Mysterious graffiti website captures an ever-changing city art scene
Saskatoonstreets.com has been fearlessly documenting street art – ‘graffiti’ for all you lowbrows – on a daily basis since August 2010.
Since then the site has grown into something of a community-curated forum of pretty things that cops hate. Saskatoonstreets openly invites their audience to submit their own pictures.
The intensity and medium of the featured pieces is varied, but many of them should be all too familiar for anyone who takes the time to walk around their neighbourhood.
Ominocity caught up with the site’s mysterious curator, known only as J, who states that “they are not a street artist” and have no affiliation with the artists posted on the site.
Ominocity: You’ve been doing Saskatoonstreets for over two years now – what motivates you to keep doing this?
J: I initially began taking pictures of street art because pieces I’d noticed around Saskatoon had been covered up or ‘buffed’ when I’d gone back to see them again. When I started my site, it was the only one of it’s kind in Saskatoon. I feel it’s important to document street art in Saskatoon because it’s always revolving and changing.
OM: What are your favourite pieces you’ve featured and why?
J: One of my two favorite pieces of all time was the Sailor Dan series – it was the perfect ‘Saskatoon’ street art.
Also, the rainbow pug. Its soft pastel ‘rainbow’ palette was really unique and I’ve never found anything else like it.
OM: Obviously some poopy pants out there would point out the legal issues with graffiti and vandalism…
J: Street art’s very nature, and by-the-books definition, is ‘vandalism’. But it’s very hard to ignore just how talented some of the artists in Saskatoon are. I choose to look past the vandalism to showcase that talent. To me the difference between street art and a simple act of vandalism is the effort, skill, and thought an artist puts into the composition and placement of their work. While some people set out with intent to destroy or damage property, I believe street artists have the intent to beautify our city. Most of the art I feature on Saskatoonstreets is done on public spaces that are highly visible and I feel that art is an important part of Saskatoon’s cityscape.
OM: Have you ever met any of the artists you feature?
J: I prefer to stay out of the scene.
OM: What’s ahead for Saskatoonstreets? Printed book? Expanded website?
J: I don’t see Saskatoonstreets disappearing anytime soon. Currently my queue has enough art to last another year and I am still finding new art everyday. In addition, Saskatoonstreets is truly a ‘community’ blog. I’m hoping for continued community support and interaction – I really appreciate it when people send in submissions because I can’t be everywhere and sometimes I miss art before it disappears.
-All images graciously donated by Saskatoonstreets.com