Posts Tagged ‘photography’

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.

Each year the CONTACT Photography Festival spotlights a few artists.  This year, Carrie Mae Weems is one of them.  As I’ve walked around Toronto the past month I have tried to check out all the place where Weems’s work is on display.

below: On Spadina, just north of King is a large portrait of Mary J. Bilge (singer and actor) in red with the title “Anointed”.  In the photo, Bilge is being crowned by Weems.

a large red photo of a woman being crowned, sitting in profile, the word anointed is written in large letters on the picture. Mounted on the side of a red brick building

below: A small pink photo of a girl in the parking lot that is adjacent to the building where the above photo is mounted.  The marks on the girl’s face are problems with the display case, not with the photo.

a pink and black photo of a girl's head, on a small display in a parking lot, with a Huawei ad behind it. Ad features that head of a model

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below: At the Contact Gallery, 80 Spadina Avenue, part of ‘Blending the Blues’ which is collection of images from a few different projects that Weems has done over her thirty year career.  The picture shown here is “Untitled” 2017.

detailed picture of a woman sitting at a table with lots of things around her, on the table, behind her, and in front of the table, by Carrie mae Weems, the photo is only in blues and black

below: From ‘Blue Notes” 2014-2015 which involves blue toned images of people with coloured rectangles obscuring part of their faces.   The picture on the right is a copy of the Booking Sheet for Sandra Bland who was charged with assaulting a public servant (i.e. police officer) in July 2015.  She was died in police custody a three days later.

park of an exhibit in a gallery showing the picture of a black boy with a large red rectangle acros his face, beside it is an enlargement of the arrest record of a black man in Ferguson Missouri

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“Scenes and Take”, 2016, is composed of two large photos (“Director’s Cut” and “The Bad and the Beautiful” below) on the outside walls of the TIFF Bell Lightbox at the corner of King West and Widmer Streets.  Each photograph is accompanied by text which reads as a summary for movie.  For instance, the text for “The Bad and the Beautiful” starts as “The Plot: Bright and beautiful, a young would-be starlet in Hollywood seeking fame and fortune.  Along the way, she encounters erroneous assumptions, bad luck, and dangerous men.”

large photo on a wall outside, of a woman in a long black dress, back to camera, one hand on door sill as she stands in open doorway, by Carrie Mae Weems

The photos are of Weems as a muse, or the embodiment of the black female gaze.  She places herself on the set of ‘Scandal’, a series created by Shonda Rhimes and starring Kerry Washington.

two large photos mounted on two walls that meet at the corner of King West and Widmer, two people walking them including a woman in a head scarf

‘Slow Fade to Black’, 2010,  is a series of large posters on King Street West near Metro Hall – black performers slowly fading from fame and memory.   They address the representation of Black women in popular culture

series of large panel photos by Carrie Mae Weems, Slow Fade to Black, each photo is a person or a face that is blurry, done with one colour on black

‘Slow Fade to Black’ was also the name of a book subtitled, the Negro in American Film 1900-1942 written by Thomas Cripps and published in 1977.

two men walk past two large photos on King Street, Slow Fade to Black photo by Carrie Mae Weems, one is blue and black and the other is burgundy and black

Performers, all black women, portrayed in this series: Katherine Dunham, Koko Taylor, Eartha Kitt, Abbey Lincoln, Dinah Washington (twice), Ella Fitzgerald, Shirley Bassey, Josephine Baker (twice), Mahalia Jackson, Leontyne Price, and Nina Simone.

people sitting in a streetcar with their back to the window, can see large photo on exhibit on opposite sidewalk through the windows of the streetcar

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And last, at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery (the Art Museum at the University of Toronto), is ‘Heave’.  From the gallery’s website, “multi-part installation Heave combines photography, video, news media sampling, as well as ephemera to probe the devastating effects of violence in our life and time. The complex installation explores the spectacle of violence in our contemporary lives relocating this present within sustained histories of conflict and uprising.”

a collection of pictures on the wall and Life magazines on a table, part of Heave, an exhibit by Carrie Mae Weems at University of Toronto art museum and gallery

living room furniture arrangement as part of a gallery exhibit, heave, by carrie Mae Weems

4 people watching a video on a large screen, one person is standing while 3 people are sitting on a bench with their backs to the camera

‘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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

Now showing at the Onsite Gallery, is an exhibit of photography by T.M. Glass called “The Audible Language of Flowers”.  Glass’s work is inspired by 17th and 18th century northern European still life flower paintings.

below: On the back wall is  “Clematis in a Chinese Teapot”, 2017 (The teapot is from the Gardiner Museum).   The photograph on the right (with the red flowers) uses a vase from the Royal Ontario Museum, “Tulips in a Persian Vessel”, 2017.

