Listen, I’m not part of the art scene in the city but I appreciate great art when I see it. And as someone who has recently traveled, I have a huge appreciate for random acts of art that are un-commissioned, surprising and pop up throughout the city. I can’t tell you how many photos I took of great graffiti in Berlin, fantastic statues in Prague, huge murals on old buildings in London…the list goes on. There is a statue of a hand cupping a breast in the Red Light district in Amsterdam; no one knows who did it or how it got there, it just sort’ve popped up one day as a tribute to prostitutes. It’s one of the most photographed pieces in the city (for those who know where to find it) and an amazing piece that totally reminds me of what Amsterdam is about. In Toronto, we have that painted/potted car that sits parked in Kensington. How many photos of this piece are out there in the world? I’d guess it’s up there in the hundreds of thousands. These hidden pieces of art are what makes a city interesting and quirky. They are what tourists take photos of and what give them small reminders of their time spent in our amazing city.
So to remove art is just fucking stupid.
Not only that, but to say that the city is simply doing their job and removing an old bicycle is a pile of crap. I ride, walk, sit and stroll by HUNDREDS of rusty, chained up bicycles that haven’t moved since Lastman was mayor and the city does absolutely nothing about them. They sit there, taking up space and leaking rust into the Earth, causing an eyesore on city sidewalks…and the city does nothing about them, instead opting to spend thousands of dollars removing graffiti murals and planting more flowers in front of Tiffany’s.
If the city wants to do their job and remove old bikes, then they should fucking do it and not attack an artist who spent her time and money (and I’m guessing that, being a 25 year old artist, she’s not loaded) taking care of the city’s problem.
What should we do?
My friend Marcel suggested we spray paint as many old, shitty bikes as we can, and I totally agree. We find them, we paint them, we transform them into art and let the city do whatever the hell they want. If the city removes them, good. They were taking up space anyway and the city should be doing their job. And If the city leaves them, good. We have created another quirky photo for Torontonians and tourists to capture and love.
Subway stop in Berlin