Posts Tagged ‘portraits’

I’ve decided to put together two exhibits that are on at the moment in one blog post.  The first is ‘Same Dream’ by Omar Ba at the Power Plant Gallery and the second is ‘Reflections of Love’ by a group of photographers next door at one of the  Harbourfront galleries   The two exhibits don’t have a lot in common except the close proximity of the two galleries and the fact that I saw them on the same afternoon last week.

First, Omar Ba was born in 1977 in Dakar Senegal.   He studied art in Dakar and then in Geneva where he now spends part of his time.

below: The large work in the middle of the gallery was painted in place.  That is Jesus on the cross.  The center figure has the word”Horus” painted beside it.  Horus was an Egyptian God who was usually depicted with a falcon’s head on a human body.   The painting depicts “a recurrent motif of birth, death and reincarnation across different cultures today” according to the description of the exhibit on Power Plant’s website .

gallery at Power Plant Contemporary, show of works by Omar Ba, large painting of Jesus and Horus in the middle of the room, a man sitting on a wood bench looking at some of the paintings on the wall

below: ‘Naufrage’ 2014.  Dictators, despots, and authority figures can be seen in many of his paintings, often mixed in with scenes of plants and/or animals.

Naufrage, a painting by African artist Omar Ba on display at the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, a black man in uniform peaking out from behind a lot of plants and their stems

below: Similar to the one above, except hear the plants are based on fairly realistic human hearts with black aortas and yellow blood vessels.

Omar Ba painting of a man behind plants with human hearts on top of them

below: Ba’s paintings are full of small details as can be seen in this close-up of part of ‘Autopsie de nos consciences 2’, 2018.   Name the flags?

detail from an Omar Ba pinting, a black man holding an automatic rifle. The butt of the gun is covered with small flags from different countries

below: More details but from a different painting.

close up of a painting by Omar Ba of a boy's face in grey dots, wearing a patterned shirt

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‘Reflections of Love’ is a photography exhibit on at Harbourfront for the month of February that features the work of five artists.

As you enter the gallery, the words on the wall say, “In honor of Black History Month, this thoughtful photography exhibit explores the many forms of love found within our black communities through reflections of self, identity and acceptance. Power within vulnerability and healing can only come through togetherness and conversation. This is a true celebration of exemplified strength in people with deep roots and heritage.”

below: On the back wall, a series of images by Stella Fakiyesi.  Fakiyesi was born in Nigeria and raised in Toronto.

part of art gallery at Harbourfront, wood floors, black bench in the middle, some photos on the two side walls, four large photos on the back wall, a series of four photos by Stella of the same black woman in a number of poses.

part of a photo by Stella Fakiyesi of a black woman, two images superimposed on one another

below: Photo by Sean Brown

photo by Sean Brown of a black woman wearing a green turban, a number of hands are tugging at her ears.

below: Photo by Jah Grey

black and white photo by Jah Grey of a black man holding a large round mirror over his head and in front of his face

below: Two photographs by Quil Lemons

two portraits by Quil Lemons, on the left is a black woman and on the right, three black girls

below: A closer look at the one on the right shows a wonderful tangle of three girls.

a close up of portrait of three girls by Quil Lemons

 

below: Three portraits by Yannick Anton

three photos by Yannick Anton hanging on a gallery wall. All three are portraits of black people with bright yellow backgrounds, one is a father and young son, one is a young girls and one is a young child with parents.

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Happy Valentines Day!

smiley heart on pink wall with red spray paint lines around

the backs of two people, a man and a woman, as they look at framed photographs hanging on a wall at the Ryerson Image Centre

On display at the Ryerson Image Centre at the moment is a collection of more than 200 photographs called “True to the Eyes”.  These photos were part of a collection amassed by Howard and Carole Tanenbaum over the past forty or so years.  The images span the history of photography.  There is a bit more information on the Ryerson Image Centre website.

