Hearn generating plant graffiti

Toronto not impressed with huge graffiti tag on Hearn building

You might expect people to welcome street art on an abandoned old power plant, but things are a bit more complicated when it comes to the Hearn Generating Station, which was recently hit with two absolutely gigantic graffiti tags on its upper level.

A variety of people have noticed and commented on the new addition(s) to the hulking power station over the last few weeks, and the work has received mixed reviews.

The words "FORTE" and "CAUSR" — pseudonyms for the artists — have been written across the entire length of the building, prompting one concerned citizen to declare it a "goddamn blight" on the city.

Others have noted that the graffiti diminishes the Hearn's industrial heritage, though it seems sites like these become a magnet for such activity.

Graffiti is always a contentious issue, with a strand of social disdain often linked in part to the Broken windows theory of the 1980s. But, like any work of art, people tend to project their own sentiments onto it.

For the most part Toronto is pretty tolerant of graffiti. The city has designated public spaces to its proliferation, local artists are commissioned to create public art, and some of us have embraced its role in asking the important questions.

As such, some were diplomatic about the use of the Hearn as a canvas for artistic expression.

It's hard to say whether it'll be removed given that the Hearn primarily functions as a film studio these days. The focus is mostly on the impressive interior of the building. In any case, the graffiti is kind of impressive for its sheer scale.

Lead photo by

blogTO


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