I recently mentioned my curiosity about the differences between spray and line street-artists, and as soon as I self-sensitized that way, I noticed a couple.
Not only is this (one-liner?) a real stylistic treat, for it’s minimal aspect and very immediate energy, we also see a little askew commentary from a paint-stick artist who shares the same Queen W. terrain as their dynamic canvas.
The building itself is curious to me – because it seemed at the time it opened (early 80s) like a sure certain sign of the end of ‘the scene’ – even though it was another decade before the area became so overpriced that all of the crazy artists who had made it cool, had to move (go west, young fool – at least past Bathurst!).
The store was “LeChateau” and without wishing to cast aspersions on any who sailed within, we all saw it as a total sellout, because the whole point of eighties street style was to make your own weird combination from scraps scavenged from the backs of closets and Sally-Ann’s bargain bins.
These folks started selling pre-destroyed clothing long before there were entire factory-towns dedicated to it’s production, and pretty much every major Madonna phase was reflected in off-the-rack knockoffs here (even the extra-hideous stuff)
Anyhow, there is something odd about feeling nostalgic about a business which itself always felt insincere in a most fundamental way – cheating – for touristas. But let’s all of us be happy and proud that the spot reflected right across the street – the venerable Steve’s music, yet thrives – and is far less of an earsplitting ramshackle, weirdly labyrinthine fire-trap than it used to be. (Still very charming tho) ;o) Way less snobby and clubby in some departments, too – which means even more wallet-threatening than ever! (And they were always dangerous)
This is one Queen St West anchor that truly does keep local artists running smoothly and hanging around for more – and many big points to ’em for it.
(I’m still drooling over the electric baritone uke in the window – yowza!)