Posts Tagged ‘dead’

As promised a few blog posts ago, I went back to take more photos of the now complete mural on the underpass on Lawrence Avenue just west of Caledonia.  It was painted by Essencia Art Collective (Shalak Attack, Fiyabruxa and Brunosmoky).

part of a larger mural on the side of an underpass, road and sidewalk in front of the photo, houses behind - a larger than life sized head of a tiger, an elephant, and a bird with a colourful beak

mural by Essencia Art Collective of golden pyraminds with elephants walking amongst them and eagles and macaws flying above them.

street art picture of a red and blue macaw flying over pyramids, its painted beside a set of stairs so it looks like the bird is flying up the staircase

part of a larger mural on the side of an underpass, road and sidewalk in front of the photo, houses behind - looking at an angle back at the mural, Egyptian pyramids painted beside the stairs that go from the sidewalk to the houses above. Also a painted camel with a bright patterned blanket on its back.

part of a larger mural on the side of an underpass, road and sidewalk in front of the photo, houses behind - a creature with a deer skull and antlers as head with a vulture sitting on its shoulder. Background scenery is dead land with an oil derrick on it.

part of a mural by Essencia Art Collective on Lawrence West in Toronto showing the drastic possible environmental effects of not looking after the planet - dead animals, dead oil fields, dead trees, over exploitation of the Earth

part of a mural by Essencia Art Collective on Lawrence West in Toronto showing the drastic possible environmental effects of not looking after the planet - dead forest, dead city

part of a mural by Essencia Art Collective on Lawrence West in Toronto showing the drastic possible environmental effects of not looking after the planet - a black and crumbling city with the CN Tower looking like it's about to fall down

part of a mural by Essencia Art Collective on Lawrence West in Toronto showing the drastic possible environmental effects of not looking after the planet - a person covered in a grey suit and wearing a gas mask in front of a decaying and falling down city

mural of a person praying, hands together, eyes closed, wearing a purple shawl over their head

mural with people, city life and comment on mistreatment of the environment

car driving under a bridge and past a mural painted on the walls of the underpass, two large green women's faces tilted upwards with eyes closed

street art mural of a turtle swimming by some lily pads in the water, as seen from below

a man cycles past a large mural, two very large green faces are in the foreground

part of a mural on an underpass, under the bridge, large cobs of corn and a bright dragonfly

close up of big eyes on an insect, part of a mural

looking eastward along a long horizontal mural painted beside a city street

close up of part of a mural by Essencia Art Collective of a woman with a flower in her hair and a leaf shaped ear ring, mother nature like, beside a large fox.

part of a mural painted on an underpass - the nose of a very large fox plus two tiny houses on stilts above turbulent water, night sky

part of a larger mural, a boy is sitting at the back of a large wood boat, he is fishing, the boat is in a large bubble

part of a large mural on an underpass in Toronto painted be Essencia Art Collective, an old man with white hair, beard and mustache and wearing a wool hat is holding a paper cup that has fire and steam coming out of it. A bird is sitting on his shoulder

part of a street art mural - three animals, a warthog with spikey back, a deer, and another animal with antlers and a roundish face

a large warthog animal in a street art mural

a large owl in a mural

looking along a sidewalk where there is alarge mural, a very large owl is looking at you, other animals in the background.

street art mural, metaphorical heart of the Earth is being ripped out of the water

part of a large mural with an environmental theme - a brown bear stands beside a small waterfall in the midst of a lush green place

part of a mural with an environment theme, a polar bear is standing beside a red and white ship that is frozen in the arctic ice.

arctic scenes as part of a larger street art mural on an underpass in Toronto - polar bears walking on ice, with an iceberg behind them.

arctic scenes as part of a larger street art mural on an underpass in Toronto - a person in a purple parka holding a little tree, standing in ice between two polar bears

arctic scenes as part of a larger street art mural on an underpass in Toronto - a man in a parka with a fur lined hood looks down the road towards the rest of the mural

part of a street art mural, three people bundled up in fur lined parkas in a winter scene

The fifth floor of the Art Gallery of Ontario is devoted to contemporary art.

Three of the present exhibits are best described as conceptual art.  Conceptual art is art where the idea is more important that the look.  The story behind the work trumps aesthetics.

