Toronto Through My Lens

Banksy at One York

Today we look at Banksy’s Guard with Balloon Dog.

Banksy is the pseudonym of a UK-based street artist, political activist and film director, whose real name and identity remain unconfirmed and the subject of speculation. Active since the 1990s, Banky’s satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humour with graffiti executed in a distinctive stencilling technique.

His works of political and social commentary have appeared on streets, walls and bridges throughout the world. Like Toronto’s own Elicser, Banksy’s art has a style which is instantly recognizable.

Here in Toronto we are fortunate to have his Guard with Balloon Dog (2010). It used to be on the exterior of what was formerly OPP headquarters in downtown Toronto. The building was torn down to make way for residential and commercial towers, but a section of the wall with the art was saved. Menkes, the company who redeveloped the site at One York Street, preserved the concrete slab and it now has a permanent home on the mezzanine level of One York Street.

There used to be 7 Banksy works scattered around Toronto, but several were destroyed or painted over. Now only two exist, including Guard With Balloon Dog.

Everything you could ever want to know about Banksy is located here.

Shooting “Guard with Balloon Dog” at One York Street

Here are some examples of Banksy’s work (disclaimer: only the first image is mine):

I came across this piece while I was visiting St. Austell in the UK. The work resides on a door beside the Cafe Tengo. If it’s not a genuine Banksy, it’s a great imitation.

1 Comment

  1. David

    Very interesting. Thanks Marv

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