Posts Tagged ‘shiny’

Lots of shiny silver balls, like bowling balls with bling, and lots of paint on large canvases…. on the surface these two things don’t really have anything in common.  But because they are two things that I saw at the Art Gallery of Ontario, I’m going to throw them together in this blog post.  The shiny spheres are part of a display by Yayoi Kusama  while the paintings I refer to are those by J.P. Riopelle and Joan Mitchell.

I saw the balls first.   There has been a lot of hype and publicity for the latest AGO exhibit, “Infinity Mirrors” by Yayoi Kusama that just opened this past weekend.  You’ve probably seen the all the red and white polka dots on the TTC and elsewhere around the city.   Last week when I was at the AGO I noticed that another Kusama exhibit was in the works, one that didn’t involve buying a “hard to get” ticket.  I was curious.  I’ve seen some photos of “Infinity Mirrors” so I went with great expectations.   Maybe that was my mistake.

below: “Narcissus Garden” consists of a large room with hundreds of shiny silver spheres laid out on the floor.

a large room, with 3 women looking at hundred of silver balls arranged on the floor. The balls are about the size of bowling balls

“Narcissus Garden” dates back to 1966 when it was a performance piece by Kusama at the Venice Bienalle.  She walked among the balls, picking them up, and looking at herself in them.   Here, at the AGO, they lie on the floor.   The ceiling is reflected over and over again.   It’s a dull ceiling.   The balls are scuffed up.   You might be able to lie on the floor to get a good look at the reflections bouncing around and that might be interesting.  As it is, “listless” is the word that I would use to describe it.  It’s the tag along mangy mutt to the main event.

reflections of a person in a few shiny silver balls

I spent a few minutes trying to figure out how to improve the presentation but, meh, no.  Instead I went upstairs to take a second look at the lesser known “new” exhibit at the AGO, the marvellous Mitchell and Riopelle show, “Nothing in Moderation”.  American abstract painter Joan Mitchell (1925 -1992) and Canadian abstract painter Jean Paul Riopelle (1923-2002) met in Paris in 1955.  For 24 years they were colleagues, friends, and lovers.  This exhibit consists of more than 50 of their works on loan from collectors around the world and shown together.

below: Looking at (part of) ” Tilleul (the Linden Tree)”, 1992 by Mitchell.

A woman in dark bright pink hair, with matching purse and shoes stands in front of a large painting by Joan Mitchell in an art gallery

below: Three degrees of interest in “Chasse Interdit (Hunting Prohibited)” by Mitchell, 1973.  On loan from the George Pompidou Centre in Paris.   The title of the painting refers to a ban on hunting – apparently Riopelle loved hunting and Mitchell loathed it.

Three people are looking at a large Riopelle painting in an art gallery, two are sitting on a couch and the third is standing closer to the painting.

below: The painting here is “Avatac” by Riopelle, 1971.  It is acrylic paint on top of lithographs on canvas

an emptry art gallery room except for a security guard standing on one side, a brown couch is in the middle of the room and a large abstract painting by Riopelle is one one wall, you can see into the next room where there is also a painting on a wall.

below: This is a photo of a small part of the above painting.  If you look closely, you can see the lithograph peeping through.   I can see a small animal head near the top left (a cat?) and there seems to be another lower down.

acrylic paint on top of lithograph, a detail of a large work by J P Riopelle called Avatac, created in 1971.  abstract art.

below: One thing that intrigued me about Riopelle’s painting was that even though there is a lot of paint (palette knife?), there are still some places where the canvas is visible.  Just small bits.

a close up of a large abstract painting with lots of acrylic paint on it

below: The details in the above photo are from the top left square in ” Mitchikanabikong ” by Riopelle.

large painting by Riopelle called Mitchikanabikong which is sort of divided into 6 quares, 3 across the top row and 3 on the bottom.  they alternate light and dark

below: The gallery was quiet on Wednesday morning.   Both of these paintings are by Joan Mitchell.   On the left, on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC is “Marlin”, 1960.  The other is “Untitled” from 1961 and it is on loan from the Joan Mitchell Foundation in New York.

a flat bench in front of two paintings on a gallery wall

And to end, a couple more for you to enjoy.

two women looking at large paintings in an art gallery

a woman with her back to the camera is looking at a large painting in an art gallery, AGO, Art gallery of Ontario,


“Apparel oft proclaims the man” Shakespeare in Hamlet I iii.
or as Mark Twain said, “Clothes make a man”.

“Workware, Abiti da Lavoro”  is an exhibit at the Harbourfront Centre Art Gallery.  It is curated by Milan-based designer and artist, Alessandro Guerriero and co-produced by the Istituto di Cultura of Toronto and Triennale di Milano.  A lot of the artists who participated in the show are fashion designers

below: “Dress for a Crop-Raising Girl”, 2014, by Elio Fiorucci

a straw hat hangs with a dress made of green fabric, sleeveless, with two big shiny red hearts that would cover the breasts of the woman who wore it.

