This masterpiece of bathroom graffiti was taken at Jimmy Jazz in Guelph, Ontario. It’s my favourite graffiti ever. When you go to reach for some toilet paper and come up empty handed- as is the norm- instead of anger, you can’t help but smile at how someone felt the need to profess their love of Language Arts. What a strange thing to add to a wall that is mostly a list of the names of accused sluts. Not necessarily a fantastic piece of design, but it stands out against the rest of the clutter and makes me laugh every time the free trivia night prize beer can be contained no more. Never have these bathrooms been painted over. The graffiti is welcomed and celebrated in this context and has become a bizarre collage of drunken nuggets of genius. Call your mom, she won’t be here for ever.
This mural in Guelph, Ontario, now painted over, is circulating the internet as a popular image for social change. Guelph has always been home to a strong grassroots, community- minded subculture driving social change. The mural, although controversial and not particularly appealing aesthetically, had a surprisingly long shelf-life in a city long obsessed with rejuvenating the downtown core (aka attracting the middle and upper classes to shop and dine). For me, this mural is iconic to Guelph. Having grown up there, I think it says a whole lot about the uniqueness of the city and the people who live there. They march to the beat of their own drum, sometimes literally, in spontaneous drumming circles. I’m not sure about the history surrounding the murals on this wall (there are a few), if they were commissioned, or if they truly are graffiti, but this one stands out for its boldness and starkness. Unlike the others on the wall, the message is direct and cuts straight to the point. The faceless figure is very effective – if this were just writing on the wall it would be far less impactful, maybe even forgettable. This image has survived past its physical state and continues to leave an impression as it’s passed around social media.