Contemporary Art, Culture

Art Toronto 2015

So I know I’ve been a little MIA recently, and for those who don’t know I’ve moved to Lake Louise, Alberta for a bit to work. It’s definitely been an adjustment from the city life I’m used to, but I love it here so far. But recently I got the opportunity to come back to Toronto last week to participate in Art Toronto 2015, Canada’s contemporary art fair and I worked with Susan Eley from Susan Eley Fine Art Gallery in New York City.

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“You Look Great” by Jade Rude, Cavier20

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At first, I was a little scared and wasn’t sure what to expect but Susan made it so easy for me and taught me so much about what it’s like to work at an art fair (I finally learned what those little red dots mean!). She has been to many art fairs south of the border in Miami but has never been to one in Canada, so the fair was new to both of us. I bumped into a few people I knew from Gallery 44 and Stephen Bulger Gallery also had a solo booth for Larry Towell and I was nice to catch up with old friends. I could have definitely picked up my game and spoke to more new people, but for my first art fair I think I did well. I met some representatives from the Canadian Embassies who were looking to purchase Canadian art to put in embassies all over the world and I thought that was a pretty neat job and definitely something to look into for the future. 

There was so much to see and even though I was at the fair for 6 days, I barely got through each booth. It was mainly galleries from Toronto and Canada but the director told us that she was hoping to make it more international next year. There were even a few galleries from Tel Aviv, Paris, London, and New York but hopefully next year will include more. You could see anything from a sculpture of a life-sized horse that costed so much it could send me to England for my Master’s Degree and I’d still have a little left over, to drawings of mystical and creepy dreams of burning houses from D3 Gallery.

Here are some of my favourites from the fair:

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Top to Bottom: “Countercurrent Flow Big” by Marck from Gallerie de Bellefeuille, Période Supplémentaire” by Serge Lemoyne from Yves LaRoche Gallery (who also showed some Clet graffiti pieces referenced in my other post), unknown gallery shot, “Un morceau de dehors” by Karine Payette, unknown gallery shot, Aggregation series by Kwang-Young Chun from Landau Fine Art, “Dreams of awakening here in this brightness” by Sherri Hay from Christopher Cutts Gallery, “À distance perdue” by Karine Payette, “Boy Falling” by Vivian Kahra from Susan Eley Fine Art

I was absolutely obsessed with “Countercurrent Flow Big” at Gallerie de Bellefeuille and pretty much stopped by each day on my lunch break just to watch the performance piece. I also really loved “Bathing in Bliss” by Joshua Jenson-Nagle at Bau-Xi Gallery. I didn’t get a good picture of it due to the plexiglass it was mounted on but I will insert one here:

"Bathing in Bliss" by Joshua Jensen-Nagle, Bau-Xi Gallery

“Bathing in Bliss” by Joshua Jensen-Nagle, Bau-Xi Gallery

Many people asked me how I got this opportunity and honestly, it was a mixture of luck and knowing the right people. I met with Emilia Ziemba who at the time was working at Red Head Gallery in Toronto a couple years ago and she remembered me and suggested me for the position.

It was such an experience and hopefully next year I will be able to do it all over again, if not working then definitely will come visit the fair if I’m not in school in London yet…but hopefully fingers crossed I will be in England…

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Architecture, Culture, Travel

Alcoholic Architecture x Bompas & Parr

Imagine walking into a cloud and coming out tipsy…hard to believe, but it’s not as far fetched an idea as we thought.

Image of the Guardian

Image of the Guardian


Image from Creative Pool

Image Bompas & Parr from Creative Pool


Image from The Shard

Image from The Shard

Bompas & Parr, the same people that brought us The Guinness Factory’s Tasting Room, has allowed us to walk into a cloud of breathable cocktail through the site of a monastery in Borough Market, London. Alcoholic Architecture is a pop up bar that basically acts as a weather system for “meteorology and mixology collide against a canvas of monastic mayhem, referencing the gothic splendour of neighbouring Southwark Cathedral.” Your cocktail enters the room using powerful humidifiers and alcohol enters your bloodstream through your lungs and eyeballs which bypasses your liver.