Some of the words on the wall – “Some time ago, the cowl did make the monk, the metalworker and the lawyer. Our clothes were the direct representation of our role in society and its related image. Originally, however, clothes were something else altogether. In the Biblical story of the apple, as He cast Adam and Eve out of Paradise, God made garments of skin to clothe them, saying, “Go but remember that you are just a man and that you need protection because you are limited.””

below: Hanging on the wall were a line of dirty work coats, each labeled with a job: cobbler, draper, glazier, saddler, carpenter, and hatter.    None of these jobs would have involved a coat that looked like this, i.e. that got messy in this way.

a row of dirty well used workcoats that used to be blue are hanging on the wall of an art gallery. under each one is a label with a job name, draper,

below:  left to right – “Work Shirt to Paint Dreams” 2014 by Alberto Aspesi, “Dreamers Clothes” 2014 by Angela Missoni,  “Clothes for a Carrot-Picking Girl, 2014 by Colomba Leddi,  and unfortunately two that I forgot to take note of.     The red dress is just so little red school house – so literal.  Not quite as literal as the carrots for the carrot-picking girl…. so if she’s finished picking carrots and wants to pick beans next, does she change into her bean dress?

a row of designer clothes as part of an art gallery ehbiti, a paint splotched covered blue long sleeved shirt, a red mid-calf length red dress with white polka dots with little red school house shaped head on the mannequin, and and holding a small red schoolhouse in her hand, a sleeveless dress with carrots in many pockets

More words on the wall – “This original garment was a gesture of love – protective as well as representative and foundational of the human condition. But as society rather than the sacred came to define the balance of power, these two meanings were upset so that clothing changed from being a mark of fragility into a social function and sign. Today, our individualism has once more changed its meaning making clothing an expression of the self.  It is now a way of disguising our thoughts and of giving them a new shape.”

I decided just to repeat the words verbatim.  I will let you decide their worth.  I just can’t do it.

below: “Extreme Film, AW13 Collection”, 2013 by Issey Miyake

a mannequin in shiny gold pants stands with its feet apart, in between its feet are a pair of shiny gold boots

below: “Adam and Eve are Going Shopping in Costume” 2014, by Frederique Morrel.   Eve is standing in the shopping cart

two mannequins covered in patchwork of tapestry needlepoint with pictures that sort of match the anatomy of the mannequin.   The faces dont quite line up,   a man and a woman.  the woman is standing in a shopping cart

below: Some of  tapestry placements are just a little too literal.

 close up of part of a mannequin dressed in tight fighting fabric made of a patchwork of tapestry pieces. The piece shown in this image is of a brown cat

below:  “Clothes for a Dithering Monk” 2014, by Denise Bonapace.

black netting in the shape of a cross on a wall. within the cross is more black light weight fabric in the shape of a person whose arms in the horizontal parts of the cross.

below: Part of “Clothes for the Chaste Pornographer” by Gentucca Bini

a coat made of blue mesh hangs in front of a display of old dirty workcoats that are hanging on the wall

below: Close up of part of “Mirabelle Shining Star” 2014, by Melissa Zexter

part of a dress made of black and white pictures printed on fabric, and knitted squares in orange and red yarn

Last paragraph of the words on the wall – “This exhibition is not a display of “work clothes” but of garments for hypothetical, invented, coveted, imaginary jobs that actually invent new jobs for a new and different society. Today’s designers, including the 39 in this exhibition, work amid epochal changes – the decline of the myth of great masters and of the small factories of fine Italian design on the one side, and on the other, between the giant global entities of eastern virtual design and the complete subversion of centres of post-economic and post-industrial geography.  Nevertheless, there are those who attempt to discover new territories – empty spaces, experimental, staggering, radical and unknown. What would clothes look like not only for bakers, carpenters and tailors but also for an email eraser, a butterfly engineer, the one who looks for a needle in a haystack, a healer of the healthy, a survivor, or a quarreller?”

…. And now I think I am going to design an outfit for a ‘skeptical photoblog writer who has read too many words’.

