Category Archives: Art Crawl

swing swing


My new fave. GIFed up Banksy.
With 5 others to discover – go to it.

Made by ABVH (via Think Contra).

vacation, right here

The sun is out, the city is warming up, and all it does is remind me of springtime in Paris. And with a high unlikelihood of Paris and I reuniting this spring, another escape is much needed.

Enter, in perfect time, Joshua Jensen-Nagle.

The uber-talented photographer’s work is currently taking over the main floor of Bau-Xi Photo, and it’s surely the quickest way to be transported to Europe without stepping foot in Pearson. On until the 17th (go, hurry) the exhibit features photos taken on Polaroid film and blown way up and out. The result is a dream-like look at beautiful locales. With classic European architecture as many of the backgrounds, the images draw you in to another place and time, offering – even if only momentarily – a break from the grind outside.

With the weekend’s bright forecast ahead of us, start planing now for a coffee at Orange Alert and a daydreaming session at Bau-Xi Photo.

Joshua Jensen-Nagle :: Bau-Xi Photo :: 324 Dundas Street West

the gif offlined

People are really digging the animated .gif as of late. See. No really, see.

But as with any new (or dug out from the grave) technology, it’s only a matter a time before someone flips it on its head and sends it ironically back to analog.

In this case, the irony is multiplied upon realization that the analog version is in fact an existing, and similarly outdated, technology which could have forecasted its descendant’s life path.

The phenakistoscope was the animated .gif of the 1800s. It showed very short clips, based on still images, eventually to be made sort of irrelevant by actual motion pictures (movies.) In the 1980s animated .gifs offered very short clips, based on still images, eventually to be made sort of irrelevant my the internet’s ability to more easily share actual motion pictures.

Now with that history lesson behind us, lets smile a little harder at this .gif player – which is just a modern day replica of the phenakistoscope. In true 201x style, it even comes with DIY instructions AND an offer to buy the completed box.

But how can you really tell it’s a 201x project?

It’s star is a cat.

cover things in things : sticker edition

Story time:
In high school, I was a bit of a math nerd (yes, we’ve covered this before). Being a tutor, I ended up teaching myself certain concepts before getting them in class, making said classes très boring.  To solve this, elaborate white-out + calculator art projects began. They went over like gangbusters. And consequently began a love of things covered in things.

Making what I’m about to show you epic in my eyes. Behold:

With the obliteration room, Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama does what could be classified as a parent’s worst nightmare: gives children a clean room and more sticky colour than they might know what to do with.

In  the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, a wholly white room is outfitted with locally sources furniture and decor to replicate the Australian household.

It’s crisp and clean. But not for long.

The blank canvas is meant to be, as Kusama puts it, “obliterated.” Museum visitors – and their children – were given thousands of brightly coloured sticker dots to place at will on any surface in the room. Slowly but surely, the room becomes not unlike a beautifully exploded rainbow.

As with many of Kusama’s installations, the work is disarmingly simple in its elemental composition; however, it brilliantly exploits the framework of its presentation. The white room is gradually obliterated over the course of the exhibition, the space changing measurably with the passage of time as the dots accumulate as a result of thousands and thousands of collaborators. (source)

Beautiful, no?

(photo source)

two hundred and sixteen colors

Spanish artist Manuel Fernández is melding the social and the digital with his latest project, Two Hundred and Sixteen Colors. Asking users to select a square and a colour, each will help turn an 8-bit grid into a unique piece of art.

After submitting your name and email, the square becomes yours and yours alone. No one else can colour it, and your name even appears when hovered over. Once all 216 squares have been claimed, the canvas is complete.

It’s a simple concept, social participation, but a nice one. On the surface it shows a piece that is the culmination of a combined effort, but on a deeper level it also acts as a reminder that when we work together, we can create wonderful things. Hidden behind screens everywhere are people of different genders, colours, religions, all blind to these differences and able to work together on this piece.

It’s perhaps a bit idealistic for me to see it this way, but perhaps the world could use a little more idealism and colour.

and now for a little bill murray

Last time this blog showed off what was happening at Gallery 1988, John Hughes was being given his props through dedication art.

