Posts Tagged ‘woman’

Mickalene Thomas was born in 1971 in Camden NJ.  She’s a contemporary African American artist now based in Brooklyn New York who likes to examine how Western art has treated women and beauty.   She celebrates black femininity and sexuality with her artwork – something that has been overlooked (or neglected).

below: Close examination of ‘I Learned the Hard Way’, 2010.  Embellished with rhinestones.

a man is looking at a large painting by Mickalene Thomas of a black woman sitting on a sofa. Two women in the foreground
close up of an artwork by Mickalene Thomas at the AGO, a black woman's legs, seated, crossed at the knee, embellished with rhinestones

below: Part of ‘Qusuquzah Une Tres Belle Negresse’, 2012 showing detail in the blue veil that runs diagonally across her face.

close up of a woman's face from a Mickalene Thomas painting, blue eye shadow, and a blue mesh veil diagonally across her face

below: ‘Living Room Tableaux’ (the seats and carpets) with ‘Los Angelitos Negros’ 2016 in the background.  The latter consists of videos playing on four monitors arranged horizontally.

a mother and young daughter sit on seats in a room at the Art Gallery of Ontario, watching videos by Mickalene THomas as part of her Femmes Noires exhibit

below: Also part of ‘Living Room Tableaux’ but from a different angle.  The painting on the wall is ‘Blues’, 2016 which was influenced by the movie “The Color Purple”.  Whoopi Goldberg (in the painting) was one of the characters in this movie which was based on the novel of the same name written by Alice Walker.   Based in rural Georgia in the early 1900’s,  it is the story of Celie Harris, a young black woman and the struggles that she faces.

furnishings, comfy armchairs and a carpet on the floor, turing a room at the AGO into a livingroom. On a wall in the background is a piece by Mickalene Thomas as a tribute to the Colour Purple

below: ‘Living Room Installation’.  This one is different from the one above – in a different room at the AGO.

people sitting, furnishings, comfy armchairs and a carpet on the floor, turing a room at the AGO into a livingroom, one wall has video (or videos) playing over its entire surface

below: Part of “Portrait of Kalena”, 2017.   The geometric face is a direct reference to the style used by Picasso in some of his work.  Picasso was inspired by the work of African artists so here Thomas is re-appropriating Picasso’s geometric and mask-like shapes.

a portrait of a black woman by Micklene Thomas where the face has been done in a Picasso-like style

Thomas’s website

The exhibit at the AGO ends on 24th March

It was the last night of October, the rain had stopped earlier in the evening, and Church Street was closed between Gloucester and Wood streets.  It was ‘Halloween on Church’, an annual street party filled with costumes on display wanting to be seen and other people wanting to see and take pictures.   These photos represent only a small selection of what there was to be seen that night (obviously!).

below: A one night stand to remember

a person at a Halloween costume dressed as a one night stand, table up to neck, a clock, and a picture on a frame on the table, or rather, the night stand

below: Glowing red and green

two women pose with three people wearing oversized skulls on their heads, with lights inside that make the eyes appear bright, two red eyed skulls and one with green eyes

below: Japanese ghouls, dressed to kill?

two women in elaborate embroidered red silk kimonos, one with a parasol too, one with a make up gash on her cheek

below: White man on keyboard.

man in black tux with white cloth overhis face plays a keyboard that he has around his neck

man dressed in a dress that is made of yellow police caution tape, also wearing a police cap. Posing with a woman who is also wearing a poilce hat

below: A group of people went as the 3D Toronto sign.

a group of people pose for a photo. Each is holding a 3D letter and together they spell Toronto, a miniature copy of the 3D Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips Square.

below: More playing with lights, this time as stick people.

two people in jogging suits with hoods, with lights down the front so it looks like stick people

Church Street, Halloween party, a couple in costumes suitable for day of the dead celebrations, juxtapositioned with a man holding a baby

a man in an elaborate gold embellished old fashioned scuba diving mask with glittery gold coloured rays emanating from it

two people standing under a clear umbrella with little lights dangling from it, one person has a black mask on and a costume like the invincible movie character

couple posing for pictures at the corner of Church and Wood, both are dressed in Halloween costumes, night time,

below: Looking at instagram in a new light, from a different point of view.

a photographer has made it look like he's a live instagram photo

below: With a doll and a lit candle

a man in a black and white striped shirt is holding a doll and a lit candle

below: With a doll and a dog.

