Posts Tagged ‘selfies’

Walking with the revelers on Church Street on Sunday afternoon as the Pride Parade was winding down.

a man in drag, high heels, skimpy bottoms and a frilly red top looks at the camera with a smirk and a wink

crowds on church street, with a man in just underwear sprawled on a chair in the middle of the street

three Asian woman laughing as they walk down the street, looking at something that has made them laugh

an south asian man in pink shirt and sunglasses gets a topless woman to pose with him, she is kissing him

two men with big beards. one in a short red top and red cap, the other topless except for shoulders straps

two women talking, with rainbow headbands and colourful clothes, as another woman walks past behind them

a young girl holding a bunch of yellow balloons

men with no clothes except for black leather harnesses and straps and a black cap

below: A slow time at the ice cream truck

a young man sits in the window of an ice cream truck as he watches the crowd

below: It was the man behind that made me laugh.

two naked men walking down the street, with a man behind them taking their picture, two women in bathing suits and large hats

below: Matching butterflies.

two women in bikinis, both with sparkly butterflies on their lower back

a man in drag with a wig of long grey hair, black hat with red flowers, in the crowd

a young man with pink t shirt and fuzzy pink ears, another man with a rainbow flag on his back and his hand over his mouth

a group poses for a selfie shot as other people walk by

below: Daddy hunter

 woman with a sticker that says daddy hunter

below: Another daddy sticker

a woman is putting a sticker on her upper thigh while another woman looks on

below: Spock makes an appearance

a man dressed as Spock mingles with the crowd in front of Pizza Pizza

The weather’s been all over the place, warm, cold, hot, cold again, back and forth…. like May weather usually is.  We were fortunate to have great weather this past holiday Monday and a lot of people took advantage of the day!  As I walked around, this is some of what I saw.

a man stands and watches another man playing the drums outside on Yonge street, some other people standing around too

by the fountain at Nathan Phillips Square, a man dressed in orange hugs a man dressed in brown who is checking his phone after just taking a selfie

women and men standing outside the Eaton Centre on Yonge street

people crossing the street at an intersection, a woman in a pink top and white sweater is pushing a stroller with a fluffy small white dog in it, a man in a blue Jay t shirt, camo jacket and baseball hat, smoking a cigarette, is walking beside her

Graffiti alley, walking past an uber 5000 mural, a man and a woman with their backs to the camera. on the back of the man's camo coloured jacket are the words true freedom is being unknown

two women in the O of the 3D Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips square in front of city hall, examining photos that they have taken on their phone

2 young men and 2 young women walking down Graffiti Alley

a woman in a purple dress is sitting on the sidewalk, patting the cat wearing the superman costume that is sitting on a box. other people standing around, corner of Yonge and Dundas

a girl and her mother playing in the fountain at Nathan Phillips Square, in front of city hall,

a woman in jeans and pink top poses in the doorway of one of the back doors in Graffiti Alley

A morning exploring some of the art galleries at the University of Toronto.

below: Robarts Library, a large concrete building, is part of the University of Toronto and is their main humanities and social sciences library. It opened in 1973 and has been called Fort Book ever since.

intersection of Harbord and St. George streets, Robarts Library, large concrete building

I have walked past this library many times but I have never gone inside. What I didn’t know about this building is that it is also home to the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.  It is named after a Thomas Fisher (1792-1874), who came from Yorkshire to Upper Canada in 1821 and settled by the Humber River.  In 1973, his grandsons, Sidney and Charles Fisher, donated many books to U of T .  Since then, the library has grown to approximately 740,000 volumes including hundreds of versions of Alice in Wonderland in many different languages.  They also collect manuscripts, photographs,  and other rare materials.   You can search their holdings online.

below: The view from the 4th floor observation deck.

interior of Thomas Fisher Rare Book library, looking down from the upper level to the tables below. Shelves of books line all the walls, ceiling is open to 4 or 5 storeys up , large central light fixture

At the moment, the Thomas Fisher Library has an exhibition called “Fleeting Moments, Floating Worlds, and the Beat Generation: The Photography of Allen Ginsberg”. Ginsberg (1926-1997) is known for his poetry but he also took pictures. The Thomas Fisher library has the largest collection of Ginsberg prints in the world.

