Posts Tagged ‘mirrors’

Dots, dots, dots.  Millions of dots? Dots and lights worth waiting for.

‘Infinity Mirrors’, Yayoi Kusama, AGO

on a mannequin, a white t-shirt and a polka dot scarf. The t-shirt has writing that says, My life is a dot lost among thousands of other dots, Kusama

Kusama’s polka-dot paintings were based on visual hallucinations she has experienced throughout her life, often based on “a miserable childhood as an unwanted child born of unloving parents.”  These hallucinations often involve repeating patterns that engulf her field of vision, a process she refers to as “obliteration”.  Painting has  helped to keep her demons at bay, to obliterate her anxieties.

In 1968 she returned to Japan.  In 1977 she checked herself into the Tokyo mental hospital where she has lived ever since.  She has a studio where she works during the day but she returns to the hospital at night.

below: In an effort to keep the waiting times down, the AGO is letting three people at a time into the rooms.   I’m not sure who the man is, but he seemed to put up with Joanne and I and our cameras!  This was the first room in the exhibit and it was a bit of a let down – it was the only one that wasn’t impressive.  Minor gripe – why not a mirror on the ceiling?

phallie fields, white with red dots, mirrored room, mirrored walls, people,

below: 30 seconds per visit.  All timed – note the stopwatch!

a woman is entering Kusama's room with many lights and mirrors

below: Stars and planets into infinite.  Small specks in the vastness of the universe.  Obliteration of the self as we become just a very tiny, minuscule dot in the infinite of space.  This exhibit is “The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away” and is made with hundreds of hanging LED lights.

dark room with lights that look like planets and stars, mirrors on walls and ceiling.

below: The words on the wall say, “The souls of millions of light years away”. This is the line-up for the room above. It was one of the shorter lines.

people lining up inside an art gallery

Kusama was born in Japan in 1929 and trained originally in traditional Japanese painting. One of the only American painters that she knew of was Georgia O’Keefe, having seen her work in an art book. She wrote to Georgia O’Keefe asking for advice on how to break into the New York art world. In 1958 she moved to New York City where she became part of the avant-garde art scene. She was into pop art and hippie counterculture. She organized a series of anti-war public performances featuring naked people who were painted with brightly colored polka dots.

 

below: This room was fun especially since I got to spend a few seconds alone in it.  Dancing with pink balls.

in a room with mirrored walls and ceiling, many large pink balls with black polka dots on them.

below: Looking into “Love Forever” – a small hexagonal box with some mirrors on the outside and two small windows (peepholes!) as seen from the outside.  This structure/exhibit was first shown in 1966.

a woman is looking through a small window into a box with mirrors and lights.

below: Looking in the window…. It’s amazing what can be done with mirrors and lights in a small space.  Mirrors combined with the technology of LED lights that can change colours with computer controlled programs made for an impressive display.  An endless repetition of patterns.

lights, mirrors in a room with a window. Looking in through the window.

below: Same room, different colours

teal blue lights and mirrors, reflections, kusama infinite mirrors

below: Obliteration Room – multicoloured stickers that people have added to an all white room with all white furniture and accessories like wine glasses and dog dishes.  As more people pass through, the more colourful the room becomes.  The dots make it difficult to see the details in the room.  Can you tell what is on the table?

 

a room all white, including white furniture is covered with dots in many colours, stickers that different people have added to the room. Part of exhibit at AGO of work by Yayoi Kusama

Kusama also paints and makes sculptures.

a wall of bright lively paintings by Yayoi Kusama on the wall of the Art Gallery of Ontario. Some women are standing nearby, looking at the paintings.

dot covered sculpture in front of a dot covered painting

the windows on the staircase that runs behind the Art Gallery of Ontario back wall, from 5th to 4th floor, are covered with big red dots in honour of the exhibit by Yayui Kusama

Thanks to Joanne of My Live Lived Full for playing with me!

Someone has redone the signs in Bathurst subway station….
now they look like they belong at Honest Eds store!

sign maker from Honest Eds store has redone some of the signs in Bathurst subway station plus, he has added some Honest Ed type promo signs around the station - the direction sign to subway and to exits.

