Posts Tagged ‘light’

It was the last night of October, the rain had stopped earlier in the evening, and Church Street was closed between Gloucester and Wood streets.  It was ‘Halloween on Church’, an annual street party filled with costumes on display wanting to be seen and other people wanting to see and take pictures.   These photos represent only a small selection of what there was to be seen that night (obviously!).

below: A one night stand to remember

a person at a Halloween costume dressed as a one night stand, table up to neck, a clock, and a picture on a frame on the table, or rather, the night stand

below: Glowing red and green

two women pose with three people wearing oversized skulls on their heads, with lights inside that make the eyes appear bright, two red eyed skulls and one with green eyes

below: Japanese ghouls, dressed to kill?

two women in elaborate embroidered red silk kimonos, one with a parasol too, one with a make up gash on her cheek

below: White man on keyboard.

man in black tux with white cloth overhis face plays a keyboard that he has around his neck

man dressed in a dress that is made of yellow police caution tape, also wearing a police cap. Posing with a woman who is also wearing a poilce hat

below: A group of people went as the 3D Toronto sign.

a group of people pose for a photo. Each is holding a 3D letter and together they spell Toronto, a miniature copy of the 3D Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips Square.

below: More playing with lights, this time as stick people.

two people in jogging suits with hoods, with lights down the front so it looks like stick people

Church Street, Halloween party, a couple in costumes suitable for day of the dead celebrations, juxtapositioned with a man holding a baby

a man in an elaborate gold embellished old fashioned scuba diving mask with glittery gold coloured rays emanating from it

two people standing under a clear umbrella with little lights dangling from it, one person has a black mask on and a costume like the invincible movie character

couple posing for pictures at the corner of Church and Wood, both are dressed in Halloween costumes, night time,

below: Looking at instagram in a new light, from a different point of view.

a photographer has made it look like he's a live instagram photo

below: With a doll and a lit candle

a man in a black and white striped shirt is holding a doll and a lit candle

below: With a doll and a dog.

A woman in long braids holds a green fabric doll and a small dog in her arms. Her face is covered with makeup that makes her look like a skull with large black eyes, a black nose and a mouth with notches (stitches?)

below: This one is for Jude, something about wanting to take this one home with her…..

a topless man leans against a concrete pole to pose for a photo. He has a large tattoo that covers most of his right arm. He is wearing a rubber mask with rabbit ears and a bandana over his face as well as large goggles.

below: With pale pink hair, a shimmering dress, and a big smile

a person with a pale pink wig and shimmering fabric dress

three people in big long haired wigs, one red head and two blondes

below: Crossing light sabres with Darth Vader.

a woman crosses light sabres with darth vader, hallowwen party on Church St. in Toronto

below: Kermit only has eyes for Miss Piggy….. or else!

two people in costume, one as a life sized Kermit the Frog and the other as Miss Piggy, both from The Muppets

below: ‘The Encompassing’ by street artist Javid (aka JAH) stands in one of the reflecting pools between the Ismaili Centre and the Aga Khan Museum.   This is one of a number of pieces on display.  Each is painted on reclaimed corrugated metal.  They are an examination of the geometry in Islamic patterns and architecture.  His work will remain on display until the 31st of October.

a painting called The Encompassing stands in a reflecting pool in front of the Aga Khan Museum.

below: On the other side of the above painting, is this one – “Beyond”, also by Javid.  The Ismaili Centre is in the background with its large pale blue dome over the prayer room.

A painting in blue, pink, and purple, of stars, by Jacid Jah, in a reflecting pool with the Ismaili Centre behind it

 below: The large wood beams that cover the entrance to the Ismaili Centre were being re-stained this morning.

a pick up truck and a lift in front of the entrance to the Ismaili Centre, workmen are re-staining the large wood beams that support the glass roof.