Now, it’s time for a little Bill Murray with the gallery’s Please Post Bills exhibit. As before, artists from all around have offered up their talents and tributes, filling the gallery with love for the legendary comedian.

And if you’re (still) too far away to visit the gallery, the work is available for viewing and buying online. Long live Bill.

Aaron Sechrist "Bill Murphy"

Jason Edmiston "Slimed"

Derek Eads "This Is An Adventure"

before I die…

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget what really matters to you.

Along the lines of remembering to stop and smell the roses,  it’s something we’ve all thought but rarely talk about. How often to do you really express what you want to get out of your life?

This was something Candy Chang had in mind when creating the Before I Die project. Turning an abandoned house into a chalkboard where everyone was free to share what they wanted to do before leaving this place, the project was a great way for the neighborhood to share their wishes. But soon, it took off, with requests for many more boards – the whole story is really quite inspiring and merits a full read.

You can read the artists description with updates here.

You can help support the project by buying a small board for your own home or office. Need something bigger? Sign up to be notified when the diy kit becomes available and make a wall in your own city.

potholes keep getting pretty

A little while ago, we told you about the prettiest of potholes. Well it seems like the once detested ditches are continuing their journey into the hearts of artists.

MyPotholes has Claudia Ficca and Davide Luciano finding “the perfect pothole” then staging a photoshoot around it (amidst traffic breaks of course, safety first) – with models, props, and a good bit of patience, the holes are turned into just about anything.

From grape stomping in Montreal to puppy bathing in L.A. you’ll never look at your street’s potholes the same.

Head to the project’s site to learn more about the artists and see the gallery.

Dog Wash on Alfred Street, Los Angeles © Claudia Ficca & Davide Luciano

Via Think Contra

because the kids don’t play – event recap

It seemed like the better part of Toronto was clamoring to get into 99 Sudbury on a rainy Friday the 13th. But with no fashion week or free liquor promo in sight, what were they all so excited about? Art. Great big, beautiful art. And it certainly deserved the clamor.

Bryan Espiritu presented his first solo exhibit, Because the Kids Don’t Play. Based on the loss of childhood innocence, the pieces display classic Disney characters re-drawn to reflect the feelings in the accompanying poem:

Because The Kids Don’t Play

Because the kids don’t play,
We’ll bomb the slide.
No knees that bleed,
Nor heart inside.

Because the kids don’t laugh,
We’ll hold the joke,
Withholding hope
With a loop & rope.

Because the kids don’t love,
We’ll let them fuck.
And show them what is
Just enough.

Because the kids don’t fly,
We’ll make them sink.
Their growth ignored,
Explored to shrink.

Because the kids don’t live,
We’ll let it die.
Our joy destroyed by foolish pride.
Our souls devoid of a need to cry;
Of love & such,

- Bryan Espiritu

The pieces were incredibly well made, each with an explosion of colour reminiscent of the characters we grew up with, but with new features, angles, or focus. Their stories were as individual as the characters represented.

A wall of smaller pieces had completely sold out by the time we arrived. Twenty one pieces. Doors had only been open 30 minutes. And there they were, all sold. The bigger pieces remained, but not for long, as they too would soon accessorize their name plates with little red stickers. One piece will even be making its way to our home soon. You can spot it in the video at 0:47 and in the photo below.

But what may have been most striking about the whole night, was the undeniable sense of pride felt by all who attended. Pride from the artist for the work, of course. But pride from the crowd for the fact that this level of talent was found here, within our city. Often we look so far out to seek the best, that we forget talent lives close to home too. And this feeling didn’t go unnoticed,  as Espiritu himself notes the incredible support he felt all night.

For those who couldn’t make it out, you can thank Espiritu’s team for the great video recap below. Enjoy.

Ryan Bannon, Bryan Espiritu (artist), Ryan Thomas (buyer, top right)

the prettiest of potholes

“Projet Nid de Poule” (Project Pothole) was Juliana Santacruz Herrera’s 2009 effort to fill in Parisian potholes with knitted plugs. A very cheerful way to fix up the streets.

Check out the video below, and photos here.

via: BoingBoing