Wile E. Ford Bike Lane Mural

This Wile. E. Coyote style bike lane mural in Kensington Market is part of an exhibit at the AGO. Photo by Martin Reis.

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Urban Repair Squad strikes again!

Wile E. Coyote style bike lane mural painted as part of AGO exhibit

Photos by Martin Reis

Story by Tammy Thorne

Bicycles are ubiquitous in any great city – and so is contemporary art. Artists Sean Martindale and Pascal Paquette get that. The two are currently showing NOW: an installation at the AGO’s Young Gallery that includes a workspace for the artists and a lounge/work area with free wi-fi and comment board for visitors. Two time-lapse videos of graffiti writing taking place outside the gallery finish the installation.

Martindale and Paquette recently invited the guerilla street artists, the Urban Repair Squad to paint a mural for the video, called “whitewash.” (Read about the Urban Repair Squad from our first issue of dandyhorse.)

The Wile E. Ford bike lane mural is in an alley off of Nassau in Kensington Market. It’s the same wall used for the NOW exhibition by other artists.

“We invited current and active street and graffiti artists to paint that wall, then Sean and I paint it over with white paint. The video in our exhibition shows us doing that,” says Paquette. “The video is a reaction to Ford’s erasing our fine works of art but also to how ephemeral the art form is.”

The “Wile E. Ford” mural (as the URS artists are calling it) will be painted over on Wednesday or Thursday (March 21 or 22) to make room for the next art work.

We know our mayor thinks the idea of a connected network of bike lanes across our gridlock-choked city is “Looney Tunes” – so dandyhorse applauds the Urban Repair Squad for this little act of levity that also brings light to our serious plight for safe cycling in this city.

When URS first started painting bike lanes they were known to leave notes like “City broke, we fix – no charge” … read about their cost-effective, statement-making art, here, from our first issue of dandyhorse.

dandyhorse magazine is available for visitors and is part of the NOW Service Bureau exhibit, which goes until April 1. Visitors can meet the artists from 6-8 pm Wednesdays.

dandyhorse interviewed artist Paul Butler who previously exhibited The Greg Curnoe Bicycle Project in the Young Gallery as part of the Toronto NOW series. Read about this exhibit here.

Toronto Now spotlights local artists and offers the public an opportunity to see exciting contemporary art projects free of charge. The series inhabits the Young Gallery, a free, street-level space adjacent to Frank restaurant, facing Dundas Street. Enter through the gift shop (from the AGO front entrance.)

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