The Toronto Ismaili Centre is one of 6 around the world.  It was designed by Indian architect Charles Correa and opened in 2014.  If you go on the tour of the inside of the Ismaili Centre, you will see a building that is filled with natural light, as well as natural woods and stone.

below: A calligraphy based medallion made of stone is on a white wall.  The Arabic word ‘allah’ is in the center and surrounding it are the ninety nine attributes of God, written in Arabic.

chairs and sofa in a large room, on grey carpet, most of floor is polished stone, medallion of stone on the white wall.

below: A closer look at the wall.  It took two men, a father and son, fourteen months to carve the design into this wall and a matching wall on the other side of the room.  They worked six days a week .  The arabesque design was penciled on using a stencil and then carved by hand.

carved white wall, plaster

below: A second medallion is on a wall across the room from the one above (on the other wall that was carved).

medallion of stone, calligraphy, arabic, on a white wall

Crossing back past the reflecting pools to the Aga Khan Museum….

below: Another Javid Jah painting, this time “The Manifest”.   (To the left, you can see a metal sculpture called “Big Heech” ).   Like all of Jah’s paintings here, this one is based on geometry.  The basic shape here is a pentagon (sacral chakra) and it is seen on the floor.  This type of archway is called a muqarna and it is unique to muslim architecture.  Here the shape of the indentations in the muqarna are based on the pentagon.

a painting called The Encompassment stands in a reflecting pool in front of the Aga Khan Museum.  Painted by Javid Jah, blue arch over red entranceway

The “Big Heech” is the work of Parviz Tanavoli, made from stainless steel in 2014.   It is derived from the Persian word for “nothingness” and it is an important word in Perian Sufism.

“Emperors and Jewels: Treasures of the Indian Court from the Al-Sabah Collection in Kuwait”, is a temporary exhibit at the Aga Khan Museum featuring artworks and historical objects from the treasuries of Mughal emperors.  The Mughal Empire ruled most of present day Pakistan and India in the 16th and 17th centuries.   The Mughals were Muslim but the majority of the population were Hindu.

below: Part of a larger picture depicting a hunting scene, reproduced and enlarged especially for the exhibit.

part of a painting at the Aga Khan museum of a moghul ruler on a horse in a hunting scene

below: Three glass bottles

on display at the Aga Khan Museum, 3 glass bottles, rounded bottoms and narrow tops, one is marroon, one is teal and the last is royal blue

below: Two fish joined to make a circle, a standard.  From India, late 18th century.   Made from silver.  There are many myths and symbols that feature fish.  In Hindu tradition, the fish was associated with Brahma and Manu, a progenitor of mankind.  In addition, one myth is that a fish was believed to hold up the globe.

on display at the Aga Khan Museum, two fish joined in a circle, a standard, for the top of a pole

below: A portrait of Nawab Bairam Khan, painted around 1710-40, watercolour and gold on paper.  He is pictured in profile, sitting alone in his peaceful garden.

on display at the Aga Khan Museum, a painting, portrait of Nawab Bairam Khan, painted around 1710 to 1840, watercolour and gold on paper, scene is a man sitting on a carpet, under a tent roof, leaning on a large pink pillow

below: Knife with jade handle carved in the shape of a horse head and neck.

on display at the Aga Khan Museum, a metal knife iwth a jade handle that is carved into the shape of a horse head and neack, decorated with gold bridle

For a number of reasons, I started walking late yesterday.
It was overcast and the the light was flat.

a woman on the sidewalk, with people on the other side of the street in the background

  There were a few people sitting around and/or hanging out – on their phones, alone with their thoughts,  meeting with friends, or just passing by.

three people, two sitting, one smoking and the other on her phone. The third person is male, lying down with head on lap of woman on her phone, outside,

Catching moments and freezing them in time – is that what photography is?   To call the images random would be farfetched.  They are edited starting from the first decisions such as where to aim the camera and at what moment do I take the picture.   But they are candid in that the people are unaware, unposed, and to me, more natural.  These women are just hanging out outside the Eaton Centre, together, yet separate.  Are they waiting for someone?  What is the woman on far left reacting to?

women in head scarves standing beside glass window of a store, other women walking past

men sitting on a bench, a woman walking past

As I mentioned above, the light was flat.  It was a grey afternoon and that is always a challenge.  As the day becomes darker, the ambient light provide by windows increases.

below: Is it my imagination or is her neck longer than most?  I don’t think that I’d be able to wear four leather rings around my neck even if I wanted to.

head of a mannequin in a store window, white, large sunglasses, leather rings around her neck

As I was processing some of my photos, I got to thinking about my grandmother.  I remember driving with her at dusk and into the early night.  She would get excited about being able to look into people’s windows after they’d turned on their lights but before they’d closed their curtains.  We could only get a quick glimpse as we passed by – were there pictures on the wall?  What was on TV?  What were the people doing?  But even that was enough to spark our imaginations and we would create stories about the possible lives of the people in those houses.

