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'Dumb' flyers or meme genius? Vancouver street artist causing a stir

Vancouver residents doing a double-take on street advertisements posted up by local artist

Vancouver residents have begun to realize that there is more than meets the eye to some of the advertisements in their city.

A flyer advertising a “no mask party” at the beach is one of the latest sarcastic creations to pop up in Vancouver at the hands of an anonymous artist.

For three years now, the man behind the Physical Memes Instagram account has created social commentary in the form of off-kilter advertisements and hung them in places around the city.

The street artist – who wishes to remain anonymous – told Vancouver Is Awesome he’s seen people react to his flyers with both laughter and confusion.


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“These days urban and online environments are overrun with manipulative marketing techniques designed to extract your money, time, and attention,” he explained.

“By strategically placing Physical Memes in public spaces we hope to gently disrupt these patterns and create space for critical and comedic reflection on the current state of the culture.”

With a no-flyers-on-trees policy, the artist – who first began designing memes with a coworker – said he chooses specific locations by strolling around and “seeing what grabs me.”

Both had been working in a retail setting and had a bunch of extra time on their hands.

"It was all surfing the web and making dumb flyers,” the artist joked.

"Everyone should try this art form. It’s great to do at any job that you’re bored at.”


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A few weeks ago in Yaletown, a “stunningly gorgeous” CEO, Randall Spitz, was advertised to be in town for a mere 48 hours and seeking temporary companionship.

“Show me around town. Introduce me to your more attractive friends. Condition my hair,” read the flyer, which was also hung up in North Vancouver.

A photo of it circulated social media. Many people expressed genuine worry that someone was travelling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Others realized the absurdity of the posting.

The artist said that for those who are unable "or unwilling to share in our off-center and obnoxious sense of humour, we can only say – the joke's on you.”


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