Situated next to the UK’s oldest gothic cathedral and on site of an ancient monastery, themes of the times will be reflected through their drinks. Think spirits and beers created monks and drinks with Chartreuse, Benedictine, Trappist beer, and Buckfast (a fortified wine that Scotland is trying to stop from entering the country).

Image from Business Insider

Image from Business Insider


Image of the Guardian

Image of the Guardian

“Inside, the sound is modulated, so that it is like you are right inside the glass,” Parr says. “It’s a dense atmosphere that builds into a thunderstorm with lightning. It’s a new way of experiencing drink, and it’s social because it’s an immersive shared environment. You all have the same flavor sensation.”

Image from Cool Hunting

Image from Cool Hunting

You walk through a monastic-themed changing room and bare a robe so you don’t leave smelling like a liquor bottle. Get yourself a drink at the crypt-like bar and bring it back into the cloud for you to enjoy and “breathe responsibly”.

Alcoholic Architecture is on until early 2016. If you’re in London, you must go see it and tell me all about it. Get tickets and check out more of Bompas & Parr’s work on their website.

 

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Art History, Contemporary Art, Culture, Travel

Art Institute of Chicago

Hello all! I know it’s been a while since I last posted but I’ve been away for some time and working lots. I promise I am working hard on keeping this blog updated. There are some really exciting things coming.

A few weeks ago, I was in Chicago for Lollapalooza and decided to visit the iconic Art Institute of Chicago (remember that scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?). It is rated the #1 museum in the world according to Tripadvisor in 2014 and I can tell why. AIC probably tops the MoMA for me with its collection of Edgar Degas and Van Gogh, and modern and contemporary art collections, I was left in awe at each corner. What I especially liked about it was it’s flow and organization. I felt like I had enough time and space to explore each room and not overwhelmed by the works or the amount of people. And not to mention its staff! I met some of the most friendly people who worked there who are always willing to talk to you.

“Linear Construction in Space No. 2” and “Linear Construction No. 4” by Naum Gabo

Frank Stella

“Hat Rack” by Marcel Duchamp

“Counter-Composition” by Theo Van Doesburg

“American Gothic” by Grant Wood (did you know that the couple in the painting is supposed to be a father and unmarried daughter? The “farmer” was actually Wood’s dentist, and the woman is Wood’s sister.)

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Francis Bacon

The AIC featured a Charles Ray exhibition- his first major exhibition since a mid career retrospective in 1998 and features four new sculptures only on view in Chicago.

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Chicago-born Ray has reinvented contemporary sculptural practice since the early 1980s using aluminum and stainless steel to create a fluid like and reflective effect in his life-size and over-life-size sculptures. His works were like nothing I’ve ever seen up close. The bas-relief sculptures from afar looked flat and linear but once you got closer you realize how the depth and perception can affect how you look at a piece. The works are created from a combination of long process of study, experimentation, and a painstakingly meticulous attention to detail, control and discipline (some of his works takes as long as ten years to make!). His pieces are utterly timeless and contemporary at the same time leaving its audiences reminiscing about childhood, sleep, ghosts, and self-portraiture as well as a combination of a new medium and ancient sculptural techniques such as bas relief.IMG_0494Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset

The show is on until October 4th, and if the staff is friendly they’ll let you take some fun pictures😉

Have any of you ever been to AIC? What were some of your favourite works?

 

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Art History, Artist Profile

Happy Birthday Frida Kahlo!

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Frida Kahlo is my spiritual animal. Not only was she a beautiful soul and talented artist, she did not have an easy life. Her work is celebrated in Mexico and also by feminists who acknowledge her depiction of female expression and experience.

Although she is sometimes classified as a Surrealist artist, she rejected that label and said her paintings reflected more of her reality than her dreams.

"The Wounded Deer" by Frida Kahlo

“The Wounded Deer” by Frida Kahlo

She has been through it all. Not only did she live through the Mexican Revolution, at six years old she contracted polio which resulted in her right leg becoming thinner than the left and as she got older, she hid this by wearing long, colourful skirts. It was also rumoured that she was born with spina bifida which would have affected her spinal and leg development.