exhibit of photos by Allen Ginsberg displayed in the Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library at U of T, some black and white photos in a case, some books too, shelves of books in the background

below: Mr. Ginsberg took bathroom mirror selfies.  I wonder what he’d think of instagram?

picture of a black and white photo taken by Allen Ginsberg of himself sitting naked and cross legged in front of a bathroom mirror

Ginsberg became friends with William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, and the trio later established themselves as the main players in the Beat Movement with their unconventional writing and wild (for the times) lifestyles.  Ginsberg’s first published work was “Howl” in 1956.  It was called “an angry, sexually explicit poem”.   The San Francisco Police Department declared it to be obscene and arrested the publisher.  The court ruled that it was not obscene.  I can see it being “ahead of its time” in 1956 but today it’s fairly tame.

The opening lines:

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,

dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,

angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,

who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of

cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,”

below: Three books about The Beats.

display in a glass top case, three books by Alan Ginsberg, the one in the middle has a yellow cover and is The Beats

The Ginsberg exhibit continues until the 27th of April.

A short walk through part of the St. George campus….did I mention that it was snowing at the time?… to another art gallery on campus.

snow is falling, snow on the ground, tree in foreground, also black wrought iron fence, looking across the playing field of the U of T St. George campus to a building, tower,

below: We passed a moose standing in the snow.

a flat metal sculpture of a moose stands in a small space beside a tree, snow on the ground, snow falling from the sky. public art

The second gallery was the Art Museum at Hart House.   One of the exhibits showing there is “Figures of Sleep”.  Straight from the gallery website is this description of the exhibit: ” [it]…considers the cultural anxieties manifest in the popular and critical imagination around the collapsing biological function of sleep under economic, social and technological transformation”.  What it is is a collection of videos, photographs, and artwork depicting sleep, i.e. people sleeping by a number of different artists.  This exhibit ends on 3rd March.

below: Watching videos of people sleeping

a person watching a large video display in an art gallery

below: She’s very life like.  She’s also much smaller than life sized but even so, she was a bit creepy. “Untitled (old woman in bed)”, 2000-2002, by Ron Mueck.

very realistic and life like scupture of an old woman with grey asleep under a blanket with her head on a pillow

below: “Dream Catcher” by Rebecca Belmore, 2014 .  This wall hanging is quite large.

dream catcher by Rebecca Belmore, a large wall hanging of a person sleeping on the sidewalk, under a blanket with a picture of a lion on it.

below:  The Malcove Collection is in the same gallery.  The collection includes about 500 pieces, not all of which are on display at the moment.  Dr. Lillian Malcove (1902-1981) was born in Russia just before her parents emigrated to Canada and settling in Winnipeg.  She graduated from the University of Manitoba with an M.D. and then spent most of her adult life as a Freudian psychoanalyst in New York City.  Over her life time she amassed a collection of art that she bequeathed to U of T.

wall display cases in an art gallery, religious pieces on display, old, antiquities

below: From the Malcove collection, ‘Male Dedicant’, made of limestone, Coptic, late 4th century or early 5th century

antique stone carving (relief) of a man with curly hair, both hands raised, one hand holding a spherical object and the other hand holding a cross

below:  Detail from “The Burning Bush”, 19th century.

very old painting, religious, virgin mary and baby jesus in the center surrounded by other religous scenes

 

below: Last but not least, and having nothing to do with art, is this plaque on a wall near the art gallery at Hart House.  It commemorates the relationship between the Canadian and Polish Armies during WW1.  A transcription of it appears below.

 

plaque on an exterior brick wall commemorating the role of the Polish Army

In the early months of 1917, twenty three Polish probationary officers were trained here by the staff of the Canadian School of Infantry in Toronto.  They were the forerunners of more than 20,000 North American volunteers of Polish descent who were trained in Canada (mostly at Niagara on the Lake) to serve in the French Army, ultimately commanded by Joseph Haller.  The existence of this Polish Army in France went far to assure the presence of Poland at the Peace Conference at the end of the war and played a significant role in the reconstitution of a reunited and independent Poland after 123 years of partition. 
The Canadian Polish Congress has placed this tablet to commemorate the ardent Polish patriotism of so many Polish volunteers from the United States and Canada.   The Congress also wishes to honour the Canadian officers who trained the volunteers, including notably Lieutenant Colonel A.D. Lepan of the staff of this university and his principal subordinates, all from this university as well as Major C.R. Young, Major H.H. Madill, Major W.F. Kirk and Major F.B. Kenrick. A.D. 1990

