Posts Tagged ‘portraits’

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

Myseum of Toronto is a fairly new addition to the cultural fabric of the city.  It is a museum without walls.  It is an organization that helps deliver programming to different locations in the GTA.  Last night, March 6, at City Hall, Myseum of Toronto launched its second annual festival of events and exhibitions.  This festival, Myseum Intersections,  consists of 36 different events and exhibits spread around the city throughout the month of March.   “One Toronto.  Infinite Perspectives” is the motto of this year’s festival.

In keeping with that motto is an exhibit called ‘Cosmopolis Toronto: The World in One City’.   It was showcased at the Myseum Intersections launch party.   A few months ago it was on display at 18 libraries around the city but it has been brought together in one exhibit for the festival.   At the moment it can be seen on the ground floor of City Hall but it will also spend some time at Metro Hall and then end the month at the North York Civic Center.   (schedule at the bottom of the post).

people looking at an exhibit of photos and stories that are printed on upright posters standing on the floor.

“Cosmopolis” consists of a series of portraits and interviews by Colin Boyd Shafer.   The goal was to find a person from every country in the world who now calls Toronto home, hence its tagline “Photographing the world, one Torontonian at a time”.   I am not sure if that goal was attained, but the series is a fascinating look at a very diverse group of people.

Cosmopolis posters on display at City Hall as part of Myseum Intersections festival

Cosmopolis posters of Andrea from the Congo and Nevena from Serbia

Two photos were taken of each person.     The first was a portrait taken in a Toronto location where they felt “at home”.  The second was of an object that they felt connected them to their country of birth.

cosmopolis posters of immigrants to Toronto from different countries

The Cosmopolis website has more information as well as the portraits and stories of many more new Torontonians.

portrait and story about Yosvani from Cuba, a violin player

cosmopolis posters of immigrants to Toronto from different countries

***

EXHIBITION DATES & TIMES:
MARCH 5 – 8 & 13 – 19
MONDAY – FRIDAY, 8:30AM – 4:30PM
City Hall
100 Queen St W, Toronto

MARCH 9 – 12
MONDAY – FRIDAY, 7:30 AM – 9:30 PM
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 8AM – 6PM
Metro Hall
55 John St, Toronto

MARCH 20 – APRIL 2
MONDAY – FRIDAY, 7:30AM – 9:30PM
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 8AM – 6PM
North York Civic Centre
5100 Yonge St, Toronto

#myseumTO | #myseumX

 

 

I first blogged about the murals and street art in Underpass Park last summer after the pillars and bents on the east side of Lower River Street (at the skate park) were painted.   The newest paintings are on the west side of the street.

painting of a toddler on a concrete support, street art

Street artists Troy Lovegates and Labrona are in the midst of painting 16 portraits of 16 east end residents – one on each face of four pillars that help support the Eastern/Adelaide/Richmond overpass.

street art murals on 4 bents holding up the ramp of a highway, underpass park, the paintings are of people, in the foreground is a woman with a yellow T-shirt and a hat with little flowers

mural of people on a bent of an underpass

a man stands on a lift as he paints a mural, in the foreground is a man in a shirt with red triangles all over it that has already been painted.

a mural of a group of people linked together with their arms.

a street artist (Troy Lovegates) is on a lift and painting a mural on the concrete supports on an underpass. Other supports are in the picture, they have already been painted.

paintings on a bent holding up a ramp. Two men standing on the pillar, and a group of people with telescopes looking upward and pointing.

The pillars on the east side of Lower River street were painted as part of the Pan Am Path and were completed before the Pan Am Games started last summer.

blog_east_and_west_sides

below: From inside the skate park, looking westward.   Lots of people!

elicser painting of a basketball player in a red hoodie on a pillar in underpass park, other pillars and bents are in the background, all of which have been painted with pictures of people, painted by different street artists.

below: Looking beyond the park and out over Bayview Avenue, train tracks,  and the Don River. Two faces by anser.

two line drawings of faces by anser on posts holding up a road

The murals on the pillars in the park are part of the StreetARToronto initiative.

This is another post about an exhibit from the CONTACT Photography Festival.   I know that it’s now June and CONTACT was in May, but I wanted to post these photos.  I actually took them early in May as you can probably tell by how many clothes the people in the pictures are wearing.  They’re certainly not dressed for the warmer weather we’ve been having lately.  I have had trouble deciding what to write in this post.

There is a parking lot at the NE corner of Front and Spadina with some billboards in it.   Maybe you saw them as you drove or walked past but maybe you passed by and missed them.   There are so many things on the street vying for our attention and a billboard is just another piece of street ‘furniture’.