below: Talking at the bar

from the outside, looking into a bar. Line of bottles on a back lit shelf, two women takling near the window

below: Sitting at Timmies

three people at Tim Hortons, sitting at a table. Seen from the outside, a poster on the window blocks the view of one of the people

Night windows offer a different view.  Things that are hidden during the day become visible.

below:  Interior renovations in progress

looking in the window of a construction site, two ladders, square panes of interior glass on a wall

below: The mundane and austere railing and fluorescent light in the stone bank building caught my attention.  As I was lining up the shot I noticed the woman (who had obviously noticed me first).

evening, from outside, a lit window in a bank of Nova Scotia building shows a hand rail, a woman stands outside the window

people in the midst of getting on and off a streetcar

two people, slightly out of focus pass by a lit window

And then it started to rain.  My feet were getting wet and my umbrella wasn’t big enough so I called it quits and went home.

a woman holding an umbrella crosses the street

red chairs and white tables in an empty restaurant

candle in a pumpkin carved into a spider jack o'lantern

Another year of jack o’lanterns and giant spiders

a giant spider halloween decoration in front of a house

and other creative spooky and creepy decorations.  Clowns and pumpkin heads.

life sized skeleton in a front yard, one with a creepy clown face and one with a pumpkin head

And even bunnies can be fearsome.   Bunny with baseball bat.

three life sized skeletons in a front yard, a rabbit mask on one which is also holding a baseball bat, a pumpkin head, and one with a bear mask that is half brown and half black

It’s a time for dressing up in costumes and having fun….  for kids

kids in Halloween costumes laughing together

…. and for adults (night time photos taken on Church street)

below: What’s scarier than Donald Trump?  Three Trumps! Thrice the thrills.

three men in suits and ties with large cardboard Donald Trump faces

a group dressed up for Halloween, night time, street party, 2 women, 2 men, toy guns, gangsters and burlesque.

woman in black with large black antlers stand against a wall, an older man is looking at her

a large inflatable dinosaur costume, a death ghoul costume, and many people standing around them posing for photos at a night time halloween party on Church St., toronto

posing for photos in Halloween costumes

Not everyone was scary – look at these cute and cuddly animals!

a group in full animal costumes pose for a photo, a walrus, a shark, a cat, a leopard,

a man wearing a cowboy hat with a sheriff's bagde, and a skull mask checks his phone while standing outside pizza pizza, window lit up and people inside including a man making pizza

two men in gruesome halloween masks and baseball caps

Smurfs!

two people dressed as smurfs for Halloween, a large smurfette and a smaller male smurf with a red hat

Even Marilyn stopped for a picture.

a man dressed in drag as Marilyn Munro with blond wig and white dress, posing with an Asian woman

 

a young man in purple jacket and white face with the word damaged written across his forehead

a young woman poses as a black faced zombie between two men with creepy clown masks on

an Asian woman with black cat ears poses with a man in white boa and very large day of the dead head hat

close up of a person in a furry, hairy monstrous mask with bloody fangs

a boy with his arm made up to look like his hand is fallen off

Sunny September days make good walking in the alleys days.   Here are some of the walls I saw and the compositions that they make.  The textures of wood and metal, bright colours as well as subdued ones, the effects of light and shadow, as well as shapes and patterns – these are some of the things that catch my eye and make me stop.  Throw a little nature into the mix and the following photos are the result.

part of an old wood door that is part dark turquoise and part blue, with a rusted latch holding the two doors together and closed

a vine with two red leaves hangs in front of a grey wall, sunny day so there are shadows on the wall fromother plants that aren't in the picture

three small windows in a wall, the top part of the wall is brick and the bottom is plaster that has been painted white

old rusty downspout with part of a wire coat hanger wrapped around ut, in front of a grey shingle covered wall that has been partially covered with purple spray paint

trunks of three trees growing in front of an old white building with a green door. windows in door are covered with plywod and a piece of plywood is nailed over parts of the lower half of the doors to keep them closed.

a bashed up grey metal door with splotches of light and shadow

part of a bright red double metal door in a brick building

a bright turquoise door in a building that has been painted white - some of the old brick shows throw the peeling paint.

