Posts Tagged ‘art’

This is the fourth year of the Brain Project.  Forty five sculptures in the shape of a brain have been decorated by different artists. They are on display at Nathan Phillips Square for the month of July.

brain shaped sculptures on display, with the 3 D Toronto sign and Toronto city hall in the background

below:  “Silver Bloom” by Carson Teal.  Complex, random, and fragmented.

a brain shaped 2 dimensional sculpture by Carson Teal, with white chicken eggs, broken mirrors, three fingers, crystals, and other random objects

five brain shaped sculptures in plexiglass display boxes standing in the pool at Nathan Phillips Square

a girl and her mother, looking at brain shaped art sculptures on display at Nathan Phillips Square

below: Here, pac man from the 1980’s arcade & video game, gobbles up yellow dots that represent brain cells.   It is artist Orit Fuchs’s way of illustrating the destruction of brain cells in Alzheimers.

a brain shaped 2 dimensional sculpture, red, made to look like a pac man arcade game, yellow pac man gobbling up yellow dots by Orit Fuchs

2 girls and a man looking at sculptures shaped like brains

brain sculptures on display at Nathan Phillips

below:  Brand Emsley’s “From Making to Thinking”, from the Brain Project website: “Toronto’s unprecedented building boom is reflective of the economic shift from the manufacturing economy to the knowledge economy. It is particularly acute in the area known as the railway lands and surrounding area.”

a brain shaped 2 dimensional sculpture, covered with realistic, detailed, drawing of Toronto railway lands with CN tower by Brad Emsley

below: On the left, “The Routine Ride” by Antonio Caballero and on the right, “Beautiful Mind” by Romero Britto

two brains on display, public art, sculptures, one by Antonio Acabbero and the other by Romero Britto

A description of all the brains, plus information about the artists, can be found on The Brain Project website.
#noblankbrains

Slaps, stickers and paste-ups in Kensington.

below: Stickers on a pole

slaps on a pole in Kensington, people on bikes in the background.

below: Ohhhh, Portland is burning

slaps stickers on a pole, top one is Portland is burning with man pasting sign to wall, another has a man with a fat chin and mouth open in O shape.

below: Feelings boi hanging out on a wall with a morose pot belly poop

feelings boi pasteup beside a pot belly pop pasteup on a wall

below: Riding zebras in pairs

two copies of a small pasteup of a yellow figure riding a zebra

below: The words flow. “She clasped my face in her bones and kissed silence into my mouth” a quote by Amiri Bakara

pasteup on a wall, of a skull looking down at a man's head, who is looking up at skull, Letters are between the two mouths. words written below the man

below: Four urban ninja squadrons and a couple arguing

5 black and white paste ups on a wall in Kensington, four are urban ninja squadron and the the fifth is of a couple arguing, him on the left and her on the right, in the middle between them dark angry figures come nose to nose

below:  Even aliens check their phones.

sticker on a grey box on sidewalk, little figure, martian alien like, with head mostly one eyeball, human shape,

below: An ad, a drawing, and some knowledge

parts of a few different posters and drawings on a wall, a man in a red shirt on blue background which is part of an ad is on the left, a drawing of three naked women is in the middle (but is faint and hard to see), and a drawing on yellow labelled knowledge

below:  Black and white photos of people’s faces with the eyes missing.

black and white photos of faces, cut and manipulated to remove the eyes, i.e. forehead lowered to cover eyes

below:  More missing eyes, but this time some of the faces have eyes.   For the latter, the faces are composites

black and white photos of peoples faces. Some have eyes from a different person inserted, others have eyes removed by lowering of forehead

below:  One is blind and one is the merging of three.  I’ll leave it to you to figure out if it’s three different people, or the same person photographed three times.

large black and white faces on grey metal box on sidewalk, one side has person with eyes missing and the other side is a face made of a composite of at least three different faces

below: Urban ninja with Grey Owl and its large (and very sharp looking) talons

urban ninja squadron sticker with hooded ninja character with arm up, and owl on forearm, owl has face of Donald Trump

below: Go vegan for her. A pig’s eye?

sticker on a pole that says go vegan for her, shows one eye of a pig, on pole near drawings of other eyes

Those are what I saw today.  You could probably walk Kensington and see others.   Many are hard to miss but keep your eyes open for the little things in unusual places!

