I have a soft spot for these guys as this is how it all began.
The Orphans were initially a street art series that I developed while I was in the UK and was looking for a way to enliven the often dreary urban environment by wrapping these hand drawn characters around postal boxes, utility poles or anywhere else that I felt was left derelict and needed some loving(although the very first one I did was at the Letteiriís on Queen and Spadina while bored out of my mind at work...). In doing this, I was toying around with ideas of a mass produced artwork and the way it can create a textiled urban environment that both uniquely proclaimed the artwork/style and suggested a more positive outlook for the city.
A lot of people ask me whatís the story behind The Orphans and what do all the little characters mean. To be honest(and this is a rarity for me...) I actually donít have one. I can make up some BS story about these being lost little urban creatures looking for a good home, but I donít find that line particularly satisfying. Instead, I kind of like the anonymity that the mass produced effect creates, it seems appropriate in its creation for and of the city. Essentially, I see the massive textile effect The Orphans create as a reflection of the absurd and inherent Ďchaordicnessí(chaotic organization) of how we organize ourselves in the city; that is, there is a generic overlay or blanket of organizational infrastructure but underneath it is where the interesting, random, chaotic, absurd bits and pieces of life occur. And, not to amp my work up that much, I think the tension between the template Orphan character and their hand drawn textiles adds up to match that same urban tension. So I guess thatís why I call the series ĎThe Orphans,í in reflection of the chaotic anonymity of urban life.
If the flickr slide show doesn't appear, click the .pdf link HERE for an archived version.