London Art Hike: Downtown Murals Pt. 2


The painting above is another “faux” mural.  At first glance it appears to have been painted directly on the front of this building but it is on a large piece of wood and has actually been taken down and put back up a couple of times.  The name on it is V. Harrison and it depicts the royal visit to Canada of King George VI and his royal consort Queen Elizabeth in 1939.  Other than that, not much is known about it.

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These murals have been painted on the side of a building near the corner of Dundas and Wellington Streets.  The main artist is someone who has dubbed himself as Captain Ron, with some portions being done by other artists.  The only signatures I could see on the mural were that of Captain Ron and Mike.  I wasn’t able to find any additional information on Captain Ron other than the fact that he has stated that his mission is to enhance the artistic environment of London.  As you can see, this is a true mural in that it has been painted directly on the bricks of the building.


One of the things that Captain Ron (and some other mural artists) does that I really like is to incorporate parts of the building’s architecture right into his murals.


This portion of the building was kept unpainted so that the original purpose of the building could still be seen.


Here’s another small Captain Ron mural (is it still a mural even though it’s on an electric box instead of a wall?).  Although it’s been defaced by the addition of graffiti and some flyers, it still makes me smile to see something as boring and functional as an electric box being enhanced in this way.


Another Captain Ron mural on the back of a building.


This mural, done in 2010,  is a collaboration of several people.  The artist who did the major portion of the painting depicting stylized scenes from downtown London including Victoria Park, the Talbot block, and the corner of Dundas and Richmond is Tommy Bradnam.  Other portions of the wall space were opened up to graffiti artists, partly in response to the crackdown of city police on graffiti.  A space was given to some of the graffiti artists to add their images and tags where it was being done legally, with permission, and would not be removed or covered over.

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I have no information on this mural and in fact, it was not a part of the tour.  I just happened to see it on the side of a photography store as we were walking and decided to snap a shot of it as well.  I thought perhaps that it wasn’t being included in the museum’s tour because of it being an advertisement for a business but we later did see some other murals that were done as ads.


Here’s one of the other ones that was done as an advertisement, this time for Bud Gowan Antiques.  I have no information on the artist and only know that this was commissioned by Bud Gowan who had a very specific image in mind and that very little control over the design was given to the artist.


Here is another example of a mural done as an advertisement, this one being for Eightball on King, a pool hall.  This mural was painted by T. Denomme in 2000 and once again you can see that elements of the building’s architecture were incorporated right into the mural.  The only information I have on the artist was that he was formerly a teacher at Fanshawe College and that he is now deceased.

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This is another “faux” mural, created on wood and framed, and then attached to the front of a building housing a store that has now closed.  There’s something about this that really attracted me – I think perhaps it’s because I almost feel like I’ve stepped back into time and that I’m seeing something that could have happened on the streets of London so many years ago.  What saddens me about it is that this mural has suffered a good deal of weather damage (as well as some attacks of graffiti in the form of moustaches being added to many of the characters) and if restoration is not done on this in the near future, this mural will be lost completely.  I’m hoping that someone in London will take up the mission of getting the building owner’s permission and raising the funds to have this piece restored.

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This is a very long mural placed along the wall under the overhead walkways along King Street.  The street was shut down for a weekend and the mural was painted all within that time.  The artists who designed this mural were from Argentina and the idea behind the mural was to promote friendship, acceptance,  and unity among North, South, and Central America.  The Argentinian artists came in with an idea for the design and then local artists joined in to help them carry out their vision.  The colours at the far right end of the mural are somewhat muted and as you travel to the left, they become more and more vibrant.


There’s still one more part of this series to go!  Keep watching the blog for more.

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