… and when I came up to street level I discovered that the station has been decorated with Honest Eds type ‘adverts’ complete with awful puns

sign maker from Honest Eds store has redone some of the signs in Bathurst subway station plus, he has added some Honest Ed type promo signs around the station - on the window of the station, Our prices aren't always good but they're fare

…. including word play based on subway station names such as “Turnstiles, now museum, soon you won’t”.  Groan.  Smile.

sign maker from Honest Eds store has redone some of the signs in Bathurst subway station plus, he has added some Honest Ed type promo signs around the station - on the window of the station are two signs, one says Presto no more change-o and the other says Turnstiles now museum soon you won't

below: The main entrance to the station now looks like an Honest Eds window.

sign maker from Honest Eds store has redone some of the signs in Bathurst subway station plus, he has added some Honest Ed type promo signs around the station - on the window of the station, The window beside the main entrance has been covered with fake ads.

below: They aren’t too easy to read in this picture, but the two signs on the left are, first, “Bacon & Eglinton $3.25” and second, “There aren’t any snakes on our tracks, St. Patrick banished them”.   Were you expecting better?  [laughing]

sign maker from Honest Eds store has redone some of the signs in Bathurst subway station plus, he has added some Honest Ed type promo signs around the station - on the window of the station, exterior of station by streetcar and bus loop has four signs in the windows that are puns based on the names of TTC stations.

Nearby is the real Honest Ed’s store, a landmark for many years.  Eighteen months ago, I posted some pictures of the store and at the end of that post I mentioned that the store was scheduled to close at the end of 2016.  Well, the end of 2016 is drawing nigh and Honest Ed’s is slowly winding down.  The decorating of Bathurst Station is part of the good-bye process.

At the moment, the interior of the store is a shadow of its former self.  It is still in business but the goods are getting scarce.  There are definitely still bargains to be had.  I have a new hat that I bought there today, red polar fleece, that set me back 50 cents… plus tax.

interior of Honest Eds store as it gets ready to close down. a bin of lipstick and other makeup. Someone has written the word Riley in pink lipstick on the side of the bin

interior of Honest Eds store as it gets ready to close down. A bin of men's underwear for $4.99

interior of Honest Eds store as it gets ready to close down. The bedding section is being torn apart and dismantled

below: Ed Mirvish and a crowd of shoppers back in the day.
The picture still hangs in one of the many corners of the store.

interior of Honest Eds store as it gets ready to close down. An old picture of Ed Mirvish surrounded by a crowd of people hangs on a wall above a Bell payphone.

interior of Honest Eds store as it gets ready to close down. a few shower curtains on display as well as some checkered tea towels. The rest of the shelves and wall space are empty

interior of Honest Eds store as it gets ready to close down. ladies underwear in a bin for sale, surrounded by empty bins and wall space, lots of mirrors. Yellow caution tape marks off a section of the store that is now closed.

interior of Honest Eds store as it gets ready to close down. a black and white photo of a young woman on a wall beside a convex mirror showing the stairwell. also an ad printed right on the mirror for bradasol lozenges

below: Photo taken from the walkway between the two buildings that make up Honest Ed’s store.  Looking south.

looking down at an icy alley where four people are walking between buildings, sign on building says Honest Eds Annex,

below: From the same vantage point, but looking north.  From here I spotted a new mural.

looking down on an alley, there is a mural along the side of one of the buildings.

below: The mural is a large scale photo montage of people passing by the Bloor Street windows of Honest Ed’s. It catches the reflections of both the window contents and the life on the street.  It is “The Theatre” and it is the creation of Matthew Monteith.

part of a mural in Honest Eds Alley by Matthew Monteith showing people walking past the windows of Honest Ed's store, large scale photo
part of a mural in Honest Eds Alley by Matthew Monteith showing people walking past the windows of Honest Ed's store, large scale photo

part of a mural in Honest Eds Alley by Matthew Monteith showing people walking past the windows of Honest Ed's store, large scale photo

interior of Honest Eds store as it gets ready to close down. an old man with a cane sits on the steps between two sections of the store

The 10th annual Luminato festival is being held inside the old Hearn Generating Station in the Portlands.  There are many theatrical, musical and visual events and the location itself is worthy of many, many photos.  Rather than try to cover everything in one blog post, I’ve chosen to focus on mirrors and reflections to begin with.    First, there is the giant ‘disco ball’ that keeps light circulating around the massive interior of the Hearn and second,  an installation by Jordan Soderberg Mills features three interesting and entertaining mirrors.

‘One Thousand Speculations’ is the name of the giant ball that is suspended from the ceiling. At 7.9m in diameter, it is the world’s largest mirror ball.   It is the creation of Canadian artist Michel de Broin and was commissioned for the 2013 Luminato festival where it hung from a crane over David Pecaut Square.  One thousand mirrors reflect the light from a spotlight on the floor and as the ball slowly turns, the lights move around the ceiling, walls, and floor of the Hearn.

below: As seen from the ground floor level.

