An armchair that has sat on a vacant lot in Toronto for over a year was given a sad face by a Los Angeles artist.
The chair is on the lot once occupied by the historic Peacock Hotel, which burned down in May 2019 and was later demolished.
Over the Christmas break, a face appeared on the chair and also on an abandoned bench on Bloor Street, west of High Park – although it appears to have been moved.
Both are the work of Lonesome Town, a project by an LA artist who prefers to remain anonymous. Lonesome Town has been featured in The Independent, Wall Street International Magazine and Bored Panda.
The artist tells blogTO that he started working on Lonesome Town projects around November 2016. He created the two latest works while visiting the city with his girlfriend, who is from Toronto, during the holidays.
He also created some private work for friends.
All public works of art are created on found objects on the street, the artist says, and he paints them where they were found.
“There’s an ever-flowing river of garbage on the streets of Los Angeles, which gives me plenty of opportunities to work,” he says.
Lonesome Town revolves around themes of neglect and abandonment, he adds.
“We have these material items that have so much meaning in our lives, things we rely on to keep our food cold, things we sit on to provide comfort in our family,” he says. “If one day we decide we don’t need these specific items anymore, we push them out on the street to make them victims of what life has to offer them.”
He says Lonesome Town gives these pieces a second life.
These were not the first pieces of Lonesome Town in Toronto.
The artist also worked on a few pieces during the summer of 2019, including a vintage painting of Venice, Italy, which hung on an alley wall south of Jersey Avenue. He believes that piece is still there.