175 Things That Kinda Suck About Toronto – #45

by sunnyfong

45. PUBLIC ART
Flipping through my copy of Design Lines Toronto, I found this little piece of public art on the back page:

This is literally two blocks away south from my place. And that’s my doctor’s office/pharmacy next door.

I’m all for public interventions particularly with text. And I actually quite enjoy his work around New York and Toronto but for some reason because I live here, this rubs me in the wrong way. Maybe because I happily welcome gentrification to the area. I like pruned trees and mulch. Lesbian mothers with their $500 carriages and dogs that cost more than a motorcycle. I want more affluent people in the area. Don’t we all?

We recently vetoed the proposed Wal-mart but I’m going to be honest, I wouldn’t have cared if they had opened one down near the film studio district. I mean, there’s already a giant Canadian Tire plaza, who cares if they want to open a Wal-mart? I have to drive out to Scarborough to get discount home stuff anyway so you’re at least saving us the car trip. I welcome big boxes as long as they stay relatively outside of the artsy fartsy strips of shopping. Having a Wal-mart a little farther away is great because everyone can shamefully go there without being noticed by the neighbours. Meanwhile, you’re all there looking for sweatpants and avoiding eye contact while picking out bath mats.

It’s not like they’re putting an H&M right next to Lahore Tikka House (though I wouldn’t mind that either).
I’m just so sick of hearing about the apparent gentrification of Toronto from the hippies that aren’t even fucking from here! But I digress.

Specter’s work is a great example of successful public art. It offends, upsets, pushes people’s buttons (including my own) and titillates.
The point is that there isn’t enough of this type of work being funded. Art is supposed to make you think. Can you name a memorable piece of legal public art installed recently in Toronto that does that? Yeah, me neither.

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