One thousand specualtions, a mirror ball with 1000 mirrors, inside the hearn generating station as part of luminato festival
below: Close up. The top level is quite close to the ball.

reflections seen in the mirror ball, hearn

below: Someone, somewhere, has a picture of his friend ‘holding up’ the giant ball!

one man is taking another man's picture from an angle that it makes it look like the second one is holding up a giant disco ball, reflecting globe with 1000 mirrors on it, inside the Hearn generating station

below: And the reverse angle, from the top looking down.
Lots of irregular shapes of light moving around the space.

mirror ball suspended from the ceiling of the hearn generating station, the bottom of it in the foreground, with the ground floor level of the hearn below. lights reflecting. people looking up

The Luminato website describes the mirrors involved in the installation by Jordan Soderberg-Mills as “anaglyphic mirrors that play with physics, perception and colour”.   Now you’re probably wondering what anaglyphic means.  It’s a word that comes from the science of 3D pictures.  There is no concise definition!  It is a picture that consists of two slightly different perspectives of the same subject in contrasting colours that are superimposed on each other, producing a three-dimensional effect when viewed through two correspondingly coloured filters.  Phew.   In practice, it makes for a mirror that is fun to play with…. and people did play!

below: As seen from the upper level, three vertical mirrors and four circular mirrors.

looking down onto the ground floor of the hearn generating station at luminato festival, three large vertical mirrors and some round mirrors on two tables. A few people looking at the mirrors, some other people standing around.

people interacting with an anaglyphic mirror at the 10th luminato festival, hearn generating station

people interacting with an anaglyphic mirror at the 10th luminato festival, hearn generating station

people interacting with an anaglyphic mirror at the 10th luminato festival, hearn generating station

people interacting with an anaglyphic mirror at the 10th luminato festival, hearn generating station

people interacting with an anaglyphic mirror at the 10th luminato festival, hearn generating station

people interacting with an anaglyphic mirror at the 10th luminato festival, hearn generating station

people interacting with an anaglyphic mirror at the 10th luminato festival, hearn generating station

people interacting with an anaglyphic mirror at the 10th luminato festival, hearn generating station

An art installation ‘Nest Egg’ by Brendan McNaughton
at the Corkin Gallery, Distillery District

The title of this blog post is taken from a description of McNaughton’s work on the Corkin gallery website, “The relationship between plutocrats and proletariats is central to his art practice.”  A plutocrat is a person who is powerful because they are wealthy.  Money equals power.  Proletariat on the other hand is a class of people, the working class, a class without money and without power.

below: A gold axe.  With its blade in a column, on a pedestal?  That’s not a passive positioning of the axe, i.e. it’s not just lying around.  Someone has swung it.
Axe as a symbol of the working class?  Juxtapositioned with gold, a symbol of money?

picture taken inside an art gallery - a tree trunk stands in the middle of a gold toned mirror, in the background, a gold plated (or gold colured) axe with its blade in the top of a white rectanguar column

below: A couple of the pieces were mirrors. But they were mirrors with a difference – slightly concave in shape, with a hint of gold, and marred by ragged shaped holes.  The resulting reflections are distorted and flawed.

an artwork by Brendan McNaughton of a slightly concave mirror but with a few torn holes in it. A bench is reflected in the mirror but because the mirror isnt't flat, the bench is distorted.

below: ‘Blue Chip’ a sculpture by Brendan McNaughton as viewed through one of his mirrors.  The expression ‘blue chip’ has become synonymous with high quality stocks, usually ones from the New York Stock Exchange.   Originally the expression meant stocks with higher prices because, if the story is correct, blue chips in poker are traditionally associated with the highest value.

Blue Chip, a sculpture by Brendan McNaughton, as viewed through an oval shaped mirror which is actually another art piece by the same artist.

below: The colour gold is very prevalent in this installation as are reflective surfaces.

picture taken inside an art gallery - a tree trunk stands in the middle of a gold toned mirror, also a mirror is on the top of each trunk, in the background are four panels of wrinkled gold

below: Parts of three wrinkly gold panels. There are actually four of these reflective square panels.  They are all the same size and colour but the surface patterns are slightly different.  Once again, the reflections are distorted.  Wealth distorts your view?

three square panels of reflective gold, wrinkled, material with reflections of people in them.

