Tag Archives: art

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

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"

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)

frat boys for the art crowd

In the world of art, everyone is on the lookout for a newest, most original thing. Throw in a tinge of modern or performance art and you’re likely to end up with something exceptionally imaginative.

SCOPE is clearly supportive of this kind of out of the box thinking:

SCOPE is the largest and most global art fair in the world featuring emerging contemporary art with 7 markets worldwide. It is our goal and passion to present the most innovative galleries, artists and curators while networking them with our Patrons through a unique program of solo and thematic group shows presented alongside museum-quality exhibitions, collector tours, screenings, and special events.

but maybe most interesting, is an in-the-box exhibit they are currently featuring: Come On Guy.

Come On Guy is a party within a party. A centrally placed cube will contain an actual, traditional frat party where the brothers will drink from a keg and party “greek style”. Outside the enclosure, the usual opening party will be taking place replete with evening attire, champagne and art world conversation. Party goers will be able to interact with the frat party via text, purchasing items of clothing, accessories, and receiving messages and files created by the brothers.

Presented by Subports and Richie Budd.

Yes, you read that correctly – they’ve put a frat party in a box for all to witness firsthand. Curious to see what it looks like? No problem. As with any good frat party, there’s loads of compromising photo and video.

Images: Refinery 29

love on a dime – the date

Closer still, Valentines is just a week away.

Monday morning we’ll be waking up to tell someone we love them, even if that someone is ourselves. Fact is, this is a day to share love – be it with lovers, family, friends or our wonderful selves. So why not plan a few low-stress date nights for the week and stretch out that loveydovey feeling.

A suggestion: take a stroll into your neighbourhood art gallery. If you’re in downtown Toronto, you’re in luck. There are two galleries showing beautiful photographs that are sure to lift your spirits and add a little whimsy to the air.

Walking into the Stephen Bulger Gallery will be like walking back in time with its current exhibit The Toronto Show. Showing until  February 26th, you’ll find a collection of historical and contemporary photographs, from the late 1800s to 1970s, of the city we hold so dear.

Stephen Bulger Gallery, 1026 Queen Street West, Tue-Sat 11-6

The Great Fire of 1904 began on Wellington Street on the evening of April 19 and went on to consume 122 buildings. No one died, but the financial losses reached a staggering $10 million. Bulger bought this photo 15 years ago, then sold it shortly afterward. Regretting his decision, he bought it back from the same man a decade later.

“Toronto Fire,” 1904, by Charles Gooch


And over at Bau-Xi Photo you can be blown away by shots from inside international opera houses. David Leventi’s Bjoerling’s Larynx project will transport you into the beautiful places, often with a center-stage vantage point, leaving you breathless. On untill February 19th, hurry on over for your chance to see these images and plan your next travel destination.

Bau-Xi Photo, 324 Dundas St. W, Mon-Sat 10-5:30 Sun 11-5:30

David Leventi - Romania Antheneum, Bucharest, Romania-Ed. Of 10

Romania Antheneum, Bucharest, Romania


Now all you have to do is grab a few strawberries, some chocolate and bubbly to finish off a super romantic Valentines date on a dime.

art crawl – 01/11

With winter upon us, hibernation is inevitable. Or at least it used to be. Last winter I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t do my usual “I’ll see you in the spring” routine and actually made it a point to go out more, see more people, be outside. My body didn’t seem to agree with me as I got hilariously sick, leaving me couchridden for longer than I care to recall. Nonetheless, the vow still stands and this girl is going to get out, even if it does mean more antibiotics.

Thursday night marked the start of what I hope to turn into a monthly event – the art crawl. In short, a walk down a gallery-lined street to pop into as many opening receptions as possible to see what’s new and exciting. It’s not only a great (and cheap) way to spend the night, but with built-in conversation starters, you’re not likely to get bored.

Our inaugural night saw us taking in the art at 3 galleries and here’s what we saw:

Amy Shackleton at The Elaine Fleck Gallery

From the gallery bio:

Amy Shackleton paints post-industrial worlds that form healthy, sustainable visions of the future. Shackleton recognizes the need for collaboration between urban and rural environments and uses various techniques/media to juxtapose urban expansion and scientific progress with the ecological reality of our shrinking resources.

Her technique was quite interesting – both technically and visually. Personal photographs from around the world are digitally edited, then used as the basis for the paintings which are created with layers of paint and other media. Large paint drops give dimension to the “liquid” quality of the pieces, while enamel gives the intense colours even more vibrancy. The result is undeniably striking.

The pieces will be on display for the month of January (with a possible gallery closure Jan 11-18) and you should definitely stop in to see them up close. Flat photography does not do them justice, but you can get a peak of the works on both the artist’s and gallery’s sites.

Lily Yung at Ontario Crafts Council

A little unexpected on our crawl was this stumble into the OCC to see the works of Lily Yung. Her pieces are equal parts jewelery and art, using unlikely techniques such as die cuts and materials including rubber, beads and anything else to create truly unique pieces. As someone who loves a big piece of jewelery, it goes without saying that this stop made me very happy.

Having received a number of awards herself, Yung had wanted to establish an award to celebrate senior craftspeople. Her family brought this to reality following Yung’s passing, and her name now lives on through the Lily Yung Memorial Award. The annual $1,000 award “acknowledges excellence and innovation in craft as demonstrated by an established professional.” It will be awarded for the first time in June 2011 and donations can be made through the OCC.

Lily Yung’s pieces will be on display until February 6th. Remember to ask for the price list if you see anything you like. I’ve got my eye on some fun, colourful rings.

Carlos Granados-Ocon at GlaDstone ArtBar

From the program:

Granados’ work uses images and depictions of generational characters and events that give the feeling of familiarity, comfort and uneasiness. Comfort comes with the familiarity of the characters being depicted, but when taking a set back and analyzing the ideas and perceptions these familiar and comfortable images have, one is left with uneasiness.

Untitled 32x36’ inches Gesso, print media, and graphite on wood. 2010 Carlos Granados-Ocon

Titled They Told You, the exhibit consisted of pieces shown on both wood and paper with multi-layer prints topped with painting or drawing. While the idea behind the works was interesting, I found the execution fell flat. Many of the pieces showed people who were not so relevant to the Western audience; understandable given this collecting is the culmination of the work he created while staying in Korea. There was, however, some difficulty with the quality of the execution. Many pieces seemed to come from what can only be described as stream of consciousness creation. Random pencil scribbles. Odd color choices. Unfinished edges. Somehow it just didn’t create a piece that was visually impressive. Of course, it’s all subjective, but this simply wasn’t my style of art. But with a background in philosophy and apparent travels to the east, it would seem that Granados has a good source of influences that can no doubt lead to very compelling work.

The exhibit will be on display until January 16, and don’t forget to stop by The Gladstone Cafe for some delish food.