This blog post has taken me many days to write as I struggle with the love hate relationship that I have with conceptual art.   My biggest complaint about conceptual art is that skill too often gets thrown out the window;  God forbid that something like artistic merit should impede the artist.  I can empathize with causes and I can support ideas without liking the end product.  In other words, just because I don’t the ‘art’ doesn’t mean I don’t “get it”.

Anyhow, on to the exhibits.

First, ‘Gustav’s Wing’ is an exhibit by Danh Vo, a man born in Vietnam but raised in Denmark.  Using his nephew as a model, Vo had a bronze of cast of the boy’s body made in six pieces.  The pieces are then arranged within a room.  “The resulting installation gives a fragmented and evocative portrait of a boy whose Danish and Vietnamese heritage echoes that of the artist, but who represents the next stage in the family’s story – that of the first-generation Danish citizen”, according to the description of the exhibit.

Looking into a white room, photo taken from the doorway, pieces of metal cast from a boy's body lie on the floor, scattered, part of an art installation at the Art Gallery of Ontario

Close up of a metal cast of a boy's foot. Part of an art installation by Danh Vo at the Art Gallery of Ontario

Three of the metal pieces from Gustave's WIng, an art installation by Danh Vo, pieces of body cast in metal

Second, there are three totem poles by Brian Jungen entitled ‘1960’, ‘1970’, and ‘1980’.  All three were made in 2007.  The words in the artist’s statement about this piece say “The towering works recall the complex social and political tensions that can result from First Nations land claims.”  Part of the artist’s reasoning is that golf courses are manicured and their use is quite different from the way land is used by First Nations.

 

A group of women looks at an art installation of three large totem poles made of golf bags on display in an art gallery (Art Gallery of Ontario)

below: Anther piece by Brian Jungen, this one is called ‘Wieland’ and it is made of red women’s leather gloves.  It is supposed to be an upside down maple leaf, i.e. a Canadian symbol turned on its head.  When I first saw it, I saw an eagle with its wings spread but maybe that’s just me.

The words on the wall for this piece: “Its title celebrates Canadian artist Joyce Wieland (1931-1998) whose work in the 1960s and 1970s proposed a gendered patriotism in which indigenous art and culture were given only tokenistic inclusion. With Wieland, Jungen positions himself as part of and against an established narrative of Canadian art history.”

In Wieland’s opinion Canada was female I guess that that is what “gendered patriotism” means.  Otherwise, you will have to figure this one out for yourself.

Upside down rd maple leaf made of women's gloves. It also looks a bit like a large bird with outstretched wings. Part of an art installation at the art gallery of Ontario

Lastly, there is an installation by Duane Linklater.  Each garment rack is piece and they have names like “My brother-in-law, my sister” and  “The marks left behind”.  Furs of different animals such as fox and skunk hang from the garment racks.  One has an old T-shirt and one has a piece of orange fabric.   “The evocative titles of the pieces speak to family ties, articulating a sense of personal loss” according to the description of the work found on the gallery wall.

 

A woman is in a large room at the Art Gallery of Ontario, she is looking at an art installation that involves skins of dead animals hanging from garment racks. A pink picture of a woman hangs on the wall.

in an art gallery, an art installation that involves skins of dead animals hanging from garment racks. A pink picture of a woman hangs on the wall.

The two pink pictures on the wall are each a half of a portrait of a woman called Anna Mae Aquash who died in 1976. Together they form ‘Family Photograph’.  Aquash was a Miqmaq woman who was involved as a “radical activist” in the American Indian Movement of the early 1970s.  She was murdered.    If you read the description of the work on the gallery wall, you will read these words: “By including her image, Linklater expresses a sense of familial connection with Aquash and establishes a symbolic relationship with the previous generation while asserting himself in the present. ”   Pardon?

The words on the wall don’t tell you that she was murdered by her own people because they thought she was an FBI informant.  So what relationship is the artist trying to establish?  How does this even remotely lead to “asserting himself in the present”?  Sorry, but empty jargonish words leave me cold. This isn’t art.  Linklater may have a valid idea but that doesn’t make it art.

A group of people in an art gallery, they are looking at an art installation that involves skins of dead animals hanging from garment racks. Two pink picture of women hangs on the wall.