streetcar Graffiti art show

Graffiti artists let loose on mini TTC streetcars

My love of Toronto streetcars — as aesthetic objects more than anything else — got a boost this week when I discovered an art show devoted to miniature cardboard cutouts of Rob Ford's favourite mode of transportation. Hosted by Proper Reserve, a streetwear boutique on Queen West, the exhibit is actually the brainchild of Joe Huffers Paint Shop, an outfit that supplies Toronto's street artists with the tools of their trade.

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When the shop owners came across a collection of paper streetcars, they decided to offer them up to local graffiti artists to see what they could do with them. The results are a fun Toronto-themed exhibit that illustrates just how creative many of these artists are even when confined to working with markers. In fact the miniature scale of the show is arguably the best part: here the streetcar becomes a toy to be played with in the absence of actual property damage that might risk the wrath of the City's art police.

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All told there's about 40 pieces in the exhibit, which range wildly in their levels of intricacy. My favourites are those that don't completely obscure the streetcars but which nevertheless reveal a level of detail that one would expect to find in a life-sized mural. Although not every piece is noteworthy, the vast majority are pretty damn impressive. This one is definitely worth a look if you're into street art or TTC paraphernalia.

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Transit City: Streetcar Graffit Art Show and Silent Auction runs until March 12th at the upstairs gallery at Proper Reserve (498 Queen St. W). Bids on streetcars start at $25.


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