A woman in long braids holds a green fabric doll and a small dog in her arms. Her face is covered with makeup that makes her look like a skull with large black eyes, a black nose and a mouth with notches (stitches?)

below: This one is for Jude, something about wanting to take this one home with her…..

a topless man leans against a concrete pole to pose for a photo. He has a large tattoo that covers most of his right arm. He is wearing a rubber mask with rabbit ears and a bandana over his face as well as large goggles.

below: With pale pink hair, a shimmering dress, and a big smile

a person with a pale pink wig and shimmering fabric dress

three people in big long haired wigs, one red head and two blondes

below: Crossing light sabres with Darth Vader.

a woman crosses light sabres with darth vader, hallowwen party on Church St. in Toronto

below: Kermit only has eyes for Miss Piggy….. or else!

two people in costume, one as a life sized Kermit the Frog and the other as Miss Piggy, both from The Muppets

Art on construction hoardings.

below: Looking northwest at the intersection of Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue West where seven large collages by Daniel Mazzone dominate the corner.

intersection of St. Clair and Yonge, looking northwest, construction hoardings, people crossing the street

below: On the right, James Dean.  It’s difficult to see in this photo, but there are some pink letters on either side of his face.  On the left it says “Dream as if you’ll live forever”.  On the right is says, “Live as if you will die today”.

a man stands at a bus shelter on St. Clair Ave, two large paintings on construction hoardings, by Daniel Mazzone, are behind him

below: She repeats.  This woman is at the two ends.  As far as I can tell, the only difference is the colour of the pattern in the background.   On St. Clair it’s purple while it’s red on Yonge.   Superman is on her forehead and, in fact, most of the pieces that are used in this artwork are from Superman comics.

large maural by Daniel Mazzone, on construction hoardings, a woman's face and head, created by a collage of smaller images

below: Charlie Chaplin above the bus shelter.  Many of the images used to create the face are also pictures of Charlie Chaplin.

a man sits on a bench at a bus shelter on St. Clair, with a large collage picture of Charlie Chaplin behind him, created by Daniel Mazzone

below: Love sees no colour, with Michael Jackson above Yonge Street.

two murals by Daniel Mazzone, one of which is Michael Jackson in his red Thriller jacket, and the other is a woman in a cap blowing dandelions white puffy stuff, other flowers and butterflies too along with the words Love Sees No Colours.

below: “Looking for Beauty” by Daniel Mazzone.  Does she see any?  There are a few Supermans here too, especially in her face.  “Splow” is written in green on her neck.

mural above the sidewalk, as people walk by, Yonge Street street sign, traffic,

Edwards Gardens

lots of flowers and plants in a garden around the base of a tree, a stone sculpture sits among the flowers, a woman is removing weeds from the garden, at Edwards Gardens

ZimSculpt is the name of the exhibit now on at Edwards Gardens.   Placed around the gardens are a large number of stone sculptures by Zimbabwean artists.  There are also small pieces on display inside a tent-like structure near the parking lot.   All items are for sale along with some baskets and jewellery.  Here are some of the sculptures:

below: Giving Advice by Boet Nyariri, carved in springstone

sculpture of two women (mother and daughter?), one slightly behind the other, with hand on other's shoulder,

below: (after the garden was watered!), Mother and Son, by Joe Mutasa, carved in springstone.