This blog post wanders from Burger Mania at Yonge Dundas Square to the Riverside Eats & Beats StreetFEST and onward to the Riverdale Art Walk  out Queen Street East, with a few distractions along the way.

thre people sitting at different tables in a coffee shop

a man with glasses and hair that is shaved on one side of his head is offering another man a rice krispie square, he is holding it to the man's mouth

a woman in long overcoat and hat is talking to and gesturing, with a woman in a white head scarf and top

a man selling rice krispie squares and other desserts, outdoors, Yonge Dundas Square, from E and R Sweetery

under a red tent roof, people preparing food

a woman in a red shirt and sunglasses walking with her son who is also wearing sunglasses, south asian ethnicity

under a tent roof, a man is cooking burgers

a large inflatable pool floatie in the shape of a pink flamingo sits on the ground at Yonge Dundas Square, in front of a bar selling drinks

a young Asian woman is taking a picture of a small burger with her phone

family group - mother and father laughing, baby in stroller, Asian, at Yonge dundas square

people sitting on a bench by large red flower pot in Dundas Square. Man at end, balding with grey hair, is reading a newspaper, two people are eating

a woman sits at a high table with three small burgers on it, two dogs are beside her on the ground but looking up

a young man is being grabbed and held on to by two security guards and they are removing him from Yonge Dundas square

a topless man with a bag on his back skate boards at Dundas Square

a woman is laughing as she talks on her phone and walks up Yonge Street

a couple walking together on Yonge, passing the Stag Shop. He is wearing pink pants and a white jacket. Both have white hair.

below: Yonge Street was closed to traffic between Queen and Dundas Streets because a large crane was parked there temporarily while heavy objects were lifted onto the roof of the Eaton Centre.

a large crane is on a truck in the middle of Yonge street, downtown, with tall buildings on both sides including the Eaton Centre under renovation on the right

three workmen in orange safety clothing use a crane to lift heavy objects off a flatbed truck

a police man in a bright yellow jacket stands in front an orange cone and yellow police tape to block off Yonge Street. He's directing traffic, to make cars turn on Queen street. A woman with orange hair is walking across the street , just went in front of the police man

a man in a kiss t-shirt is talking, a black man is waiting for a streetcar behind him, streetcar is just arriving.

reflection in the glass of a door and window of a Burger King restaurant, of a woman witting on the sidewalk pan handling

a couple holds each other on the street

Riverside Eats and Beats

a man playing a fiddle, smiling, wearing a blue cap and a blue plaid shirt

below: Soundcrowd was practicing for their performance at The Opera House that evening.

a choir onstage with a man with microphone standing in front of them

in a store window, two mannequins with no heads waering gold close fitting dresses, in front of window is a rack of clothes on the sidewalk, with two women looking

a group of women talking, outside

 

Riverdale Art Walk at Jimmy Simpson Park.

a large bed of pink and white tulips in front of a white tent (roof only) with paintings on the side that are for sale, Riverside Art Fest

a woman holds a small white dog while she talks to a man, in front of a white tent with artwork on the walls for sale. Two women inside the tent are looking at the dog and smiling

two paintings on easels outside a white tent. One is an airplane at an airport and one is a barn in snow

a framed portrait of a woman on a metal grid, people standing behind it including a man with a white shirt with bright red and black blotches

large images (photosgraphs) in red, black and yellow, for sale

small artwork hanging on a white tent wall, light is coming from behind so they are silhouetted

a boy in a fedora sits cross legged on a high stool while looking at a phone. He is in a tent with artwork on the wall that is for sale

at an art show, an art piece made of metal, images on metal

At the Coldstream Fine Art gallery near King & Spadina is an exhibit of photographs by Caitlin Cronenberg called ‘Strange/Beauty’.  Among the photos are some of Drake, Toronto’s own rapper and most visible Raptor fan. two photos by Caitlin Cronenberg. On the right is a night time photo of Drake, the singer, standing beside a car that has its front headlights on. The photo on the left is of 4 men, including Drake, sitting at a table, all dressed in suits. a photo of Drake sitting among many colourful flowers

Cronenberg was the photographer who produced the image for the album cover for Drake’s “Views from the Six” album. The cover shot, of Drake sitting on top of the CN Tower, is also in this show.  Some of these photos appear in the digital booklet that accompanied the album.  The album was released in April 2016.

A winter scene, Drake, holding the leash of a dog, outside, standing beside a rolls royce car that has been out in the snow, and standing in front of a large house with white columns in the front

 

Remember that these photos are behind glass, hence the reflections.  In other words, these photos on this page are merely representations of the real thing.  They look much better in real life.