 

below: An old tintype of three hunters and their dogs.   The process was developed in 1853 and was popular during the 1860s and 1870s.  Tintypes were printed directly on metal (but not actually on tin)- a photographic emulsion was applied to a metal plate.

an old tintype photo of three male hunters in sepia tones, framed in an elaborate picture frame and hanging on a dark grey gallery wall

Two women are looking at a wall covered with framed black and white photos at the Ryerson Image Centre

below: Two wonderful portraits by Rafael Goldchain

two colour portraits by Rafael Goldchain on a gallery wall.

people looking at framed photographs being exhibited at Ryerson Image Centre

below: New York City, 1947, a black and white photo by Louis Faurer (1916-2001, American).  Faurer did a lot of fashion photography for magazines of the day but he is best known for his street photography in New York City and in Philadelphia.

black and white photo from New York City in 1947, by Louis Faurer, hanging on the wall at the Ryerson Image Centre - part of the Howard and Carole Tanenbaum collection.

below: Also on display at the Ryerson Image Centre is a small collection of photos and items from the history of Kodak in Toronto.  The exhibit was organized by Ryerson students.

photo of a large billboard advertising the new home of Kodak in Kodak Heights, Keele Street, Toronto, back when it was being built.

If you are interested in the history of photography or in vintage photos, part 2 of the exhibit of photos from the WW1 era is on display at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

four people sitting on a bench in a gallery looking at a large video screen that is showing images of world war one era stereoscope pictures.

part of an old sepia tone photo of a young man in a soldier's uniform, holding a small dog, World War 1 era, hanging on a wall at the Art Gallery of Ontario

“True to the Eyes” ends 7th April 2019
Part 2 of Photography: First World War ends 14th April 2019,

One of my stops the other day was the Ryerson Image Centre.

below: Students enjoying the un-autumn-like weather while the pond is almost empty.

the pond outside Ryerson Image Centre is almost dry, there are tables, chairs and yellow umbrellas set up in the pond area, students sitting there.

The main exhibit at the Ryerson Image Centre is based on the work of Gordon Parks, specifically his ‘Flavio’ photo essay.  Gordon Parks was an African-American, born in Kansas in 1912.   He bought his first camera in a pawn shop.  In 1948 he began a 23 year career at LIFE magazine where he created many photo essays including ‘Flavio’.   In the 1960’s Parks  went to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to document the poverty there.  He  centered the project around a boy, Flavio, and his impoverished family, the Da Silvas.  When the photographs and story appeared in ‘LIFE’ magazine in June 1961, it caused quite a stir, especially in Brazil.  In return, a Brazilian photographer, Henri Billot , visited the poorer parts of Manhattan to prove that the poverty in the United States was as bad as the poverty in Brazil.   The family that Billot concentrated on was the Gonzalez family.   There is also some discussion about candid photos vs images that are staged in documentary photography.

As a reaction to the LIFE article, Flavio was brought to the USA for two years to treat his asthma.  Money was also raised to relocate the Da Silva family to a new home.

below: Some of the photos by Gordon Parks.

five black and white photos on a dark grey wall, photos by Gordon Parks of poverty in Rio de Janeiro in the 1960s

below: Flavio and his brother Mario on the promenade in Rio during their first trip outside the favela. 1961.  Favela is Brazilian Portuguese word for slum, or low income area a city (usually on the outskirts).   In the 1960s the favelas were populated mostly by migrants from rural areas who couldn’t afford living in the city.   These areas didn’t have running water, electricity, or sanitation.

two boys in front of a row of apartment buildings, photo by Gorodn Parks

below: Photo by Henri Billot

old photo from the 1960s, 3 children play on the sidewalk by a car that is parked on the street

below:  Neighbourhood of the Gonzalez family, Manhattan, 1961, by Henri Billot (my apologies for the reflections).

