Saturday, June 30, 2007

Cardboard Fences by Spectr

Went to Spectr's artshow last night. The show titled "cardboard fences featured a collection of installation work documented as framed prints.
Spectr installed cardboard fences and gates in urban settings as can be seen in the prints below:

I believe the show will run for a few weeks, so you can still check out the work in person and you can always check out more of spectr's work on his site at:

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Talismans, text, and heiroglpyhs

A little change of pace for this blog update. No pictures, just talk.
-(Sorry, it's kind of a lot of talk...I fell into grant writer mode, but I still think its interesting to read, so enjoy, ignore, or quote it if you like- just get the name right ;)

Tonight I participated in a live discussion on MTV Canada. The program was looking at street art as a culture, and had myself along with some select members of the toronto graffiti scene offering our personal inisights as to what drives us, and what kind of things we are all doing how has graffiti affected our lives.
As with live TV, there was very little time to speak, so I thought for this blog update I would go deeper into some of the ideas I touched on in the show.

The discussion started with Duro3 and Spud talking about why they do graffiti, and how important illegal graffiti was to the artform. - the act of tagging is a vital part of the graffiti experience that every artist must pass, in order to really 'get' the energy of the artform. There is a quickness and rebellious attitude to the style, that comes from its taboo. Even though I do legal murals now I dont believe you can really ever capture that energy without having felt the adrenaline rush that comes with doing something youre not supposed to.

The discussion then turned towards myself, who-as a writer who has in the past done illegal work, and also worked with the City of Toronto on various public arts events over the last 5 years.

I began as a pretty typical writer. I lived in the suburbs, and did some really crappy work in municipal sewer type tunnels, and backs of wharehouses and maybe a school or two-sorry:(
Around 1996 I moved to Toronto, and really began my career as a writer. I followed the typical course, did some tags, did some trains, did some pieces, got arrested.
Out of getting arrested I had to serve a community service by participating in one of the city's "Graffiti Transformation Projects". This process showed me how an artist could access the walls in the community, without having to break the law, and in a lot of cases even get paid for what I was doing for free anyways(actually, painting a 'free wall" always cost me for materials).

When the opportunity came up for me to host a graffiti festival in 2003, My only thoughts were to finally have a chance to participate in the bigger picture of the local culture. I brought my skills learned working within the community and my love for graffiti as a participant, together to benefit both worlds. I was able to address the needs of the artists, the cutlure, and the community. At the time I didnt really think that holding a graffiti festival would result in me being publicly outed as a vandal, and eventually lead to my retirement from illegal street art.
Moving from "illegal street artist" to "urban artist" or whatever I am now... It was one of those things that I couldnt see happening at the time, but I cant regret, because it has gotten me to a point now where I can still pursue my passion and know that I also have a vested interest in its success outside my own goals.

In the process of planning a public event, I chose to work within the system to access resources that would allow me to contribute to the greater good of the culture, and that will always be my biggest contribution to the artform, and one that I take pride in.

The next speaker was JRone, an artist whos street work was very prevalent when I was just getting into the local culture, and whos handstyles were influential in forming my style today. He presented some video and talked about how he was developing graffiti into new forms of expression using technology, while still staying true to the guerilla style of exposure that embodies graffitis soul. Using digital applicationss such as Adobe After Effects, and hardware that included an ipod and a projector, JRone was filming an animation of his tag, and then re-projecting it on buildings.

There is currently a lot of development in graffiti using technology, because the artform istelf is built around evolution.
-There is a heirachy, that starts with a tag, which can be covered by a throw-up (bubble letters), then a full colour piece, and eventually a large mural....(artists reputations and fame also come into play as well) So it is only natural that graffiti has now evolved beyond spraycan art to include video and animation, fashion, fine art, sculpture, postering, stencil art, etc.

I've said it many times... Once you open your eyes to see graffiti as the rich visual experience it is, and learn to read the letters and handstyles (tags) - a person can never really shut off that visual stimulation. The world around you explodes into a vibrant landscape.
Logo's and advertising are known to affect us subliminaly, and it is the same effect when you begin to decode the artform that is graffiti. Behind every piece single of graffiti from big to small, there is a story, about a person, in a place, at a specific time, for a specific reason...

"If a picture's worth a milion words, then graffiti speaks volumes"

Above was on hand at MTV during the taping of the show, behind the scenes and on-stage, so I will be getting some video footage of all of that soon, and I will host it on my youtube page and post links here when I get them.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Here's some progress shots of me painting a style exchange a few weeks back. My friend Tobin drew a horus piece for me to paint, and I, in turn drew a "Star" piece for him to paint...althouh Im still waiting to see his results...

Click image below to go to

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Just updated my website:

In other news:
thanks go out to bboy Jedi and MasiaOne for rescuing "thicket" from Gypsy Coop, which was sold and shut down almost a year ago, with two of my pieces still in it. I've been watching in the windows waiting for someone to be around so I could reclaim the pieces, since the owners were nowhere to be found. the image in the top left corner shows just how dusted up this piece was before I cleaned it up.

Also, check out the interior design mural I did as a private commission last summer (finally got back for pictures) it's a bit subtle to make out, but basically I surrounded this apt with 2 colours of tech striping, in a glossy almost transparent ice blue, and complimented it with a more solid grey blue. I hope to be able to do more interior mural work like this in the future, (hint hint..yes I'm taking orders :P )

Thursday, June 21, 2007

New works in progress

Here's a preview of my upcoming collection of work. Drawing from(pun intended) my illustration background I have recently begun painting various styles of protrait and pinup art. The original inspiration was workign towards an art show this fall at Oni tatoo shop, although two other shows are now also looking like they might happen as well, including a show in Montreal late in august(recently confirmed at le KOPSHOP)

enjoy this selection of progress shots from the new series- click on any picture to go to my site.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Rather than clogging up the news section of my website ( I've set up this blog for posting updated and in-progress images. I will also be posting reviews of shows, and general ramblings on the subjects of Art and Design.

thanks for stopping by.

Trevor Goodwin
Art Director - P4Design