Sunday, October 30, 2011

Art Toronto

Rachel and I went to the Toronto International Art Fair, recently aka Art Toronto, on Friday and it was amazing as per usual. Here are some highlights. The first thing we saw was an abstracted cigarette floating through space (and there's the more literal representation attached to glass so you know it's about a cigarette floating through space).

Me: OMG that is so realistic!
Rachel: No, that's a real person!

By Will Kurtz
By Will Kurtz

This is an enormous sculpture of a head...

Old Self, by Evan Penny
And close ups from a sculpture of a younger enormous head. This one was eerier for me because although it was a younger man he seemed just as close to death.

By Evan Penny
By Evan Penny
By Evan Penny

Something shiny.

By Franco DeFrancesca

There were also photos, drawings, and a mad installation/performance by Kent Monkman, a mixed-Cree artist who dresses in drag. Either of those qualities would be enough to win my adoration, but together... yes... sniff that colonial foot.

How Could You Break Your Promise, by Kent Monkman

Sunday, October 23, 2011


By David Hockney
Today at the ROM I witnessed a woman using an iPhone to photograph a projection of some of David Hockney's iPhone/iPad-drawn "Fresh Flowers". Let me explain. This guy discovered an iPhone app for drawing and he thought it was a pretty convenient medium so he made a whole bunch of these drawings. Not actually a surprising use of technology for creating art, generally you would see images like these at home on your own computer. A Facebook app for drawing called "Graffiti" came out a while back and it was all the rage for about a week. Though I have actually seen people make some impressive stuff using that app. Stuff that would knock David Hockney's socks off. Below is a drawing I did using "Graffiti" back in the day for comparison's sake.

By me

I occasionally like how Hockney draws light, especially on mugs, glass, and sometimes in the sky, but overall I dislike the digital look. I'm more impressed when I can't tell that an image was even drawn digitally. While my preferences are inevitably a product of my own digital generation, this must be pretty crazy stuff for an old guy like Hockney.

Regardless, I have to give him props because this is the first time I've seen this sort of art displayed in a major museum.  What's more, he displayed them on iPads and iPhones fixed to the walls. I was struck by the fact that the cost of the art would be entirely in its mode of display. Actually creating each piece is free once you already have your iPad. Seeing some of the drawings projected larger onto the walls, I couldn't help but anticipate the invention of enormous iPads purposed as digital canvases. Maybe all the pro artists will have one in 2015.

By David Hockney
Or people will realize that iArt wasn't meant to be taken so seriously. In his exhibit book, Hockney wrote that at first he would send his drawings to his friends who commented on how "direct the drawings seemed as they held the iPhone in their own hand." I almost feel that this personal connection, the viral aspect, and the fun aspect are lost by putting the drawings on the wall of the ROM. Unfortunately, artists have to make money.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Be Efficient Girl

"Best of Nuit Blanche! Infectious and inexplicably amusing!"
-me, 2011

Turn up le volume. Artist: Karen Zalamea


Hello blog.  I've actually had stuff to do since starting my Master of Education. Hoorah. Now inventing a classroom activity involving ASL... On another note, here are some recent-ish sketches by moi:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Last week of AbEx

The abstract expressionist show is soon departing the AGO (the last day is Sept 4) and I am loath to say goodbye to my favourite paintings. 

Dwarf by William Baziotes (most adorable painting ever)
Mark Rothko

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Inuit Modern

On my bi-weekly tours of the AGO's Canadian gallery, I usually include a brief exploration of the Inuit Modern exhibit, because I love it. Except that last week they had changed all of the prints and drawings on the walls and I didn't realize until I was halfway through my tour. I was a little perturbed that they removed "Enchanted Owl" by Kenojuak Ashevak from 1960, which is the most perfect piece of graphic work ever created.

Enchanted Owl, by Kenojuak Ashevak (1960)
The outlines of the feathers are varied and imperfect but in my mind, this only serves to make the overall image more perfect looking. I don't think the owl would be nearly as powerful if each feather was a flawlessly clean-lined and Photoshopped shape.

Inuit prints and drawings often have animals or figures floating in mid-air and objects don't seem to be realistically situated in space. However, the Inuit perspective was explained to me thus: In the Arctic, figures appear to just pop out from a white background. I imagine, sometimes, everything is white - sky and ground alike. As in a whiteout, there is literally no clear horizon line.

Photo of a whiteout in Antarctica from Wikipedia

In context, this makes Inuit drawings totally realistic.

Hunter and Inuit on the Land, by Ruth Annaqtuusi Tulurialik

See what I'm saying? 

Compare the above to drawings of interiors by Annie Pootoogook. 

Calling Annie, by Annie Pootoogook
Space is clearly delineated (e.g. the radio is on the table; the table is in front of the wall), but the picture still looks fairly 2-dimensional and objects on the wall are scattered about in the same way that figures are scattered about in many other Inuit drawings. This is a phenomenon I cannot explain. Go to the Inuit Modern exhibit and make your own conclusions. It'll be on until October 16th. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition

Okay, I know this post is delayed - I went to TOAE July 11th - but anyways, this is what I bought at the show this year. For some reason my photos don't really capture the awesomeness of the mug, so I suggest visiting the artist's website: Jeanne Longman.