in the last 10 years
jeeff: 19th Jul 2005 - 07:09 GMT
i wish i was half the paint junkie most of these guys are, though there are definitely some aspects of the graffiti "scene" that i'm not into.
elaine: 19th Jul 2005 - 09:33 GMT
with you there, jeeff, though i was specifically referring to your 'in passing' comment about the smell, my liking for which has got me not into glue sniffing or anything sordid, but certainly a high tolerance for long hours with toxic chemicals, the worst of which was probably when i was a prop maker, doing things like making big rubbish for cats (the musical). this kind of work always seems more exciting than it really is, and exposes you to the worst possible cocktails... but i still do a 'bisto kid' whenever i am near paint
Peter: 20th Jul 2005 - 13:43 GMT
im wondering if "that sweet smell" isnt in reference to something completely different than paint fumes ;)
Peter: 20th Jul 2005 - 13:43 GMT
also: jeeff- great shots man... im really psyched that you shared this with us. superlative!!
elaine: 20th Jul 2005 - 14:56 GMT
hah, yes, probly. just goes to show my natural inlinations are more solvent based!
Manifest: 20th Jul 2005 - 15:15 GMT
If I am not mistaken that's the Kennsington district of Toronto. It was systematically destroyed with similar works when I was there. Good shit
exxell: 20th Jul 2005 - 15:15 GMT
i wish i was their paintin ....that shyt looks like fun toronto here i come ...mad props toall them peeps up north
toby: 20th Jul 2005 - 15:16 GMT
looks like everyone had fun..............only pic i could read was that "child" jammie......?? do they have black people in canada?? ;-)
Real-er than real: 20th Jul 2005 - 15:18 GMT
Legal 'graffiti' is lame, fuck all you hipster fucks who don't get your hands dirty.
graffiti is illegal
piranha erem: 20th Jul 2005 - 15:30 GMT
cauz im sure none of those writers have ever done any illegal work before, eh? :pppp fuck the haters. graf is graf, no matter what the context, fool.
ella lumpkins: 20th Jul 2005 - 15:39 GMT
This is really amazing...
Thanks for putting this on the net, it's really awesome to see places doing things like this. This is so rad!!!!
Meantime: 20th Jul 2005 - 16:23 GMT
Yeah, that looks like a lot of fun. I've been up to Vancouver and it was great! Hopefully I can get out that way one day. RIP CHILD
cespr: 20th Jul 2005 - 17:25 GMT
that shit is off the hook. props to the photographer/writer for taking these flicks and puttin em here for all to see
jeeff: 21st Jul 2005 - 01:51 GMT
manifest: close. kensington market begins at dundas, one major block north of queen & graffiti alley. the market stretches up to college street. it's another good place to see graffiti/street art, and definitely one of my favourite neighbourhoods.
myelectricheart: 21st Jul 2005 - 02:15 GMT
that fucking sucks. i live in the building thats right behind this alley and i pass through there all the time. i had no idea they were going to do something like this there or i would have went to check it out. :(
green: 5th Aug 2005 - 18:46 GMT
thanks for the coverage
Sez1: 10th Aug 2005 - 02:10 GMT
Good shit, dudes. Aside from Toronto being a concrete Swamp, yer lookin' like you make it on the books for these bombs. Don't worry about "legal vs illegal" >> it's all in how many pointy tails you can fit in one piece and still walk home after. Queens is one of the areas that actually "hops" in Hogg-Town, so live & let live. As far as i'm concerned, Vancouver is still the Graf Capital of Kanada. (so there! :)
jeeff: 14th Sep 2005 - 05:37 GMT
thanks chino. if you have any pictures of chicago or graf to share, please post!
Anonymous (MTL-HSE-ppp179919.qc.sympatico.ca): 18th Sep 2005 - 22:23 GMT
i actually went to this place on friday...its even more amazing in real life. i love it all.
StripesA4: 18th Oct 2005 - 00:56 GMT
those picks is so fucking hot man i waana check thsi out got specific dates?
138: 25th Oct 2005 - 03:53 GMT
come on, it's not graff if it's legal. it's just not. It's like art or something, but there's nothing really cool about it, and only artists should pay attention to it. If you can take all the time you want painting a piece, then what's the point? If you had to do an illegal piece, it'd look like shit. You really can't just bomb for a few years and think you've paid your dues, and can paint legals the rest of your life. If you don't put up enough illegal shit, you have to lay off and feel guilty, and not try to claim any props for a while. You can always get back into it. It's no big deal. It just takes a little balls, and remembering why you got into it in the first place. If you only liked the way it looked, legal or otherwise, you never would have gotten out of your black-book, or canvas or whatever and onto walls. It has to be about getting-away-with-it. It has to be unloved. When it's vandalism, it's ours. When it's ART, then it's just like all the rest of art, and artist should stick with calling themselves artists. Why try to be hip, when you only like the way things look, and don't care about crime?
