Hidden Toronto Book LaunchFriday, March 29, 2013
Hidden Toronto by Kathy Toth is a new photobook launching April 2, 2013 at Swipe Design from 5pm to 8pm. The book focuses on graffiti in Toronto and how the mayor Rob Ford has driven artists to legitimacy and pushed them underground.
Graffiti once considered a truly underground art form developed in Toronto a little later then other US and European cities under liberal circumstances and benefited from the many legal spaces where artists could paint free of harassment. This has remained constant for almost twenty years, however with the election of Rob Ford and his limited understanding of the art form and extremely conservative ‘buffing’ policy, artists have taken their work in droves to hidden spots which now get painted more often. This includes less trafficked areas such as drainage channels, bridges, overpasses and abandoned buildings which are featured in ‘Hidden Toronto’. Many of these spaces are only seen by the artists and urban explorers and require a fair bit of trekking and specific instructions (or luck) to find, making them more special then coming across work in Rush Lane. While graffiti is an ephemeral art form, political policies as well as developments have changed our city on many levels and even the underground elements reflect this. Gentrification aside, some elements of the city still remain hidden just below the surface and new work and spaces are out there to be discovered and this book features imagery from these locations which not only document the artwork and spaces themselves, but also the mood.
Kathy Toth is a local commercial photographer and visual artist whose documentary projects focus on elements of the urban, industrial and built environment. She has documented graffiti in Toronto for almost 20 years and this is her first solo photo book project. She has exhibited her paintings and photography extensively and is currently working on related projects.