The exhibit is on until June 8th.

new leaves on a tree in the foreground, top part of a house in the background - bright green walls and old window

I went back to Craven Road this morning to see if anything had changed.   The last time I blogged about this street was in November 2016. As with many things in life, some things have changed while other things remain the same.  A quick tour of the street …..

below: Some of the cat paintings are there still.

large painting of a yellow and white cat on canvas stapled to a wood fence, outdoors.

below: These two paintings have been here since at least 2015 although the vines have started to grow over them.  Once the leaves reappear (soon), the paintings won’t be quite so visible.

two small paintings on a wood fence, with vines growing in front of them.

below: The sheep painting by Christine Kowal is still there

picture of sheep on a wood fence

below: On the other side of the fence, backyards on Ashdale.

backyard, reddish two storey house with grey added on back rood

below: There is still a section of the fence that has been decorated with found objects.

many found objects attached to a wood fence, outside,

objects attached to a wood wall, outside, small flag, musical instrument, clock, sign,

below: Parking for pirates only.  It was five past twelve when I took this picture so either it’s a functional clock or I happened past at a very fortuitous time.

a clock and a sign attached to a wall.

below: A creepy doll and boots to watch you.

below: A faded bunny from days gone by, holding a little watering can perhaps to water the metallic leaves?

metal leaf art piece attached to a wood fence, stuffed bunny that is faded and grey also attached to the fence

a stylized figurine, round head on conical body, screwed onto a wood fence and surrounded by a wood frame

below: Part of a collection of found objects in front of a house.   The gallery has expanded!

old objects arranged on a ledge in front of a house

below: Today I met Johnny, the King of Craven Road. He mentioned that he appears in a video about Craven Road so I looked it up (on Vimeo, “Craven Road – Director’s Cut). The video was made five years ago which pre-dates the collection of objects that he’s standing in front of in the photo. If you watch the video, you will see some of the cat, and other, paintings.

a man in tie dyed shirt and red bandana, and holding a can of beer, stands in front of a wall with many objects attached to it.

Johnny in a tie dyed shirt standing on the front steps of a blue house with red trim

below: A door knocker beside a front door.

old rusty white door knocker with metallic green garland beside it

small doorway

below: One of the older houses on the street being renovated.

old white house with screen door slightly ajar, signs in window that are building permits, inside of house is gutted and it is being renovated

below: Grass and dandelions in their own little enclosure.

three white houses in a row

below:  Red and yellow tulips in a small front yard that the fence is having trouble containing.

red tulips and yellow tulips growing in a very small front yard

below: Geraniums in the planters on the fence

small wood flower boxes on a wood fence, with geraniums growing in the boxes

‘Women in Focus’ is the name of a photography exhibit on at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) at the moment.  I want to talk about that exhibit in this blog post but I also want to expand the post to include a few other women at the AGO that caught my eye the other day when I was there.

below: A woman’s portrait by Modigliani and a sculpture of a female form in the room beyond. The latter is “The Leaf”, 1948, by Germaine Richier.  She’s a forlorn figure, standing naked and all alone.

a painting of a woman's head by Modigliano on a gallery wall in a fancy gold frame and a sculpture of a woman in the room beyond

***

The ‘Women in Focus, 1920s – 1940s,’ exhibit is fascinating. The history, not only of photography but also of the subject matter, is wonderful. The world was changing. Photography was there to be a part of that change as well as document it. Cameras and processing techniques advanced. Magazines flourished. The way that we looked at the world and at ourselves evolved. Photography became an artform.

below: ‘Hanja Holm with dance group, New York’, around 1938, by Lotte Jacobi. Gelatin Silver print. The photo is actually sepia toned and not as ‘black and white’ as shown here. Hanja/Hanya Holm (1893-1992) was the stage name of a German born choreographer and dancer; she was Johanna Kuntze (nee Eckert) but considered her name “too heavy” for a dancer. She is also considered one of the founders of American modern dance.

photograph from 1938 by Lotte Jacobi, of women dancing, light and shadows on the back wall

below: ‘St. Moritz, Frau Wernod-Gtoffel with a modern film camera’, 1932, by Alfred Eisenstaedt (1898-1995). Eisenstaedt began his career in 1929 with the Associated Press in Germany. Because of the war he emigrated to the USA in 1935 where he became a photographer for ‘Life’ magazine. I love the old camera… and what’s that in her mouth?