Gonzalez building, tenement slums of New York (Manhattan), black and white phot by Brazilian photographer, Henri Billot

below: Flavio and his wife Cleuza da Silva in Rio in 1976 when Gordon Parks returned to see how the Da Silva had fared since his earlier visits.

black and white phot of Flavio and Cleuza da Silva taken in 1976 in Rio by Gordon Parks

In the student gallery was a small exhibit of the work of Alia Youssef.  Her project ‘The Sisters Project’ features portraits of Canadian Muslim women of all ages all with a narrative of their own.   Their portraits were on the wall of the gallery but their portraits and stories are on the website (it’s well worth a visit!)

two photographs by Alia Youssef, each of a muslim woman in a field or park, the one on top is a younger black woman, the bottom is an older whiter woman with a head scarf

In light of the recent earthquake in Indonesia, the third exhibit at the Ryerson Image Centre seems timely.  It is a display of photographs taken in the aftermath of the earthquake in Mexico City on 19th September 1985.  At the time it was the strongest earthquake on record.  Large portions of the city center and the neighbourhoods next to it were leveled.

below: Photo by Barbara Laing.

an old black and white photograph of Mexico city after the 1985 earthquake, a pair of pants and a clock on top of a flattened building, some people in the distance

woman dressed in black in a gallerywith black walls,looking at black and white photos on the wall

below: Photo by Pedro Mayer.

an old black and white photograph from the aftermath of the Mexico City earthquake of 1985, s pile of rubble with people standing on top of it.

the pond outside Ryerson Image Cetnre is almost dry, there are tables, chairs and yellow umbrellas set up in the pond area, students sitting there. aas seen from inside the Image Center

Now on in the Rotunda at Metro Hall, the second showing of ‘Focus on Our Elders’, a photo documentary project by The 6ix Clicks.

panels on exhibit at the rotunda at Toronto Metro Hall, Focus on Our Elders exhibit by the 6ix clicks photography group. Portraits and interviews of seniors in Toronto.

Portraits of, and interviews with, 24 Toronto seniors from diverse backgrounds.

panels on exhibit at the rotunda at Toronto Metro Hall, Focus on Our Elders exhibit by the 6ix clicks photography group. Portraits and interviews of seniors in Toronto.

The exhibit is only on this week, 13 to 17 August, inclusive.  The Rotunda is on the ground floor of Metro Hall and the building is open from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

For more information about these interviews: 6ix Clicks website

There are a few exhibits showing at the Ryerson Image Centre at the moment but the one that I want to highlight today is “Rich and Poor” by Jim Goldberg.  Goldberg took portraits of people in the San Francisco area in their home environments between 1977 and 1985.  They are divided into two sections, “rich” and “poor”.

Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) gallery, Jim Goldberg portraits "Rich and Poor' exhibition of black and white portraits in San Francisco in the 1980s

below: Each portrait is accompanied by a comment from the person being portrayed, in their own handwriting.  This woman, Nell, provides the wonderful quote: “If you want to stunt your growth, be rich.”

Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) gallery, Jim Goldberg portraits "Rich and Poor' exhibition of black and white portraits in San Francisco in the 1980s

below: The pictures are fascinating, and the words reveal more details of the subjects.  “My wife is acceptable”.   The poor woman.  In the picture she is off to the side and almost disappears into the background as she looks at the floor.   I thought of the words ‘abject’ and ‘woeful’ when I first saw her but I think that maybe the best word to describe the look on her face is ‘blank’.

Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) gallery, Jim Goldberg portraits "Rich and Poor' exhibition of black and white portraits in San Francisco in the 1980s

below: Whether you’re rich or poor, or more likely some where in between, what you say about yourself if you were the subject?

Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) gallery, Jim Goldberg portraits "Rich and Poor' exhibition of black and white portraits in San Francisco in the 1980s

This show continues until April 8th

On exhibit now at Artscape Youngplace is a photo documentary on seniors in Toronto called ‘Focus on Our Elders’.  It is being shown in the 3rd floor gallery until the 17th of March.   There are 24 panels in the exhibit, one for each participant in the project.   The main feature of each panel is a portrait of the individual and it is accompanied by at least one other photo of something relevant to the participant’s life, as well as text that tells some of the stories of their lives.

a man looking at panels on the wall of a gallery, focus on our elders photo documentary project, 3 panels on the wall, one for each of three participants with a portrait plus words from an interview with them.