 

a bike parked outside an old brick building on St. George campus of U of T, snow covered

More information about:

Allen Ginsberg exhibition

Figures of Sleep, and others, at Hart House Art Museum

Illustrations of the holdings of the Malcove Collection

 

Maybe you thought that the duck was a waste of money  or maybe you thought the duck was a fantastic idea.    Maybe you didn’t like the duck because it wasn’t Canadian enough for a Canada Day celebration (the Canaduck!) or maybe you didn’t care about such things.   It certainly generated a lot of discussion even before it arrived – who hasn’t heard about the duck?  Who didn’t have an opinion about the duck?   It spawned the hashtag #whattheduck, a play on WTF.

big yellow duck, side view, people on shore

The noise has now all died down.   The 150th birthday party is over.

I don’t think that I am alone in thinking that the duck was the star of the Redpath Waterfront Festival and that the festival organizers have no regrets about spending the money on the duck.

below: The yellow duck was moored by HTO beach (that’s the one with the yellow umbrellas) for the duration of the July 1st long weekend.   It smiled through rain and shine.

large inflatable yellow rubber duckie sits on the water, Lake Ontario, at the waterfront in Toronto

below: It was a popular duck and it attracted about a million people. People of all ages.  It was about 6 storeys tall so even if you couldn’t get close to it, you could still get a good view.

a litttle girl is being held up by her father, she is pointing at the duck and looking at her mother who is taking a picture of it

below: Millions of photos were taken with (and of) the duck. It was a willing subject and it stayed still – it was good at holding a pose.   The trick was to get a selfie that didn’t have lots of other people in it!   He was a bit grubby – maybe too big for a bathtub? – but no one cared.

three people are taking selfies in front of the big yellow duck

below: Not everyone was excited to see the duck!

an older man is sleeping on a white muskoka chair and under a big yellow umbrella at HTO beach in Toronto, crowd of people standing behind him

below: One last look at the duck.  On Monday evening the duck was towed across Toronto Harbour to the Port Lands where it was deflated and readied to be sent to Owen Sound for the next port of call on its Ontario tour.

the large yellow rubber ducky is being towed across Toronto harbour

I missed Nuit Blanch this year.  While I was away, I heard lots of good things about the installations at Nathan Phillips Square, including the fact that they will remain until the 10th of October.

Silly me went during the day.  It didn’t look too impressive then!
There were lots of tourists taking pictures.

a man is taking a picture of his wife and young son in front of the water and 3D toronto sign in Nathan Phillips Square, a girl in a stroller watches.

and schoolkids hanging out by the 3D Toronto sign.

a group of teenagers, school kids, after school, hanging out behind the letters of the 3D Toronto sign.

Oh right, it’s a night time, after dark sort of thing.  Come back after 7 p.m.

So last night I went back at 7 p.m.  …. but last night was also the first game of the Blue Jays playoff series against Texas and it was playing on a large screen in the square.  I watched the end of the game.  There wasn’t a very large turnout, but the atmosphere was great.  Everybody was in a good mood as the Blue Jays won 10 – 1.

people watching the Blue Jays baseball team playing a game on a large TV screen outside.

Shortly after the end of the game, the large 14 metre globe that represents the sun lit up.  “Death of the Sun” by Director X (Julien Lutz) began.

The sun starts as a swirling orange and yellow globe.

looking through the O of the Toronto sign to the yellow and orange projections on the large globe in front of City Hall, art installation from Nuit Blanch

It then turns orange before the colours die out and fade to nothing.

the 3D toronto sign lit up in white, city hall behind it in purple lights, and a large globe representing the sun glows orange as part of an art installation, night time photo.

At one point the sun lets off steam, gas, fog (whatever you want to call it) before it goes silent.

large white globe lets off steam or fog in Nathan Phillips square.

The end of the sun signals the start of “Pneuma”.  Images by Floria Sigismondi were projected onto a wall of water under the arches in the square in what appears to be a short film full of  symbols.

people standing around with their backs to the camera in the foreground, with a picture projected onto a wall of water under the arches at Nathan Phillips square in the background. The picture is of a blue woman on a red background.

images of people in triangular shapes projected onto a wall of water as part of an art installation, night time, lights of buildings in the background.