below: There was a group of what appeared to be photography students visiting the gallery at the same time that I was there. As I was standing beside this piece, looking for different and/or interesting angles and reflections, one of the students remarked on how he liked it when ordinary items were used in out of the ordinary ways. He then said that he wondered if it was …. and then he paused. I finished his sentence with the word ‘art’. He laughed and said yes, but that he was always afraid to say such things out loud. I gave him permission to ask “is it art?” as loud and as often as he wanted.

picture taken inside an art gallery - a tree trunk stands in the middle of a gold toned mirror,

picture taken inside an art gallery - a tree trunk stands in the middle of a gold toned mirror,

Installation ends May 1st

Wisdom of the Poor: Communal Courtyard,
an art installation by Chinese artist Song Dong,
Art Gallery of Ontario

This installation is made from parts of 100 old wardrobes collected from traditional Beijing neighbourhoods, or hutongs, like the one in which Song Dong grew up in.  These neighbourhoods, and their communal way of life, are disappearing.

 

 

part of an art installation by Chinese artist Song Dong using vintage wooden wardrobe doors with mirrors and curtains, reflections
The pieces of the wardrobes are arranged with the backside towards the viewer.  The arrangement is such that you can not see the front side of most of the wardrobes.

part of an art installation by Chinese artist Song Dong using vintage wooden wardrobe doors with mirrors and curtains, reflections
There are two circles of wardrobes that you can enter – where you can now stand in the courtyard so to speak.   The wardrobes become stand-ins for the fronts of houses that once faced onto courtyards in the old hutongs of Beijing.

part of an art installation by Chinese artist Song Dong using vintage wooden wardrobe doors with mirrors and curtains, reflections of a foot in one of the mirrors
A wardrobe was one of the items that the Chinese government provide to all families.  They are all similar yet different.  All have mirrors.  Most are made of the same colour wood and most have green curtains.  They all have little legs and they are all about the same height.
part of an art installation by Chinese artist Song Dong using vintage wooden wardrobe doors with mirrors and curtains, reflections
Wardrobes are personal articles and former owners have left their marks on many of them…. a different fabric in the window or a picture glued onto the wood.
part of an art installation by Chinese artist Song Dong using vintage wooden wardrobe doors with mirrors and curtains, reflections, door handles, key holes and a curtain that is a blue and white plaid and has musical notes on it.

part of an art installation by Chinese artist Song Dong using vintage wooden wardrobe doors with mirrors and curtains, reflections, wardrobes arranged in a curved shape
part of an art installation by Chinese artist Song Dong using vintage wooden wardrobe doors with mirrors and curtains, reflections

This installation also appeared in the Venice biennale in 2011 although the wardrobes were arranged differently.  For the exhibit at the AGO, there are a number of items that appear within the ‘courtyards’ created by the wardrobes.  For the viewer, these items can only be viewed through the windows of the wardrobes.  One of the items, below, is a series of three paintings of the Canadian ballerina Karen Kain.

part of an art installation by Chinese artist Song Dong using vintage wooden wardrobe doors with mirrors and curtains, reflections. through one of the windows there is a painting of Karen Kain on the wall

In another, bikes

part of an art installation by Chinese artist Song Dong using vintage wooden wardrobe doors with mirrors and curtains, reflections, through two of the windows there is a bike

part of an art installation by Chinese artist Song Dong using vintage wooden wardrobe doors with mirrors and curtains, reflections, door knobs and frosted glass and a white curtain

This installation remains at the AGO until 17 July 2016

Toronto International Buskerfest for Epilepsy, 2015,
over 70 acts from Canada and around the world.

Yonge Street, College to Queen,
28th Aug through 31st Aug

below: The Funnykito Show,  Dan Marques is a performer from Brazil, part magician, part mime and part clown.  Here he sets up a trick whereby he tries to remove a beer bottle from the hands of a volunteer with a whip.

A busker, Funnykito, has a volunteer on stage, The man (volunteer) is holding a beer bottle upside down between the palms of his two hands
Part of the Funnykito Show where he tries to remove a beer bottle from the hands of a volunteer using a whip
Two kids, boy and a girl, sit on the pavement while they watch a performer at an outdoor busker festival

below:  MaracaTALL, drummers on stilts

Men on stilts, wearing large gold hats and gold and green costumes, play drums as they walk on stilts above the crowds on Yonge St.
A man in a blue shirt and beige baseball cap watches in fascination at a performance at a street festival. There are other people in the crowd around him.

below: There were four or five members of the Mirror Family roaming around Yonge Dundas Square.  They were covered from head to toe with small pieces of mirror.