With thanks to Penny for taking this picture!

The project was funded my Myseum of Toronto and is part of their 3rd annual Intersections festival.

description of the focus on our elders project

two people hanging pictures in an art gallery

Link to The 6ix Clicks websit

Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry,
an exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario

Florine Stettheimer (1871-1944) was the 4th child of five, daughter of  Joseph and Rosetta.  Joseph, a banker, abandoned the family early on and was never mentioned again.  Older siblings Walter and Stella married and moved out while the younger three girls, Ettie, Florine and Carrie remained in the same household with their mother until their deaths.   They became known as “the Stetties”.  They hosted salons in Manhattan and lived a life of leisure and artistic pleasure.

below:  Family Portrait II, 1933, This painting has flowers, New York City references, and Florine Stettheimer’s immediate family portrayed in a theatrical setting/arrangement.  These are themes that occur over and over again in Stettheimer’s work.  Here Ettie is reading, Rosetta is playing cards, Florine is painting, and Carrie is playing hostess.

painting by Florine Stettheimer on display at the Art Gallery of Ontario

The Stettheimer children were born in Rochester NY.  Between 1906 and 1914 Florine and her mother and sisters lived in Europe before settling in Manhattan.

A portion of the exhibit features  a collection of designs for costumes for a ballet that Florine wrote while she was in Paris in 1912.  ‘Orphee of the Quat-z-Arts’ (or ‘Revellers of the Four Arts Ball’) was based on a costume parade organized by Parisian art students and in it the main character, Georgette, encounters the ancient Greek minstrel Orpheus and a parade of mythical creatures, as she and her father walk down the Champs Elysee.  The ballet was never performed.

below: One of 42 sketches and 9 relief maquettes, Georgette.

costume design mockup by Florine Stettheimer, AGO exhibit,

below: People, both men and women, were painted with elongated willowy shaped bodies.

a woman looking at a painting by Florine Stettheimer, AGO,

Florine also wrote poetry and she liked to send her poems to her friends.  In 1949 her sister Ettie published a book of Florine’s poems titled ‘Crystal Flowers’.  This is one of the poems:

And Things I Loved
a poem by Florine Stettheimer

Mother in a low-cut dress
Her neck like alabaster
A laced up bodice of Veronese green
A skirt all puffs of deeper shades
With flounces of point lace
Shawls of Blonde and Chantilly
Fichues of Honeton and Point d’Espirit
A silk jewel box painted with morning glories
Filled with ropes of Roman pearls
Mother playing the Beautiful Blue Danube
We children dancing to her tunes
Embroidered dresses of White Marseilles
Adored sashes of pale watered silk
Ribbons with gay Roman stripes
A carpet strewn with flower bouquets
Sevres vases and gilt console tables
When sick in bed with childhood ills –
All loved and unforgettable thrills.

 

below:  The painting in the foreground of this picture is ‘Self-Portrait with Palette (Painter and Faun)’, 1910s.  According to the words that accompany the painting, the faun behind her symbolizes a memory inspired by Russian ballet star Vaslav Nijinsky whom she saw perform in Paris in 1912.  After the performance, Florine wrote: “Nijinsky the faun was marvelous.  He seemed to be truly half beast… He knew not civilization – he was archaic – so were the nymphs.  He is the most wonderful male dancer I have seen”.

people at the Art Gallery of Ontario in a gallery featuring paintings by Florine Stettheimer,

below: Self-portrait, 1933

two women looking at a portrait painted by FLorine Stettheimer,

“For a long time
I gave myself
To the arrested moment
To the unfulfilled moment
To the moment of quiet expectation
I painted the trance moment
The promise moment
The moment in the balance
In mellow golden tones…
Then I saw
Time
Noise
Color
Outside me
Around me
Knocking me
Jarring me
Hurting me
Rousing me
Smiling
Singing
Forcing me in joy to paint them…”

This exhibit continues at the AGO until 28 January 2018