old sepia tone photo of a person with an old fashioned movie camera

below: ‘Bewegungsstudie’ (‘Movement Study’) 1926 by Rudolph Koppitz (Austrian, 1884-1936), bromoil print. Koppitz was a leading avant-garde photographer of his time. Bromoil prints are slightly fuzzier than other photographs as the image is produced with an oil based paint.

vintage sepia toned photo of four women moving together, 3 are dressed in long plain dresses and they are close together and supporting a naked woman who has her back arched while she walks (with her head looking backwards)

below: ‘Sea of Ice (Genevieve)’, 1935, by Ilse Bing (1899-1998). Bing was born in Frankfurt Germany. She spent the early part of her career in Paris before moving to the USA in 1941. The exhibit at the AGO includes more of her work (and it’s all good).

anold photo by Ilse Bing of a woman standing on a rock high upon a mountian. She's looking down over the valley below

below: “Good Night Marie’, 1932, by Herbert Bayer (1900-1985). It looks very contrived, doesn’t it? The study of the nude as a photographic skill – getting the skin tones right and all that. Or is it just soft porn?

old photo of a man's hand on a door handle as he opens the door to expose the backside of a nude woman

below: On the left is ‘Colette’, 1939, by Giselle Freund (1908-2000). Colette (1873-1954) was a French author and in this picture she is writing in bed. Her best known book was ‘Gigi’. She was nominated for a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. The other picture is a portrait of Virginia Woolf, also a writer, by Man Ray (1890-1976).

framed photographs on a gallery wall

***

Vija Celmins was born in Latvia just before the Soviets invaded during WW2.  She emigrated to the USA and settled first in California and then in New York City.  ‘To Fix the Image in Memory‘ is a retrospective of her work at the AGO (until 5th August).  Most of her work is in very muted tones if not shades of grey.

a man in an art gallery is looking closely at a pencil drawing that is hanging on the wall

below:   Five of a series of drawings (there are 6 in the series) of water done in graphite (i.e. pencil).  One is the original and five are copies of it.  These photos are small but I think that you can see that they are of the same waves.   A lot of her work was intense – detailed drawings of water and the desert floor.  She also did a series of drawings and paintings of stars in the sky.

five similar drawings of water

below: A spider web painted in oils on linen. Celmins experimented with pictures of spider webs done in different media on different surfaces.  This was my favorite – muted and slightly blurry.

a painting of a spider web in shades of grey

below: I’ve cheated a bit here…. this is a screenshot of the top part of the results of a google image search on Celmins’ name.  It gives you a much better sense of her work that I can convey.

screenshot of images of artwork by Vija Celmins

***

As I was walking towards the exit of the AGO I was still thinking about how women are portrayed in art. I found myself in the ‘religious art’ section of the gallery, from a time in history when the church was a major patron of the arts in Western culture. Apparently, it wasn’t a good time for women. There are plenty of Mary’s either in her virgin mother role or seen weeping at the foot of the cross, but there is a dearth of other women. Ponder that for a while but try not to get too depressed. And while you ponder, here is a photo of a small white statue bathed in light coming through a stained glass window. Mary’s watching over you.

a small white statue of Mary holding the baby Jesus, lit by light coming through a stained glass window behind it

401 Richmond is a renovated industrial building that is now an arts and culture hub; it includes many little galleries. The building was built in stages between 1899 and 1923 for the Macdonald Manufacturing Company who made lithographed tinware such as biscuit tins and containers for tea and  tobacco.

Many of the galleries are participating in the CONTACT Photography Festival and what follows is a selection of what is on display at the moment.  A few non-photography installations have snuck in as well.

One of the galleries is the Red Head Gallery. Their exhibit, titled ‘Pentimento’, is a collection of work by some of their members.    From their website: “The work presented is a diverse commentary on the idea of photography and the definition, role & relevance of the photograph, both directly & indirectly, in the act of image and object making.”

below: ‘Untitled’ by Tonia Di Risio. The photos have been printed on vinyl and then stuck to the gallery wall.

an artwork that is a collage of photos of cookies, tables, and bungalows, stacked on top of each other to make a large tower

below: “Still Life with Paper’ by Jim Bourke

image on a gallery wall, orange table cloth, an open newspaper with illustraion of a woman's head, two partially filled cups of tea, with saucers

below: ‘Process’ by Sally Thurlow is 6 photographs of a demolition and renovation of a house (prompted by a rotting roof) and the upheaval that that causes.   Each little frame is made from something from the job site including Tims cups and yellow caution tape.

