In progress: bathroom graffiti mosaic

I’m thinking of making a series of mosaics based on bathroom graffiti, and I’ve started on the first piece to see whether it’ll be worth doing a few of these.

Mirror in Sneaky Dee's washroom.

The mirror in Sneaky Dee’s washroom I’m using as the basis for this mosaic

I decided to start with an image of the bathroom mirror at Sneaky Dee’s, both because the mirror aspect of it seemed like an interesting twist to explore, and because this was the place that gave me the idea in the first place.

Graffiti is the main aspect of Sneaky Dee’s decor, and while in the restaurant itself it doesn’t overwhelm you, every time I enter their washroom, it’s like an aesthetic punch to the solar plexus. Every inch of wall, cubicle and ceiling space is covered in sloppily lettered platitudes and highly unoriginal insults.

I like the place, it has good food. And I’m sure its punkish nighttime crowd, whose inebriated decorating efforts are represented here, would be pleased with the revolting effect they have on the casual weekend bruncher. But rather than try to tune out this passive aggressive assault on my artistic sensibilities, I decided to see whether I can turn it into something that I’d find beautiful.

So far it’s working. I love how this unholy mess is turning out in stained glass and mirror, on a 1.5′ x 1.5′ board. But cutting the glass with the required obsessive precision is taking such a long time.

Graffitti mosaic in progress

Detail of the mosaic in progress. Under the pieces of stained glass is the printout of the original photo that I’m using as a sketch.

And since I’ve been accepted to exhibit at the Riverdale Art Walk, which is taking place June 1-2, I’ll need to take the next four weeks to make a few new pieces for that show. So I’ll have to lay this one aside for now, otherwise I’ll kill most of that time finishing it. But it’ll be worth the wait, I think; it’s turning out kind of incredible.


In progress: bathroom graffiti mosaic — 3 Comments

  1. I LOVE THIS MOSAIC! SO incredibly creative, hip and fun. Congratulations. It looks amazing so far. The pick glass looks great and mirror always looks amazing. This is a really original idea, I hope you do more!

  2. I live in a part of Fernie where more often than not when going to town or returning, I have to wait for a CPR train to roll by. For years, I’ve been watching and admiring the clever graffiti some artists are doing to doll up mostly wheat and asst. other tankers. Some really good stuff. Some I can’t even read. Some pretty crude (just like some lines in Sneekeie Dee’s I suspect.) It’s not far to walk so I’m thinking of carrying my camera and if I see cars on a siding, get some pics. Never know, might find inspiration for a mosaic. Just as you did. Idea: wonder if the restaurant will buy your mosaic, then clean the mirror! (Here’s a hint on getting mirror to come out bright and white, and not reflecting stuff: place it on your living room floor, out of direct sunlight, and it will reflect your ceiling, or if you like a “natural” look do it outside on a blue and white day. That’s what my better-half does. Nothing gets rid of mirror parallax though, rats.)