SCOTT RAMSAY – Celebration!

Vancouver artists refashion alleyways of peculiar smells, broken people, and bizarre litter into a different species of scenery for us to get from point C to D.

If you walk the alleyways along Main Street, the spray-paint bouquets and sharpie-pen jewellery on the dumpsters, walls, and windows persistently cycle like the seasons. They exist as the living canvas of the city.

Let’s celebrate this canvas of new taggers who territorially spray the scene, and the established taggers re-establishing their names. Let’s celebrate the rogue illustrators applying rebel paint on forbidden murals. Let’s celebrate those comical, political, and bizarro-world sticker communications. Let’s celebrate the cracks and rising rust. And, of course, let’s praise the retailers who combat the onslaught of graffiti every day. It all blends into unintentional collaborative masterpieces (if only for a few hallowed inches).

I stepped over dried paint splatters thinking of Jackson Pollock.

I imagined his ghost with a brush and paint bucket stumbling through the streets. Pollock’s work everywhere. Monet everywhere. Degas everywhere.

The ghosts of our social consciousness live there too. Marylyn Monroe leans against a wall having a cigarette away from the crowd. Robin Williams takes a moment to become his private self. Richard Nixon tastes Chinese cuisine for the first time.

Even in Vancouver’s moloch, solitude, filth, ugliness, ashcans and unobtainable dollars,

Ginsburg would also say, “Everything is holy!”

That’s addicting.

Just as caves and rocks around the world became multi-generational art galleries and social histories sometimes spanning 40,000 years, alleyways constantly change with Vancouver’s push and pull of ripe virtuosity.

I aspired to pinpoint this palimpsest of talent and add to it myself.



For proximity-to-my-home purposes, my attempt to have pedestrians notice the palimpsest along Main Street, up to 28th and down to Industrial Ave, looked like this:

1) Choose celebrated people, or renowned pieces of art, which I believed to be emblems of our social consciousness. Instead of foot-travelers just passing by, these images hopefully could draw their eye and produce within the pedestrian a memory, or an opinion, no matter how fleeting.

2) Print up stickers of those images in various sizes.

3) Stencil out the stickers so they interact more naturally with the background.

4) Walk along Main Street east alleyway in the morning for morning light, or along Main Street alleyway west in the afternoon light to find stimulating areas to team up with emblems.

5) Place a sticker as precisely as possible on the perfect place. Take a photo.

6) Return to stickers frequently for a year. Take photos of the changed image.

7) Print up photos.

8) Extend the celebration by applying paint, pastels, glazes, and sharpie pens on photos.







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