When she was a teenager, she was in a tragic bus accident which left her with a broken spinal column, a broken collarbone, broken ribs, a broken pelvis, eleven fractures in her right leg, a crushed and dislocated right foot, and a dislocated shoulder. Also, an iron handrail pierced her abdomen and her uterus (ouch), resulting in difficulties in reproducing. She suffered lifelong health problems including relapses of extreme pain. While recovering from her injuries she was bedridden and confined in a hospital bed for months at a time, she was isolated from her peers and began to paint her famous self-portraits which perfectly reflect this isolation and her pain. But through this experience, she was able to become the painter we all know and admire today.

The Broken Column by Frida Kahlo OSA164

“The Broken Column” by Frida Kahlo

07512-frida-kahlo-v15 kahlo Kahlo used bright colours and dramatic symbolism and primitive style that is common with indigenous Mexican culture. Themes included the monkey, which in Mexican mythology is associated with as a symbol of lust. Kahlo used this symbol as a tender and protective symbol. She also combined themes of her familial background, and Christian, Jewish and Mexican themes were often depicted in her works.

"Self Portrait With Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird" by Frida Kahlo

“Self Portrait With Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird” by Frida Kahlo

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“My Birth” by Frida Kahlo

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“Tree of Hope, Remain Strong” by Frida Kahlo

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“Without Hope” by Frida Kahlo

If things couldn’t get worse, her marriage with another famous Mexican artist Diego Rivera was extremely volatile as they both had bad tempers and both would cheat on each other countless times. Kahlo who was 20 years younger than Diego, was bisexual and had affairs with both men and women and although Rivera didn’t care much about her female relationships, her affairs with men made him jealous. Rivera, on the other hand had an affair with Kahlo’s younger sister. Although that relationship was clearly unhealthy, we can thank Rivera for encouraging her artistic development and to pursue painting as a career. They ended up divorcing to get married again a year later but often lived separate from each other…talk about making their lives the storyline for a soup opera, am I right???

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Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

In July of 1952, Frida’s right lower leg was amputated at the knee due to gangrene. In addition she also had a case of bronchopneumonia which left her weak and ill for another two years.  Diego still at her side, attended to her anxiety attacks and still encouraged her to keep painting. Kahlo died on July 13th, 1954 and the official cause of death was stated as pulmonary embolism, although she began to increase her morphine consumption after the amputation and some suspected that she died from an overdose that may or may not have been accidental. A few days before she died, she wrote in her diary: “I hope the exit is joyful- and I hope to never return– Frida”. And even though, her relationship with Diego was rough, he stuck by her and encouraged her even on her last days because he loved her. In his autobiography, he wrote that the day Frida died was the most tragic day of his life and he realized too late that the most wonderful part of his life had been his love for her. 

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Frida has been described as: “…one of history’s grand divas…a tequila-slamming, dirty joke-telling smoker, bi-sexual that hobbled about her bohemian barrio in lavish indigenous dress and threw festive dinner parties for the likes of Leon Trotsky, poet Pablo Neruda, Nelson Rockefeller, and her on-again, off-again husband, muralist Diego Rivera.

She also been quoted to say, “I was born a bitch. I was born a painter.”

Feliz Cumpleaños to the most feistest woman ever.

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Contemporary Art

Javier de Riba

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Javier de Riba is a catalan designer and artist born in Barcelona. He currently works as a part of the Reskate Art & Crafts Collective, developing graphics and communication projects focusing on sustainability and human treatment. In this particular project, he spray paints beautiful geometric patterns on floors and gives new life to abandoned buildings.

 

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Contemporary Art, Contemporary Design, Culture

Lernert & Sander

What I would do to to spend a day in the heads of Dutch artists and filmmakers Lernert & Sander. They’re known for their high-conceptual art films, installations, amusing aesthetics and brash sense of humour.

Recently Lernert & Sander created “Cube”, a photo of 98 unprocessed raw foods cut into extremely precise laser-cut squares. The piece was commissioned by Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant for their their food-themed documentary photography issue.

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They’ve also collaborated with designers and companies such as COS, Unilever, Jean Paul Gaultier, Eastpak, and MTV to name a few. Here are some of my favourites:

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