part of a brick wall that has old windows bricked over in a different brick, an old window with old wood frame, unpainted, some graffiti on the wall

corrugated plastic panels on angle in front of concrete block wall with window covered with plywood

white drips of paint on a wood garage door, metal door handle

chainlink fence in front of rows of construction equipment

a grey plaster attempt to patch a broken rusted metal panel on the side of a garage - rust in shades of yellow and brown, a painted green stripe

red, white, and blue spray paint on three wood slats of a fence, tied together with string, some nails sticking out

paste up of a man's face over a wood door, door and wall have blue and red splotchy spray paint on them

Early Saturday morning was cold but beautiful –
brilliant blue overhead with the sun still low in the sky.

below: Striped grass

low sun rays shining through a fence made of vertical metal bars, so that the shadows on the grass make the grass looked striped

below:  This is the Bell building from the Simcoe Street side.  The blue glass, vertical lines in the concrete, blue sky and strong tree shapes made for an interesting few minutes while I experimented with different angles and views.

looking up a building with strong vertical lines made by concrete shapes on theglass is reflecting strong blue colour exterior of the building,

looking up a building with strong vertical lines made by concrete shapes on theglass is reflecting strong blue colour

below: The ghostly look of reflected light

light reflecting off a glass building and landing on a black wall on the building beside it

looking up a tall building that is black on the exterior and has light reflected from a glass building beside it.

below: A single pole and its shadow, alone on a wall.

sun shining on a wall, one post with a sign on it is in the picture, along with its shadow

sun shining on a wall, one post with a sign on it is in the picture, along with its shadow

below: Three reflected windows reserved for the president.

beige wall with greenish covering over a window, light reflected from the building beside it makes it look like a row of windows along the wall

below: A half house, a fun find.  Once this was a semi-divided house where the shared wall created the peak at the front of the house.  With its partner gone, the remaining house looks incomplete.

a semi divided house, where the house on one side has been demolished leaving half a peaked roof.

below:  A tree in silhouette seems to dance in front of the other buildings.

tree in silhouette in the foreground, buildings in light in the background,also blue sky

below: Phantom balconies, mirages on the concrete.

light reflecting from balconies along with shadows make phantom balconies on the building beside it

me a visitor, a looker, and and a skeptic.

I happened upon a gallery yesterday, the Robert Kananaj Gallery, on the second last day of a show by Oscar Figueroa called ‘me a talker’.    As I type this, the show should be wrapping up.  So you’ve missed it.  I’m not sure what you’ve missed.

below: The paper that is half on the floor and half propped up by the wall has the words “Think Less With Me” written on it.  This summarizes a lot of Figueroa’s work in that it is a rejection of the verbose and often jargon filled ‘artist statements’ found in contemporary art and especially conceptual art where the words on the wall are more important than the technical or visual aspects of the work.   The gallery website says this: “What if instead of a logical artist statement we decided to write thoughts, or sentences, that go through our heads when making art. This is not poetry per se, this is a form of idea communication, just as the conventional artist statement was intended.”  Does it make you wonder?

walls of a n art gallery with some of the work of Oscar Figueroa. A projection of a woman's chest in a bikini top, a piece of brown cardboard with the words 'Make me wonder' and a piece of paper, large white paper, half on the floor and half propped up on the wall that says

I want to cheer him on for trying to reject the overthought concept behind art these days.  I appreciate the fact that he does not confront me with an essay that bears no relationship to the artwork.  But all is not well.  He wants us to think that his art is special because he rejects the mainstream thinking. Too bad it also rejects all attempts at, well, everything.  The gallery looks like a space that someone has just moved out of but neglected to take their garbage with them.

a piece of paper with a happy face drawn on it, with ampersands for eyes, and a single red light bulb hangng from the ceiling and stopping just above the paper.

below: A yellow rubber glove taped to the wall, a happy rock on floor.  Does it talk to you?

a black happy face scrawled on a piece of paper, a yellow rubber gloved taped to the wall that is holding the paper. A small rock on the floor with a happy face painted on it.

I found it all rather depressing.   There could be more to it than this.  No, make that: there should be more to it.

blog_britney_spears_athiest

below:  him: “Be a sidewalk or be a balloon, there’s no fucking difference.”
me: Be a piece of art or a piece of garbage, there’s no fucking difference.

4 pieces of art in a gallery. a white happy face on black paper, a shiny piece of paper with a corner ripped off with the word picturesque written on it.