black stone sculpture of a mother holding her son, in a garden, with pink, red and orange flowers around the bottom of the sculpture

below:  Nesting Cormorant, by Lucknos Chingwaro, springstone

tall black sculpture at Edwards Gardens

below: Windy Day by David White, opal stone,

sculpture of a woman's head, eyes closed, with lots of rings of lighter stone hair, title is Windy Day

below: Evolving, by Edmore Sango, opal stone.

tall stone sculpture among plants in a garden

below: Shoal, by John Gutsa, springstone

a sculpture titled Shoal, 4 striped fish, one on top of the other, sculpture with flowers in front and greenery behind, Edwards Gardens

below: Free Flow, by Stuart Chapenga, springstone

black stone sculpture called free flow in Edwards Gardens.

head of a bird carved in black and white stone

close up photo of two yellow flowers with dark brown centers, from the side

close up photo of a monarch butterfly on a pink flower

ZimSculpt lasts until the end of September.

Graffiti Alley keeps drawing me back to see if there are any changes.    What is new and what has disappeared.   To see who is hanging out in the lane today and have a silent chuckle or two at the tourists.

below: Sunny days in Graffiti Alley

a woman carries an open blue umbrella on a sunny day as she walks down Graffiti Alley

below: Let’s Eat Sandwiches Together Forever, by elicser, seems to have been refreshed recently.

let's eat sandwiches together forever, a mural by elicser, with people and sandwiches, people in the middle are hugging

a mother and daughter walk down Graffiti Alley, past a lrge mural of a young man by Janus

below: He’s pointing to the sky because he’s giving us a detailed weather forecast.

a man in a yellow vest is talking in Graffiti Alley

below: The last time that I walked down Graffiti Alley, elicser was in the midst of painting this door.

a mural of a person in an old fashioned aviator's helmet and goggles, and wearing a blue dress, on a door in an lane
a mural of a person in a gas mask (spray paint mask) on a door in an lane with pink on either side

below: Hello!

a woman sits on a window sill on a building iin Graffiti Alley as a man takes her picture

below: Montreal and Toronto and the writing in between.

text street art with the words Montreal and Toronto written in the top corners

below: A lovebot of a different sort.  Almost unrecognizable except for that heart.  Only lovebot has a heart like that.

lovebot street art

below: A large carp painted by Nick Sweetman.  A fish out of water.

a large carp mural by Nick Sweetman in Graffiti Alley

below: Broken window

orange door and street art in Graffiti Alley

below: Pink roses and words of love and encouragement (and a little bit of flattery).  The future is bright and do more of what makes you happy.

pink roses and words about love on a mural

below: A new poser bunny at Portland Place

a poser bunny on a wall

below: Toronto Blue Jays vs. stencils are wack

street art painting of a street artist in grey hoody and mask, hoody has Toronto blue jays logo, but someone has used black marker to write words on hoody say Stencils are wack

below: Walking past the praying mantis which is memorial to Jesse.

people in graffiti alley with a large pink praying mantis mural

below: Rat and a spray paint can can’t keep the eyes in their heads.

below: Unfortunately, part of the uber5000 wintertime Toronto mural has been tagged over.

below: Honk! honk! An uber5000 yellow bunny offers a donut

A man avoids the puddles in the lane as he walks past an uber5000 mural of a yellow birdie with a donut, birdie is driving a little orange car

below: Starbursts (or flowers, or just interesting shapes) in pink and yellow

part of a painting on a metal garage door of two starburst shapes, one in pink and one in yellow

below: The elephant isn’t in the room, it hasn’t made it down the stairs yet.

graffiti above and below a diagonal metal staircase, an elephant above the stairs and a dog below. The dog is saying woof

below:  A collaboration between immortalwales and kyleghostkeeper.   Both are tattoo artists and they both have instagram accounts if you are interested in seeing their work.

woman wearing a white head scarf and large glasses, with red lips

graffiti words on a wall, black sharpie, Save us

It’s early April and we’re all tired of winter but it lingers on.   How are you coping?  Yes, you!