Process, and artwork by Sally Thurlow, of photos in a wood frame and each photo is framed with found objects

The word pentimento means “a visible trace of earlier painting beneath a layer or layers of paint on a canvas.”  The last blog post dealt with palimpsest which is erased text that becomes visible and it seems to me that pentimento is very similar, but with pictures not words, paint not ink.

***

Urbanspace Gallery, “Further Along the Road”, an exhibit of photos taken on Dupont Street in Toronto, by Eliot Wright.

below: Left: 1220 Dundas St looking west.  Right: 1072 Dundas Street West.  Both photos were taken in July 2016

two photos taken on Dupont street, the one on the right is of 3 old cars parked in a driveway. The other is of signs for taxis and car repair shops

below: Left: CP railline, west of Shaw.  Right top: Creeds coffee bar, 390 Dupont St., taken from the CP tracks, July 2016.   Right bottom: CP rail line west of Dufferin, August 2016

Three photos of trains and train tracks on Dupont Street

***

below: Laura Shintani, Bodywashi! at Tangled Art Gallery

art installation that uses strips of plastic shower curtain. The squares in the plastic make the person on the other side appear many times - one each in every square

It’s like a car wash for people although no water is involved.  Strips of translucent plastic (shower curtain material?) hang from the ceiling.   After walking through the plastic you encounter the scene below.

an art installation that looks like the puffy pieces in a car wash

***

Gallery 44, “Developing Historical Narratives”

art gallery room with three large canvases on the floor, all wth bright yellow backgrounds

 

below: One of the images in ‘Petro Suburbs’, a series of black and white images by Hajra Waheed, also Gallery 44.   The subject matter is based on old aerial photos of Dhahran Saudi Arabia, a town that the artist grew up in.  It was also a gated town built for Saudi ARAMCO (Arabian American Oil Company).  Dhahran was protected by airbases, both US & Saudi, as well as by the CIA and such.  Access and privacy were strictly controlled and photography and filming were not allowed.

an aerial photo of a U shaped street of suburban houses, surroundings are blacnked out with translucent paper or something similar

 

below: Untitled cyanotypes by Sarah Comfort, part of a series called “More Than This”.

4 cyanotype prints (blue) on a gallery wall

***

below: An image by Shelley Wildeman, superimposed people in the hallway.

a photo of a large entrance way, lots of glass, and many people superimposed over each other.

***

below: Two pieces by Florence Yee, who introduces herself on her website as: “Florence Cing-Gaai Yee is a queer Cantonese visual artist based in Tkaronto/Toronto and Tiohtià:ke/Montreal.  These hang in the Space Gallery which are windows in the hallway on the ground floor at 401 Richmond.

4 rice clear rice bags with red handles, with embroidery on them, red words that say, she saw me at the grocery store and remembered to get rice

artwork by Florence Yee, a plastic dry cleaners bag hanging on a hanger on a wall with a white fringed piece of cloth inside, on the outside of the bag are the words, They said I was whitewashed by Chinese people only run dry cleaners

***

The last of the 401 Richmond galleries that I explored this past week is the Abbozzo Gallery where Patty Maher’s exhibit “The Sky as my Witness ” is now being shown.

below: “The Quiet Storm”

a large photo of a red headed woman, long hair, in a braid, standing on a snow covered road with her back to the camera, in the countryside

below: “Parallel Universe”.  Because we are all just dots in the universe.  The same but different.

close up of a Patty Maher photograph, Parallel Universe, the back of two red headed women, both with large dice on their head, one die per head,

below: “Land Line”.

A Patty Maher photo of a woman standing on a deserted country road with an old rotary phone at her feet, her head has been cropped out of the photo, foggy in the background

The above photo is from a series called ‘The Liminal Field’.  On her website, Maher describes the series thusly: “This staged self portrait series is an exploration of the state of liminality that occurs in midlife.  It is an attempt to symbolically describe the transformation that needs to take place when moving from youth to the second half of life.  The field depicted here is a construct and does not exist in real space.  It has been constructed to indicate a place that is both personal an intangible.  Each photo symbolically depicts an internal struggle that is necessarily part of this transition.”

 

As you can see, there is a a wide selection of images and ideas lurking in the galleries at 401 Richmond.   Most exhibits change over every month or so – so there is always something to see.