In case anyone is interested, the black and yellow Playground Zone sign on the northwest corner of both 8th Avenue and Manitoba Street and Jonathan Rogers Park has been artfully stickered so that the sign’s silhouette symbol of a child with a ball is now wearing the uniform of the Toronto Raptors, which happens to be Canada’s only team in the U.S.-based National Basketball Association.
And we’re not talking just any old Toronto Raptors’ uniform but the purple and black version, circa-2000, bearing the number 15, which was worn by the great American shooting guard and small forward, Vince Carter, when he played for the Raptors between 1998 and 2004.
The playful traffic sign alteration, which caught my attention Tuesday (January 16) on my return west from an East Vancouver recycling depot, is really very nicely done.
The stick-on uniform exactly fits the stick figure, both in terms of size and simplicity of style. Care has even been taken to have the uniform shorts hang correctly on the stick figure’s legs.
A refreshing sign of creativity
Street artists like Clet Abraham have made a real art of cleverly stickering traffic signs in various European and American cities but not so much here in Vancouver.
For far too long the “art” of modifying Vancouver traffic signs has taken three, unimaginably dull forms: random tagging—whether sticker, marker or, spray bomb; adding male genitalia to figurative signs using a black marker; and slapping stickers bearing the name of an objectionable something (“pipelines”) or someone (“Harper“) underneath the word “STOP” on Stop signs.
The sporty stick-up in East Vancouver (like the street stickers of M. W. Bowen) represents something new in terms of creative graffiti in Vancouver and I for one hope it is a sign of even better things to come.