Art(?) for the Masses

Murals have been captivating me for a while now. A gift of art to the public. And not just any art; BIG art. Some may enjoy it. Some may not.

It seems there are varying purposes for murals: for beauty, for education, for activism (political or social), as advertisement (although I would like to say that a mural advertising for, say McDonald’s, isn’t art), or even to fill a space so that negative graffiti doesn’t take over (as we learned in Whitehorse, YT).

Of course, there are world famous muralists, a la Diego Rivera in Mexico and Banksy in London, but I would argue that even the most basic street art plays a role in our perception of our area, be it a positive or negative effect.

Actually, I would say that I am most drawn to murals that could be categorized as more basic street art. Paintings that are thrown up without permission, maybe quickly, probably in the middle of the night seem to speak of the culture that is rebelling against the norm. And while well-planned out, detailed murals are beautiful and serve to send certain messages to the public, I am always more overjoyed to find a random small moment of some one person risking themselves to express their thoughts.

Along the way, we stumbled upon a decent amount of murals, mostly in the big cities.

Toronto, ON – Advertising the Asian Restaurant in the building

Toronto, ON – In the “Hippie” neighborhood with lots of health food stores and vegan restaurants

Smithers, BC – Driving down the main street of a fairly small town in British Columbia

Smithers continued

Whitehorse, Yukon – Murals were all over the city; a friendly Whitehorse citizen told us it was to stop negative graffiti artists since they wouldn’t mark up someone else’s work

One of my favorites, although it was on the street and not the wall (perhaps its a “vi-al” – “mur”=wall, “via”=street)


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