Peter: 25th Oct 2005 - 13:35 GMT
i think its just about putting cool stuff on walls. not everyone feels as passionately about the "criminal" element to graf as others do. i agree with some of what youre saying, but i think its sort of reactionary to say "theres nothing cool about it". i see some names, up in those photos, of folks who have quite a record for crominal bombing, real masters. so yeah. peep the "child" piece.
nope..: 8th Nov 2005 - 15:18 GMT
real writers stay underground.. thats it. the fact is graff will never be legal. "people are just afraid of what they dont understand"
DSK1: 8th Nov 2005 - 15:36 GMT
thanks for speaking for all graf writers, "nope". thanks as well for alienating graffiti fans by saying trite yet ultimately meaningless things like "people are just afraid of what they dont understand".
i dont think anyone is actually afraid of graffiti. and i think plenty of people (here, and in other places) do definitely understand it.
bec: 17th Nov 2005 - 14:56 GMT
these piecies of art work should b reckonised and it should be made legal in more places because thn ppl wouldnt jus do it anywhere because there would b certian places to do it
Pounder: 7th Dec 2005 - 12:29 GMT
i think graffiti isn't just underground, we've all just seen proof that it's not. Are you sayin that because they aren't seeking in and paint that studd on walls, that it makes them less of an artist. Isn't that the point of graffiti for people to see you work and gain respect for it. If it isn't then seeking in at night makes graff wirters nothing more then the dogs that shit on my lawn in the middel of the night. Come on your better then that right ?
Iris: 16th Jan 2006 - 00:46 GMT
That's amazing. It almost makes me want to haul my ass up to Canada.
qsdl: 9th Feb 2006 - 04:40 GMT
Graffiti Alley has a name!! ---- Rush Lane. Perfect, eh?
-> mace 2 : 19th Feb 2006 - 15:32 GMT
yo whether its legla or not its so fun to paint, i think being good at both and getting up with diffent forms of graf is the best way. So however you express your art is up to you........... - the toy smashin MACE 2....
XENZ: 23rd Feb 2006 - 13:46 GMT
done in daylight or the dead of night its about skills not laws not wether its legal or ilegal it doesnt matter if your allowed, if your getting payed or even if its pure damage its about style and originality its about being you. everyone can try it but not everyone can do it.
unknown-ott: 22nd Mar 2006 - 00:21 GMT
great peices...abit to legal for my taste,i was recently arrested for a petty little tag inthe local mall and am now band from the area..i find i probobly do it for the adrenalin, and i probobly had more of it doing my shit in bathroom stalls then these guys on legal walls. to me, bombing isint bombing if you dont need to secure your spot and look over your shoulder every ten secconds when your finishing up that peice and you know when people are gonna look at it there gonna know you got the balls to do it in a place that heat. and when they walk by this legal shit (not saying the shit aint shit) but they wont think the same about you. earn your popularity.
Peter: 22nd Mar 2006 - 02:08 GMT
earn your popularity... in bathroom stalls? lol. there are some legendary people flicked above, and you gotta admit it and show respect.
ive bombed walls and tagged stalls and the whole gamut... but rarely with the skills of these folks. legal or not, you gotta feel it. adrenaline or not... etc.
Eric: 23rd Mar 2006 - 23:06 GMT
Man this is some asome SHIT as a writer myself these guys got STYLE!!!!!
def one: 26th Mar 2006 - 14:58 GMT
i was part of the SIP crew in 2005 and it was a hot! i was gonna paint when there was a few open walls that popped up but i wnated to get video of everyone else paintin.... the was alot more to the festival than what you see here... anyone that would like to chat about it or is interested in a fully edited, feature length video documenting the whole festival contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
michele: 30th Apr 2006 - 20:34 GMT
As my younger son was looking at this site I took a look and was really impressed. i try to encourage my son to be passionate about something and so far art and grafitti are his biggest interests, i don't use the word grafitti loosely, he knows the difference, for those of you with the negative commnents you probably don't know andy warhol's work and if so how could you put this down. i'd love to know of a place my son could practice legally grafitti work, this could be a start to other types of art. email@example.com if you could give an answer for the new york, newyork esp. brooklyn i'd appreciate
jamie: 8th May 2006 - 23:59 GMT
i like graffitti it is a way in which i express my love and passion for this great art.
matthew: 14th May 2006 - 16:59 GMT
yo i love graffiti i wanted to know where to do it at.that is mad hot
thomas: 19th May 2006 - 22:39 GMT
Some crazy shit going on here, I write but so far I've only just gotten up iu Kitchener that shit town.
Rage.2: 8th Oct 2006 - 23:33 GMT
Aight, sick shit. K-town got shit for graff, right now we just pissin round and usin our ways roudn the streets with no one to say shit otherwise. Anyone who tags in K-Town keep the eye out.
