A Conversation With: Scarborough’s Signature Graffiti Artist Durothethird
There’s a certain je ne sais quoi about spray paint art that is evocative and unpredictable. You can experience at any time and at any place – like a meaningful image created for a gallery or wall on the street. Durothethird, an acclaimed Scarborough artist known for his graffiti-style murals is unveiling his latest work in honour of his hometown on Saturday, February 8, 2020, at Scarborough Town Centre‘s Show The Love from 2-5 P.M.
The borough neighbouring Toronto’s eastern fringe has a rich history and is known as a mosaic of different cultures. “Show The Love” celebrates this history, showcasing community love and Scarborough pride with the unveiling of Duro’s Scarborough Royalty mural, which combines graffiti with elements of the region.
“We’re excited to launch Scarborough Town Centre’s second collaboration with local artist Durothethird, an illustration of Scarborough pride, through Show The Love,” says Lisa Resnic, Marketing Manager, Scarborough Town Centre. “Show The Love is a combination of art, community, and retail – core pillars of STC. We invite the Scarborough community to meet with us and their loved ones and witness the unveiling of Durothethird‘s mural, shop with exciting vendors, and Meet & Greet Deputy Mayor Thompson.”
Duro’s success story is one born out of motivation. Beginning his artistic career at the age of 14, the artist spray paints colorful murals throughout Scarborough and has since created some of Canada’s most recognized walls. He has produced numerous murals across Canada, Australia, and the United States and has since collaborated with the likes of Google, Facebook, and Nike.
After a 30-year career he continues to make art that impacts his viewers. “Art has always offered reflection and conversation, while providing an opportunity to stimulate change. In the case of STC, Duro’s work has encouraged and exemplified pride. We’re honored to showcase a brilliant and timely piece of art that reflects the pride of this vibrant community. To see our guests proudly stand in front of this larger than life piece and emotionally relate to its content, is positively heartwarming.” says Lisa Resnic, Marketing Manager for Scarborough Town Centre. Ahead of his mural launch, we spoke to him about work, success, and how his hometown Scarborough shapes his art.
Did your upbringing in Scarborough influence your style of art?
It has everything to do with my art. I grew up exploring the streets of Scarborough, learning from my cousin and painting with guys who were my idols. Scarborough was rough, but the people were supportive and it inspired me to pursue my passion. My mother supported me, my high school supported me, my community supported me and because of that, I was able to explore my style and learn from my peers, in Canada and internationally.
Has your creative process changed over the years? If so, how?
Yes, when the selfie was invented. It used to be about taking a picture of a mural but now it’s about taking a picture IN a mural. Now it’s all about telling a story and being interactive. My whole strategy changed when I saw people’s reactions to the wings I painted at Brooklyn bar on Queen Street West. I threw them up there and had no idea if people would get it or not. Not only did they start taking selfies right away, but the mural went viral and even inspired an Instagram account and hundreds of imitators. I took the lessons from that mural and moved on quickly.
Images: @durothethird Instagram
What is the concept behind your mural at Scarborough Town Centre?
The concept was for me to celebrate all the regions of Scarborough which had not been celebrated before. Scarborough has never had a good reputation in the media. It is considered the other side of the tracks where all the minorities were thrown. There was a divide between Scarborough and the rest of Toronto. I decided to pay respect to every single street in Scarborough and to bring it all together under the theme of royalty. We are proud and we are culturally rich and diverse, and that makes us kings and queens.
What’s the main takeaway you want people to have when looking at it?
The only thing I want people to see is inclusiveness. I want people to see themselves in the mural and feel proud about where they grew up, where they live, and where they’re raising their families.
If you can advise a younger Durothethird what would you say? What do you attribute your success to?
Dreams come true when you work hard. All the crazy ideas you have are possible, and those who say otherwise just don’t have the ability to dream as big as you.
I attribute all my success to my constant desire to make people happy. I can’t stop, I won’t stop and I will continue to use my work to inspire and motivate others to pursue their passion