'Unsanctioned' spider artwork to be removed by City of Vancouver

City to remove big spider

A giant creepy crawly was installed under the Victoria Drive Bridge by Montreal-based artist Junko Playtime and while many locals have mixed feelings about the piece, titled Phobia, the City has ultimately decided it's got to go.

The arachnid artwork was reportedly illegally installed earlier this month.

"The City was made aware of the unsanctioned spider artwork, located on a City bridge structure, last week," a spokesperson tells V.I.A. in an emailed statement. "This space is managed by multiple partners; it serves as a corridor for SkyTrain and CN/BNSF Rail. The installation of this artwork was not done in consultation with the City of Vancouver or the rail corridor partners."

There is no word on when the spider will be coming down but the city says it "has been working with its partners to discuss the best path forward for the removal, to ensure there is no damage to the bridge structure, and that the removal is done safely with minimal service level impacts to the adjacent rail lines."

Junko has started a campaign on his social media to save the sculpture and encourages people to contact the city through its website and express support for the art.

"The City of Vancouver announced they are planning to remove 'Phobia' due to some complaints from the public," he writes. "Unfortunately this is the only opinion that has been expressed to them and they do not see the positive response it has been getting both online and in person. By dropping them a quick message you can help change their mind!"

The "Help Save Spidey" campaign has garnered quite the response with people calling out Vancouver for being "a no fun city."

Junko also points a finger at the garbage left on the tracks, writing that "it seems odd that the city has no problem with all the garbage on the tracks but plans to spend money to remove artwork made from garbage that many people enjoy!"

If the artwork is removed the city says it will impound the piece but that Junko will have the opportunity to claim it after due process.

This is also not the first piece of outsider art that Junko has installed in Vancouver. He has erected massive Transformer-looking sculptures in empty lots and had his own exhibit at Vancouver Mural Festival's (VMF) Winter Arts Fest.


A post shared by Junko (@junko.playtime)

More BC News