501 North is a painting of the interior of a Street Car. Streetcars, Trolly's, or Trams are a public transportation... Read More
501 North is a painting of the interior of a Street Car. Streetcars, Trolly's, or Trams are a public transportation option offered in the city of Toronto, Canada. They have an odd love hate relationship with the city and its citizens. Romanticized for their old world nostalgia, and uniqueness; Toronto is the only city in Canada with such a system, yet hated because of their toll on the street traffic. The Streetcar is iconically urban, iconically Torontonian, and in this way iconically Canadian. The idea of the the Streetcar being a vehicle both literally and metaphorically is very interesting to me. It's a vehicle that transports those primarily of lower socio-economic status, disenfranchised and individuals often seen as the other. In direct contrast to this the scene depicted outside of the car windows is that of a calm lake cottage scene. Cottage beaches specifically northern cottages are an area where Toronto's affluent can escape from the city. The 501 Streetcar only travels east and west, the title of the piece alludes to the meaning behind it. In this work two iconic images are juxtaposed with one another. First the retro futuristic lines in the interior of a late 70's Streetcar, second the idyllic northern white pine blowing in the wind; an image romanticized in 20th century canadian artwork, specifically by that of the group of seven. The two images are painted together, using contrasting colours to further emphasize the dichotomy created in the city between two socio economic groups, those that can escape the city and those who cannot.