Cameron House mural on Queen Street West, woman in pink blouse is looking beyond the window to a man walking past.

below: Is this wishful thinking?  or maybe just a little too optimistic?

chalkboard sign on the sidewalk outside of a store on Queen Street West, sign says Spring is here

below: Spring is in the air?  They forgot the question mark.   Is the cat reacting to the disconnect between the sign and the reality? … or maybe  its expression is because it’s just realized that it’s sitting beside a book about Justin Trudeau?

sign in a store window that says spring is in the air. also some stuffed animals

These were the only signs of spring that I saw yesterday as I walked although I noticed that someone was trying to cheer things up.  Not sure how long these have been sitting outside.  They’re looking a little weather worn and grubby.  Hope may be wearing a bit thin?

small leafless shrub in the front yard of a house, small yellow fake flowers strung through the branches, the flowers are old and dirty.

below: Elsewhere yellow birdies were playing hockey.

two women are having their picture taken in front of Uber5000's mural about Toronto in the winter, little yellow birdies playing hockey.

Spring was elusive but what I did spot were a couple of stikmen that I don’t remember seeing before.   I also noticed more smiley hearts popping up in unexpected places again. First, some of the hearts…

smiley heart on pink wall with red spray paint lines around

pink smiley heart on a wall with lots of other colours, street art

small black line drawing of a heart on a metal pipe on a wall, pipe has been painted orange and red to blend in with a street art piece

below: Cool Woodstock makes an appearance too (a yellow birdie of a different kind).  I don’t think she’s too happy to have a bird sitting on her head.

street art on garages, a small yellow Woodstock cartoon character with black sunglasses, on top of a black drawing on white of a girl screaming, a little smiley heart and the word love is beside her ear.

below: The guitar player is now playing with heart.

part of mural of a guitar playing in shades of orange and red. A white piece of paper has been stuck on his chest, with a black smiley heart on it.

And the stikmen….

a broken stikman painted greyish blue on a greyish blue door where the paint is peeling and the wood is fraying

stikman on a white and blue wall

below: Instead of wooden, this stikman is a drawing in a frame.

picture of a green stikman in a little frame, on a wood gate, by a black and white stencil of a man's head

below: Is that a little orange head of a stikman in the bent frame?

….. and then back inside for some warmth!

interior of a coffee shop, people sitting at tables, people sitting on the bar by the window, a TTC streetcar is outside, passing by

I  will leave you with one last look at a window full of yellow chicks and Easter bunnies, hope for spring (Hope springs eternal? Hopes of spring are eternal?).

looking into a store window, that is decorated with little bunnies in Easter clothing, with little yellow chicks and paper flowers

Tdot, an affectionate nickname for Toronto.

graffiti words, large, on a garage door in an alley, tdot,white on red background.

A lovely walk on a lovely afternoon discovering lovely things about love and affection.

below: Love but Think.

graffiti words on a garage door, love but think

stone statue of a girl seated, in front of a house that has a statue of Jesus in a niche in the outside wall as well as a ceramic religious scene

below: Mother and child.

under two hinges, on a post, in front yard of a house, a faded framed print of a mother and her baby

below: Batman and Robin, oh dear.

orange stencil, batman kissing robin the boy wonder

mural of a woman with very long wavy hair, side profile of her head and face, blue lips, blue eyelashes

below:  Some love is fleeting and some may be eternal but his love for Leila was never meant to last.

words on a garage door that say I love Leila. A big X is drawn through those words and beside it is written Honestly it wasn't meant to last

below: Even the insults sounded nice.  Except of course if the pizza had pineapple on it.

words scrawled on a wall in an alley that say Trump is a facist piece of pizza

below: And then there was this….  As it turns out these words are a line in the lyrics of a song but I’m still not sure why would write them on a door.

white words graffiti on a grey metal door that say When I do wrong I am with God

street art painting of a dragon, or monster, head with purple horns, green eye, and lots of teeth, seen from the side,

May all your walks be lovely!