people sitting on a bench in a gallery, reading, large photos of flower bouquets on the walls around them

But they are not just large photographs.   They have been enhanced in a process that has become known as digital painting.  This technique involves enlarging the image to the pixel level.   Attributes such as sharpness, colour and vibrance are then manipulated  giving the finished image more of a painted look.

below: Part of “Anemone Canadensis in an Italian Pharmaceutical Vessel”, 2017 (The ‘vase’ is from the Royal Ontario Museum). 

white flowers and greenery in a vase with a picture of a young man on it, part of a larger photograph by T.M. Glass in a gallery

below: Close up of some of the flowers in one of the photographs where you can see the “brush strokes”.

close up of photo of a red flower and a white flower that has been manipulated using digital painting techniques

below: Glass has also been experimenting with 3D printing.  On display are some sandstone and resin sculptures that were created from digital files, including these two.

2 white 3 D printed sculptures of flowers in a vase, in a gallery, with large pictures, in colour, of bouquets of flowers in vases on tables

The exhibit continues until August 18th.
Onsite Gallery is part of OCADU and is at 199 Richmond St. West.
This exhibit is part of the CONTACT Photography Festival.

picture of a blue vase with red and white flowers, framed on a gallerywall, reflections of other pictures in the glass, black background

The merging of events, the overlap of months.
At the Distillery District, many features were made yellow in April in honour of cancer awareness month.

the heart at the Parliament street side of the Distillery District that is usually red has been made yellow

Towards the end of that month, some large pictures began appearing on the brick walls.  An early installation for CONTACT month, May, these are Sage Szkabarnicki-Stuart’s  “Good Stuff Bad Stuff” which is a series of conceptual photographs attached to the exterior walls of some of the buildings.

From the CONTACT website:  “a series of bizarre self-portraits that connect concepts of home and identity. The artist’s own grungy apartment and various public spaces serve as the backdrop to the photo series. Using physical experiences and found objects, the photographs in this exhibition explore the relationship between ourselves and the personal objects we buy, inherit, and throw away.”

picture on a wall at the Distillery District

below: I’m not sure that a candle on one’s head ‘explores’ anything… but maybe I was missing something?

a woman's head with a lit candle on it, melted wax has run down her face and hair, bright orange wall in the background.

And so we go off on a bit of a google tangent to see what there is for ‘candle, head’.  I find candles as a Christian symbol for light in the darkness.  There is also an image of a black man with a real lit candle on his head with melting wax running down his forehead, lit by his pastor “to deliver him from the spirit of homosexuality”.  Searches also yield skulls as candle holders (or candle holders in skull shapes) used as a novelty item, or as method of casting spells if you believe in such things.   And last, Tim Burton made a music video for “The Killers” (a group) where at the end, two people are sitting across from each other at a table, both with a lit candle on their head.  In this last case there is melding of reality and fantasy as one character is a wax figure that occasionally comes to life.   Whether this has anything to do with the image above, I have no idea.   But I’m sure that my ramblings, although entertaining (ha!) are probably just a detour.

below: Hope floats. One of the photographs on a wall surrounded by “graffiti” ( of the fake kind).  No candles here?  It’s the paper boats that are burning.  If there were candles, they are long gone.

a head partially submerged in water, surrounded by little white trays with flames

 

below: More yellow

the four legs of the large spider-like sculpture at the Distillery District are yellow and the head part is wrapped with blue plastic

below: Another picture.  Flowers and hands.

a large poster attached to brick wall, outside, hands coming out of a large bush with purple flowers on it.

below: More picture.  This time an ode to junk food and trashiness by the looks of it.  The lion is blue but unmoved.  With a fast food paper crown on her head and a cigarette in her mouth.  Garbage randomly strewn but carefully placed so there is no product placement.

picture on a stone wall, blue tones, lion sculpture, sitting beside flight of stairs, woman leaning against lion, cigarette in her mouth, food in the other hand, garbage strewn on the stairs around her feet

below: The last bit of yellow for today.

distillery district, love sign for locks, the heart has been decorated with a lot of yellow flowers

fake yellow flowers placed by some locks

below: And one last photograph to give you some ideas of what to do with the photos of Venice that you might have, you know, the ones that look like everyone else’s.   There are many more on display at the Distillery District.   As I type this I am warming up to the pictures but I am still torn.   Does anyone want to offer an opinion?

large photo on a brick wall, taken by a canal in Venice, of a woman covered from head to toe in black weeds as she stands beside the canal

Sage Szkabarnicki-Stuart is on Instagram