October 2020 - Toronto ON
At the time, Andrew mentioned it was odd to see such a commercial location. It turned out that Phade,Jessey Pacho, negotiated a contract with the station to highlight his artwork. I also discovered that he had another gas station mural.His inspiration was "one specific time, during the recent (2019 NBA) playoffs, that everyone in the city - regardless of nation, creed, political views or background - was united and connected."
Aesthetically the work combines the familiarity of the human face with the distressed surfaces of aged architecture and infrastructure found in the urban environment. The graffiti tags have been meticulously rendered from actual markings found in the neighbourhood and act as representational signifiers of human presence on our streets, while the patterned effects symbolize the energy of human movement that give our cities their kinetic life. The vibrant and contrasting colours found within the backgrounds create a juxtaposition that helps to frame the black and white portraits, while simultaneously presenting the notion that we all stem from the same colourful tree.
The twelve subjects were not easy to pick. As a cross section, they represent everyone who has, does or will live in Regent Park. Their faces are the welcome home to residents, the hello to local and international visitors to the neighbourhood, and the ever-present gatekeepers who will keep watch over Regent Park and remind us that it is through our differences that we gain strength and through our personal relationships that we create community.