Timma: 13th Oct 2006 - 09:10 GMT
Canada Rocks , Toronto's grafiti is so Unique,Some of the best people start here,The big city. A.K.A. Young NY for a reason not only are grafitti that run's almost a mile and ever corner u look. But be cause we are unique and we Respect are self's and comunity, Unity + Comunication= comunity
ATM. : 13th Oct 2006 - 09:14 GMT
I love these pic's, There's only one problem. A true artist should not have to write his name on his work. He should be proud that he has inspired people. A true artist will always return to his work and watch people stare in amazment
sn!per: 21st Oct 2006 - 03:11 GMT
as a graff artist myself i wouild like to thank you for showing us off in a positive way and not as others would put it "vandals" ive been bombin for years and i hate it when my tagz get sprayed over id rather have ppl look at it and appreciate it for wut it iz ART....much luv...sn!per
zcookie2one: 19th Dec 2006 - 05:00 GMT
this incredible art takes skill, i give respect to the ppl who threw these up!
Tyler: 23rd Dec 2006 - 17:48 GMT
I've been there, and I've also been the 2nd youngest person to bomb there (13). The younger guy was with me - (12)
SIP: 18th Jan 2007 - 19:25 GMT
yes its a public alley, walk down it anytime..
CE: 1st Apr 2007 - 01:48 GMT
I'm so glad this post came up again! I saw the sun in the 5th picture in St-Henri here in Montreal and knew that I drew it for a friend once before I moved to Montreal after seeing it on the internet (this post). I just couldn't figure out where I had seen it before but it was here!
Matt: 30th Sep 2007 - 20:09 GMT
is there anywhere in toronto where i can go spraypaint at anytime and not get in shit? like are there any legal places?
Naya: 25th Feb 2008 - 17:28 GMT
I'm looking for some friendly contacts of people interested in graffitis both in Toronto and in New York...
andrew: 22nd May 2008 - 03:28 GMT
thier is a place for art ,put it on paint board canvas,not on private property,hate hate hate graffiti art, one thing for sure, these are the same people that is spraying thier crap all over the city,making toronto look like a dirty city,keep toronto clean,if you want to do art do it on canvas,look at all the graffiti all over toronto now!it is sicking to see toronto with all this graffiti crap,as soon as thier is a clean wall you get some clown spraying thier so call crap art on someone private property .should be a law to charge these people spraying on private property,and make sure they have to pay and clean the paint off the wall,
Peter: 22nd May 2008 - 13:35 GMT
for the record, i love how people surf into this post to complain about ZOMG ILLEGAL GRAFFITI when everything pictured in this post was done legally on what appears to be out-of-the-way back alleys.
Kelly: 20th Jul 2008 - 22:18 GMT
It's all so gorgeous! I love this kind of graffiti and it's awesome how there's a whole supportive community for the artists.
=RASPeR=: 10th Dec 2008 - 00:12 GMT
Toronto only has the most graffiti in Scarborough and the actual toronto. like how Polar's hitting up North york.We need some more graffiti in rexdale!
BOMBING UP T.DOT
Jacob: 20th Jan 2009 - 02:24 GMT
I am coming here on march break I can't wait to go there and take pictures of all this amazing artwork !
gavvo: 20th Apr 2009 - 01:39 GMT
so can u do graffiti without getting in jail still in toronto canada in 2009
anon (adsl-149-54-160.mia.bellsouth.net): 18th Jul 2009 - 17:32 GMT
I'm going there soon, is this still there?
Alan Serpa: 15th Sep 2009 - 20:30 GMT
Hey I live right in front of these back alley's and can't say enough of how sick the work is.
anon (5e00e850.bb.sky.com): 9th Jan 2011 - 23:46 GMT
THat Graffiti is nice check this out.
Peaceout: 23rd Jan 2011 - 18:26 GMT
I've been collecting pics of grafetti since the mid 90's. Toronto's pretty good if you know where to go. Kensington Market is pretty cool too but not as in your face. But Berlin is the place to go for the coolest graf you've ever seen. Smart, political and f-ing beautiful. The most sophisticated stuff I've ever seen... Always looking for urban beauty nomatter where I go.
Gavin: 21st Feb 2011 - 16:32 GMT
looken for artists in T.O./ Durham Region to tag the hell out of my 95 Chev. Silverado, it's primed and ready to go. could be done as an exzibit. contact: firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
LET IT BE SEEN!
gri: 15th Jun 2011 - 20:57 GMT
It is the cancer of the city. Feel sick when see those painting on the walls.
cameron: 24th Dec 2011 - 03:19 GMT
man that shits fresh man but somne dont look so real ................. SOLER
Mitchell Stringer: 19th Apr 2012 - 19:46 GMT
Where exactly is this, directions anyone. Im familiar with Toronto as well.
destinee: 24th May 2012 - 17:14 GMT
When my family goes on a visit to toronto ina couple weeks I'm so going there to take some pics :) so jacked!
orphan black: 11th Oct 2012 - 19:37 GMT
I work for a TV show that would like to film in that Toronto Alley where there's a ton of great work - rush lane b/w Augusta & McDougall (Queen St West). Anyone know how to contact any of the graffiti artists whose work is there?
And FYI, for anyone calling graffiti illegal and not proper art, graffiti, done anywhere on public buildings, legally or not, is protected by the copyright of the artist. So it's %100 legit. It's why I'm trying to contact people to get permission to film there.
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