For the month of May, an installation titled ‘What it Means to be Beautiful’  by Mickalene Thomas occupied a number of billboard spaces at the above mentioned corner.   All the images are portraits of women and are “shown within the context of street advertising, where women are constantly bombarded with narrow notions of female beauty.”   A sample of the billboards:

 

part of an art installation, portrait of a black woman in profile, with a shaved head, on a billboard, by Mickalene Thomas, in a parking lot in downtown Toronto

part of an art installation, portrait of a black woman wearing a blue hat on a billboard, by Mickalene Thomas, in a parking lot in downtown Toronto. A woman stands on the corner talking on her phone. Another, large, billboard is in the background.

Two women walk past part of an art installation, portrait of a black woman on a billboard, by Mickalene Thomas, in a parking lot in downtown Toronto

Two portraits of black women, in a billboard space in a parking lot, with people waiting for a streetcar in glass bus shelters in the background.

part of an art installation, portrait of a black woman on a billboard, by Mickalene Thomas, in a parking lot in downtown Toronto, A group of people wait for a green light at the intersection in the background, tall condos too.

Part of the reason that I hesitated to write this post was the fact that the iphone 6 ad campaign was on at the same time.  It was a campaign that used photos taken with the phone and the ads were very visual and used very few words. In my opinion, they are more eye catching and visually appealing than Thomas’s work. I found a few of them to show here (below).  I know that there were many more but unless I was consciously looking for ads, I didn’t notice them as billboards are one of the things that I block out as I walk.  That led to a few thoughts about what catches a viewer’s attention on the street –   Faces?  Colours?  Contrast?

There is more going on in Thomas’s photos and collages than just visual appeal but I still question the validity of asking the viewer to look at them in the context of street advertising.   Is it fair to compare her images to ads produced by, and in aid of, a large corporation?   Would it have been better to  exhibit her work in different form or a different place?  I don’t have the answers for those questions.  Do you?

 

iphone ad on a bus stop wall showing a woman in a field

iphone 6 ad on a bus stop wall of a woman lying in a field of pumpkins. Her head is surrounded by pumpkins.

an iphone ad on a bus stop wall of a man lying on the ground. He is upside down in the picture

And now I will go back to ignoring billboards as I walk.

At Allan Lambert Gallery, Brookfield Place,
winning photos from the 58th World Press Photo Contest

Winning images chosen from 97,912 photographs taken by 5,692 photographers from 131 countries.

Three people are looking at a series of photographs on display. One of the photos is a boat carrying refugees, taken from above, the boat is packed full

below:  Taken by Andy Rocchelli of Italy, part of his series of ‘Russian Interiors’ portraits. There were 10 photographs in the series, three of which are shown here (well, two and a half).  All were of women.

Three pictures on white board on display in the Allan Lambert gallery in Brookfield Place. Behind the board is the stone facade of the old bank building.

below:  One of the multitude of Chinese migrant laborers, a factory worker in in Yiwu China. His job is to coat polystyrene snowflakes with red powder.  There are 600 factories in Yiwu and they produce 60% of the world’s Christmas decorations.  Photo by Ronghui Chen, second prize winner in the Contemporary Issues category.

A picture of a photograph taken in a red room of a young man wearing a Santa Claus hat and a blue jacket.

 

below: The three winning photographs from the Sports (Singles) category.  The predominant photo is the second prize photo; it is a photo of Odell Beckham of the New York Giants making a one handed touchdown catch, taken by Al Bello.  The winning sports photo is the one on the far left.  It is a photo of Argentine football player Lionel Messi receiving the Golden Ball trophy at the World Cup in Brazil, taken by Bao Tailiang.   In the middle is a picture of Philip Hughes, a cricket batsman who was hit on the head by a ball during a game, taken by Mark Metcalfe.

Picture taken at night. The light source is from lights in the floor. Three photographs are on display, part of a larger exhibit of winning photography from around the world. The three shown here are sports photos. The main one being a football player catching a pass.

people looking at photographs, the winning pictures from the World Press Photo contest, on display at Brookfield Place

people looking at photographs, the winning pictures from the World Press Photo contest, on display at Brookfield Place

people looking at photographs, the winning pictures from the World Press Photo contest, on display at Brookfield Place

World Press Photo contest winners, sign cautioning people that the section they are about to enter has some disturbing images in it.

people looking at photographs, the winning pictures from the World Press Photo contest, on display at Brookfield Place

below: The winning photo, by Danish photographer, Mads Nissen of Jon and Alex, a gay couple, sharing an intimate moment at Alex’s home, a small apartment in St Petersburg, Russia. (It looks better in real life!)

A photo by Mads Nissen, the winning photograph of the 58th World Press Photography Contest, Jon and Alex , two men, one lyng on his back and the other sitting beside him. The greenish curtains in the background dominate the picture.