‘Oblivion’ is the name given to the collection of installations at City Hall.  Both of the artists come from the world of video.  Sigismondi has previously made videos for the like of Rihanna, David Bowie and Marilyn Manson while Director X has worked with Rihanna and Drake.

It was an interesting installation….  well done technically and fascinating to watch.

two hands silhouetted on a large yellow globe representing the sun, night time.

We tried to push the sun back into the sky, but we failed.

#nbTO2016 | #DirectorX | #pneuma | #floriasigismondi

As you may know, every few months I wander down Rush Lane and all the other lanes that make up Graffiti Alley on the south side of Queen West.  There is usually something new on the walls and hydro poles and there are often people watching opportunities as well.   Wednesday’s walk did not disappoint.   Here is the photographic evidence – some street art that I saw for the first time and some worth a second look… and even a person or two.

mural of a large face with paint brush by the mouth, wearing glasses, mural seems to be looking at a car that is parked in front of it, with reflections of the mural in the car window

below: Taking selfies is an artform in itself.

two young women pose in front of a colourful mural in an alley, while around the corner of the building a young man is looking at his phone,

below: Making a video in one of the side alleys.

making a music video in front of the street art in an alley, a young man in white t shirt is dancing to the music (and lip synching too I think) while another man, bald, is filming him and recording him.

below:  A home for hundreds of stickers, all nicely frames together

The words noo ideal painted above a window in an alley. The window is covered with a metal grille as well as hundreds of stickers

below: This poser bunny takes the spotlight.

a poser bunny painted on the side of a building, spotlighted by the afternoon sun, the wall behind him is in shadow

below: A new piece, with some older poser bunnies in the background.

street art on a wall in an alley, text starting with G, two yellow eyes as well

below: When I first saw this piece (by elicser?) I thought that he had his heart in his hands.  As I look at it more, I’m not so sure.   Any ideas?  Also, “How long do we have?”  An open question, an incomplete question, a mysterious question, or a question of philosophy.  You see, one question leads to another.

street art and graffiti in an alley, on a wall and in a doorway. On the wall is a headless man holding a pink blob in his hands, on the doorway is a lot of graffiti and tags along with the words, How long do we have?

below: This one isn’t new and isn’t particularly outstanding, but the way the sun was shining on it caught my eye.  A bit of a silly comment – I’ll assume that W C doesn’t stand for water closet!

wood double garage door, center opening, with a large street art W and C painted on it.

a large orange text graffiti across a large door and on the wall on both sides, all in orange, with three orange traffic cones in front of it.

below: Donald Trump and the lovebot share a pole.  Poor lovebot  😦

two stickers on a pole. The top one is a lovebot sticker and the bottom one is Donald Trump's head on a naked man's body.

below: Street art by gems

text graffiti by street artist gems, words spells gems in oranges and blues.

below: One more new street art piece

street art text painting in blue

below: Talking trash says “She’s bound to put a blanket on my bed”.

trash bins outside a restaurant. One of them has had words written on it,

below: A small blue airplane and another little blue thing, all that remains of a larger mural painted long ago.

very small street art painting of a blue airplane amongst tags

below: Apparently he doesn’t miss us?

small line drawing graffiti of a person with a word bubble that says I don't miss you

below: Oh no! Stikman is behind bars and lovebot’s been restrained.

a stikman is on a wall behind a metal grille and lovebot is on a metal pole to which a metal strap has been placed, over top of lovebot

below: A seat and a smoke at break time. Maybe he’s texting his girlfriend about the weirdos he sees in the alley. Or maybe he took my picture and he’s adding it to his instagram collection of strangers in the lane! 🙂

a man is sitting on a small orange plastic stool in an alley. He has a yellow apron on. He has a cell phone and a cigarette in his hands.

below: A protest piece.  A play on the national anthem. Oh Canada our home on native land.

street art on a wall in an alley, Canadian flag with background colours changed to Native flag colours, and words that say Oh Canada Our Home On Native Land. Honour our treaties.

 

below: One word of warning if you plan to walk this alley in the late afternoon, you may be dodging cars that are trying to avoid Queen Street traffic.

close up of the side of a car as it drives past in an alley

below: But you’ll also be entertained by those who get stuck.  It’s especially amusing when it’s the more aggressive drivers who are thwarted.   It is a working alley, not a street, after all.

cars trying to go in two different directions as they pass a truck parked in an alley

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