Exhibit continues until 23 April

mosaic artwork in greens and yellows

Coxwell subway station is still in the midst of its renovations and upgrades.  As part of the project, the wall on the west and south sides of the station have been painted a bright yellow.   This yellow was then the canvas for a large number of mosaic creations.

some of the mosaic medallions on the Coxwell mosaic mural

below: The new mosaic mural covers the wall alongside the pathway that leads from Coxwell station to the Danforth.  The murals painted on the side of the Sunset Grill restaurant, on the opposite wall of the path, were there previously.

yellow Coxwell pathway mosiac mural with the murals from the restaurants beside the pathway

below: A beaver made from bits and pieces – with round eye and two large teeth.

a beaver made with mosaic tiles and pieces of glass

below: At the corners of the mural are seed pods that have released their seeds to the wind.

mosaic representation of a large seed pod that hs released its seeds.

below: The south side of the subway station is adjacent to a Green P parking lot on Danforth.  Along this wall, a quote by Agnes MacPhail has been added below the mural.  “We meet all life’s greatest tests alone”.  Agnes MacPhail (1890-1954) was the first woman to be elected to the Canadian House of Commons where she served from 1921 to 1940.  After her time in federal politics, she represented the provincial riding of York East in the Ontario Legislature.  In 1951 she was responsible for Ontario’s first equal pay legislation.

A wall with a chainlink fence above it, a large green construction crane is behind the wire fence. The wall has been covered with a mural, yellow background and mosaic pictures on it. A quote runs along the bottom at ground level, white letters on black background, quote by Agnes MacPhail

A wall with a chainlink fence above it, a large green construction crane is behind the wire fence. The wall has been covered with a mural, yellow background and mosaic pictures on it. A quote runs along the bottom at ground level, white letters on black background,

below: West side of the wall, looking towards Strathmore Blvd.

west side of the mural, yellow wall, Coxwell station, mosaic pictures

below: A mosiac bee amongst the flowers…

a circular mosaic picture of a bee amongst white and orange flowers on a blue background, all on a yellow wall. Part of a larger mural

below: … and a real bee sitting beside a mosaic red rose.

mosaic picture of a red rose with green foilage, with a real wasp sitting on it.

below: Two mosaic pieces, a circle with the names of the artists and a semi-circle rainbow with the names of those who contributed to the creation of the mural.  The transcription of the words is given below.

on a yellow wall, some circles made of mosaics. One is the list of people who made the whole mosaic mural and the other is a semi-circle, rainbow colours, of people of contributed to the mural

Lead Artist: Cristina Delago,
With Boloebi Charles Okah, Bronwen Parker, Holly-Jo Horner, Jing Tian, Karen Roberts, Melanie Billark, Robin Hesse, Sarvenaz Rayati, Shae Stamp, Shashann Miguel-Tash, Skyy Marriot, Somayeh Nasiri, Victor Fraser, Will Spratley.

Special Thanks: Woodgreen Community Services, Dulux Painter, Tomasz Majcherczyn, Cathy & Barry Joslin, Cercan Tile, Jacqui Strachan, City Councillor Janet Davis, Jeff Billiard, John & Ed at Danforth Brewery, Mark Wrogemann, Clara Lou, Eleanor Ryan, James & Cooper, John Kenneth & Cherie Daly, Lowe’s, Maisie Fuss, Melanie Morris, Michelle Yeung, S. Dimitrakpoulos,  The Vogls, The Zeelie-Varga Family, Wyatt & Teagan, as well as Laurie, Chantal and Gavin


Sunday 16th August was the 69th anniversary of India’s independence.  Celebrations here in Toronto included Panorama India, a festival at Yonge Dundas Square.

 There was a small but energetic and colorful parade on the streets around the Eaton Center.

A group of people are walking in an India independence day celebration parade, they are holding a banner and walking behind it.

people dancing in a small circle in the middle of Yonge street. They are part of a parade celebrating India's 69th year of independence from Britain. The parade has stopped for a few minutes which has given them time to dance instead of walk.

A group of people walk behind a banner that says Tamil Nadu. This is a state in India and the parade is to mark Indian independence day. The women are wearing colourful saris

A smiling woman holds a sign written in Hindu

Men and women in a parade to mark India's 69th year of independence. The women are wearing saris and the men are wearing traditional Indian clothes

marchers in a parade

A man is holding up a sign with words written in Hindi
A group of marchers in a parade all wearing white clothes and carrying signs promoting peace and love and understanding and all those good things


The festival also featured vendors, music and speeches.

A woman is looking at jewellry that is for sale at an outdoor vendor at Panorama India, a festival in Toronto to celebrate India's 69th anniversary of independence day

Close up of a woman's back and shoulder. Her long black hair is braided and has flowers in it. Next to her is a man selling orange, green and white striped banners that are supposed to represent the colours of the Indian flag. Only his hand can be seen.

A few protesters waved flags and and carried signs and banners protesting against the Indian army’s presence in Kashmir.  They stood on the sidewalk across the street from the festival.

A protest is held on Yonge street by Dundas subway station entrance. A group of Sikhs is protesting the presence of the Indian army in Kashmir. They have two banners and some flags including a Canadian flag. They represent the group, Freedom of Kashmir, Canada.