News / Toronto

Guerilla art at the intersection of 416 streets

Jorge Molina is reclaiming Toronto street corners in his public art campaign across 35 neighbourhoods.

Jorge Molina has plans to take his art project far beyond the corners of his beloved Swansea neighbourhood.

Liz Beddall / Metro

Jorge Molina has plans to take his art project far beyond the corners of his beloved Swansea neighbourhood.

You may see a road sign and a garbage can on your local street corner. But Jorge Molina sees art. 

That’s what prompted him to launch a guerilla public-art campaign, creating original paintings of things he sees at Toronto intersections and hanging the works on hydro poles at the places they depict.

“We see this crap every day and it becomes mundane,” Molina told Metro. “But I see art in that stuff, and I want people to see what I see.”

The paintings — ranging from wildlife to newspaper boxes — started popping up three weeks ago in the Swansea neighbourhood. At first, Molina was working anonymously but went public with a story in the Bloor West Villager this week.

liz beddall/ metro

Now, he’s planning to expand the campaign and hang 416 small canvasses in 35 neighbourhoods across The Six.

He’s not really sure if the plan’s legal, but said the art is an improvement over the babysitting and weight-loss program ads he sees stapled to utility poles every day. His hope is that he can hang all 416 over the next several weeks.

When the project is done, anyone is welcome to take a painting for themselves, Molina said.

At least one person has already jumped the gun. Molina discovered Wednesday afternoon that a painting from his neighbourhood has already been snagged.

 “It’s cool, that’s what I wanted,” he said. “I just wasn’t ready for them to take it just yet.”

More on Metronews.ca