Since its inception in the 1970's, graffiti has evolved and gained significant notoriety throughout art communities around the world. Toronto in particular has served as an expansive canvas for some of Canada's most talented street artists and muralists. In fact, street art and murals have become a cornerstone of Toronto's modern aesthetic and charm. Leading Toronto's graffiti scene is an underground community of artists, some anonymous, who are slowly transforming our city's underpasses, concrete walls and pathways into immersive works of art.
This list shares the top 5 Toronto street artists you should know.
1. Brian Leitch a.k.a KWEST
KWEST is best known for his bright, colourful mural work which illustrates his signature typography style that features sharp, tight lines. If you're not a graffiti geek, you may have also seen KWEST's 3-D graffiti sculpture installation at Nuit Blanche in Toronto.
Anser has arguably one of the most distinctive and refined styles in Toronto's street art scene. His minimalist portraits have received significant attention from the art community, in fact, in 2014, Anser had their own exhibit in Toronto's Hashtag Gallery on Dundas West.
3. Shallack Attack
Shallack Attack's work truly transforms Toronto's otherwise dull and lacklustre concrete spaces. This artist's bright and incredibly elaborate mural work can be spotted while passing through some of Toronto's major underpasses.
If you live in Toronto, chances are you've encountered Poser's demonic looking bunnies, which are somewhat reminiscent of Pinky and the Brain characters. Although Poser's largest piece can be found along Roncesvalles, his unique characters seem to mysteriously multiply "like rabbits" around the city.
5. Joel Richardson
Always topical and highly political, Joel Richardson uses his artistic voice to ruffle feathers and instigate change through his bold and punchy mural designs. Most notably, the City of Toronto erased one of Joel's murals commissioned by the city after residents claimed it was too political.