Breaking Bad street art in Canada

Boing Boing reader Peter Schwagly sends in the photo of Breaking Bad street art above and below, and says,

I'm a super fan of Breaking Bad and Boingboing as well.... is there something to the shared alliteration? I thought you might like this stencil I found in Vancouver a few months ago. Someone did a whole series of Mr White. They were fantastic.


    1. I see some of this street art style popping up in San Francisco, with young guys staring at it asking each other “is it a Banksy?” When it’s obviously a giant decal.

  1. It’s possible that somebody replaced my sense of childish wonder with a shrivelled hatred core; but I always have to wonder about ‘street art’ that happens to align conveniently with contemporary commercial imperatives. It isn’t news that hiring some ‘edgy’ agency to farm out your advertising to plausibly-deniable subcontractors can be cheaper(and, if you don’t fuck it up, as Sony did with their, um, totally-down-with-kids-these-days, PSP guerilla marketing efforts, more ‘authentic’) than standard billboards…

    Around these parts, there are still light poles with those “IV” decals in the font used by GTA IV that…coincidentally… started popping up like acne in the ramp-up to that game’s release.

    1. I think the difference can often be seen in the talent of the artist and the range, geographically, of the works. If these where all over Vancouver or also in another city, I think I’d peg it as marketing. However, even if this is that – I am happy to put up with this level and quality of marketing.

      1. My distaste for the marketing flavor of ‘street art'(beyond the usual instinctive loathing of marketing people, along with snakes, spiders, and the undead, which humans possess by nature) lies in the fact that it is subject to all the anti-graffiti arguments; but very few of those in favor.

        There’s also the, er, less than classy labor relations story behind much of this flavor of guerrilla marketing: $FOOCORP wants some buzz, so they hire some ‘edgy’ advertising firm, who then farms out the actual installation of the approved branding to pieceworkers paid under the table and personally subject to all the legal risk of the posting/pasting/painting. On occasion, the connection to the parent company will be too obvious for the taste of a city government and some token fine will be paid; but all the little-people criminal justice system risk is on the expendable temps. 

    2.  There’s nothing “shrivelled hatred core” out of developing a viral marketing alert sense for stuff like this. I like Breaking Bad hugely, and that was still my initial reaction: decent bits of commercial art that looked a teeny bit like stenciling, but probably weren’t.

    1.  No, and I’m one who tends to resent the idea that I have to consume a particular commercial product in order to be part of the zeitgeist. But, in this case, I’d make the jump; it’s very sharp and funny and trenchant, easily the best thing that anyone involved in it has ever done.

  2. I actually took a photo of this and posted it to Facebook about 6 months ago. Strange seeing it on Boing Boing. 
    This is on Davis St. around Burrard in Vancouver. Great piece of work.

    1.  If it’s been up for six months, I wonder if it’s been refreshed at some point, those look kinda new.

      1. They are long gone now. I didn’t submit the photos until a few days ago after the first episode of the season reminded me of them. One was up at the end of December, the other at the beginning of January but they were on a busy street and taken down quickly.

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