A woman with blue reflective sunglasses is standing beside a roaming busker act, one of the Mirror Family, a woman covered from head to toe with small pieces of mirror
In the foreground a person is clapping, in the background is a crowd of people that are out of focus

below: Meow Mur, a cosmic cat from another planet

Meow Mur, a busker character dressed in a bright multicoloured leotard costume with cat like facial features.

Two people watching a performance at a street festival. One of them is wearing a large red and white Dr. Suess hat.

below: Max T. Oz

The busker, Max T. Oz performs his sleight of hand act at a street festival. A crowd is watching he pretends to slice his arm with a large knife.

A picture of the crowd watching a show at buskerfest, they are smiling and clapping. A small table with some oranges and a baseball is the foreground, part of the equipment used by Max T. Oz

A girl sits on her father's shoulders as she watches a show at buskerfest

below: Brant the Fireguy has a burning desire to entertain and does so with his ‘O Yeah’ show.

fireguy juggles three flaming torches at an outdoor street festival, Toronto buskerfest on Yonge St. , in front of a crowd of people

Part of Fireguy's Oh Yeah show where he puts a flaming rod into his mouth.
In the foreground is a close up of the busker Fireguy's feet as he stands on a skateboard that is balancing on a large tube, all on top of a box. On the box is written the words 'A burning desire to entertain'. Many people are watching the show.

people sitting on the sidewalk watching a busker perform

below: Pierre St. Pierre

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below: Buskerfest helps to support Epilepsy Toronto; it is their largest fund raiser.

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below: Lulu’s World, where a black marker and some tissue paper helps to bring a story to life.

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below: Upside down on the rope, Natural Wings

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A woman with part of hair dyed a bright pink colour sits with a group of kids on the pavement, others stand behind them. They are all watching a performance at a street festival

below: Wacky Chad, pogo sticks, dance moves, little bikes, and more

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below: Alakazam, throwing knives and other sharp objects as his show’s finale

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below: Pyromancer, fire breather, entertains the crowd.

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Three boys in orange T-shirts sitting on orange benches. A very orange picture

below: Taking turns conducting a small string orchestra

Two young girls take a turn at conducting a small group of musicians playing string instruments at an outdoor festival

  below: Giant Sauruses wander Yonge Dundas Square looking for food.  They are part of Close Act Theatre Group from the Netherlands.

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A woman with long dark hair and sunglasses is holding a small white dog

below: The Yo-Yo Guy, John Higby, performs.

The Yo yo guy is doing a trick with a yo yo where he makes a shape out of the string and his fingers while the yo yo keeps spinning

below: Part of his act involves removing a coin from behind the ear of a volunteer with a spinning yo-yo.

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If you have recently stood on the platform at Union subway station, northbound to Finch side, you will have seen the new artwork being installed there.   The platform is still under construction and not all the art panels have been installed but this is what it looked like this past weekend.

new art, pictures of people on the subway, on glass panels installed at Union Station platform - a seated woman picture on the left.  The panel on the right has not yet been installed, there is a space and the construction behind it is easily visible

There are 166 glass panels, each just over 2m high (7 feet) and when it’s finished it will cover the length of the subway platform, a length of 170m (about 500 feet).

new art, pictures of people on the subway, on glass panels installed at Union Station platform

At the moment they are installed in such a way that they act as mirrors as well as pictures.

new art, pictures of people on the subway, on glass panels installed at Union Station platform - several panels with pictures of people but it is highly reflective so you can see the people waiting on the platform as well

The piece is titled ‘zones of immersion’ and it is the work of Canadian stained glass artist Stuart Reid.  The people on these panels are based on drawings that Reid made as he rode on the TTC.

new art, pictures of people on the subway, on glass panels installed at Union Station platform - a sitting woman and a standing woman.  An exit sign is reflected in the glass

I’m not sure they will be so highly reflective once the installation is complete and the construction behind them finished.  But in the meantime, a little fun can be had!

new art, pictures of people on the subway, on glass panels installed at Union Station platform  several panels with pictures of people but it is highly reflective so you can see the people waiting on the platform as well

new art, pictures of people on the subway, on glass panels installed at Union Station platform - two blue glass panels, one with a woman's face

new art, pictures of people on the subway, on glass panels installed at Union Station platform - 3 men sitting on the subway, all facing the viewer

new art, pictures of people on the subway, on glass panels installed at Union Station platform, a woman's face in profile.  You can see traces of the construction behind her.