I realized at once that the artist was the same one who has done the many renderings of little fat businessmen (LFBs, he called them in an interview I read years ago). His name was unknown to me until I sought it out to caption my photo.
Untitled by William McElcheran. 1973 Originally fibreglass, simulating bronze, now real bronze, standing in front of U of T’s John M. Kelly library on St Joseph Street.
What the figures are doing is up to you, but you can read Reverend Edward A. Synan’s interpretation here, if you like. Where I just saw a bearded, long-haired man staring out of the struggling crowd, the Reverend saw Christ. Maybe. Or nonconformist hippie? The only face with indivduality? You’ll have your own ideas. That’s the beauty of a title like Untitled.
The flip side offers identifiable images of such figures as Gandhi and Einstein, worked in among anonymous images. I’ll go with Reverend Synan on them … maybe people whose writings are found in the John M. Kelly library? That would make sense.
Anyway, when you spot a Little Fat Businessman in Toronto, or other Canadian cities for that matter, remember William McElcheran, 1927–1999. You find examples in the downtown business districts and on subway walls.