Almost exactly three years since public arts organization 'The STEPS Initiative' unveiled plans for the since-realized "World's Tallest Mural" at 200 Wellesley Street East, the organization is celebrating another major contribution to Toronto's public art landscape. It has been almost a month since U.K.-based street artist 'Phlegm' began work on a massive mural on the blank west face of the Padulo Building at 1 St. Clair Avenue West. This afternoon, painting of the art installation officially wrapped up.
The installation is the result of a collaboration between property owners Slate Asset Management along with The STEPS Initiative and the City of Toronto's StreetARToronto (StART) program, and part of Slate's long-term overhaul of the Yonge-St.Clair hub. According to Lucas Manuel, Managing Director of Slate Asset Management, “Yonge and St. Clair was once a vibrant and bustling area, but in recent times has been sorely overlooked. Our goal is to make lasting, impactful public-realm improvements that will revive this once-proud neighbourhood, and the mural is our first step in injecting a dynamic new energy into Yonge and St. Clair.”
The installation has been piquing the curiosity of passersby on St. Clair west of Yonge, many of whom noticed today the presence of television news crews with cameras pointed skyward. Creating a playful counterbalance to the rigid Modernist aesthetic of the 1968-built Padulo Building, Phlegm's mural depicts a person in the foetal position, made up of a collage of local landmarks including the CN Tower, the Royal Ontario Museum, and the Canada Life Building to name a few. As of 1PM this afternoon, work on the mural was just in the process of wrapping up, with the artist and his assistant working on the final few square feet of the figure's head.
As of 2 PM on August 3rd, the swing stage that was used to do the painting had been lowered, and the full scope of the mural revealed for the first time. Twitter photos are invited to be tagged with #PHLEGMPAINTS.