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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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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Contemporary Art, Culture

Your Instagram Photos Could be Worth $90,000

You’ve probably been warned before: don’t put anything on the internet that you wouldn’t want your employer to see.

But is it art, if it technically isn’t yours? This month at the Frieze Art Fair in New York, painter and photographer Richard Prince rattled some bones in the art world; pushing the limits of ownership and creativity. He’s proven that anything on the internet can be shared and sold because of flexible copyright laws and displayed giant screenshots of other people’s Instagram photos without warning or permission.

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Photographs from Gagosian Gallery and The Independent UK

The 6 foot tall inkjet prints of the screenshots belong to his “New Portraits” series at the Gagosian Gallery booth showing pictures of celebrity and internet-famous women and sold for on average $90,000 each selling all but one by the end of the May 13th VIP preview.

According to copyright laws, he isn’t doing anything wrong. He’s simply making slight adjustments to photos which technically means they’re his. He’s been “re-photographing” photos for decades now and has honed his technique by making minor changes to the originals. In this case, Prince removed the captions and added comments but didn’t alter usernames or the photos themselves.

This series was on display last year at a private show at the Gagosian’s Madison Avenue location and even then, created a buzz and was fiercely criticized. Not only because his work debates the fine line between copyright infringement and artistic freedom, but because most of the images are of women in compromising poses some of which included porn stars and a candid selfie in the gynaecologist’s office.

Prince’s “Original” series, another “re-photographing” collection is now showing at the Gagosian Gallery in Manhattan until June 20th.

Truth is, Prince is either the art world’s most celebrated or the mot hated artist at the moment. What’s your opinion?

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Contemporary Art, Culture

Urban Geode x Paige Smith

Meet graphic designer, handbag entrepreneur, and artist Paige Smith aka A Common Name.

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"Deranged Amalgamation" at Maker City LA

“Deranged Amalgamation” at Maker City LA

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Geode #9 Downtown LA

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Smith installing a geode

Geode #3 Downtown LA

Geode #3 Downtown LA

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It’s particularly her Urban Geode street art series that drew me to her. Her sculptures are made entirely of hand cut or folded paper and resin casts putting them in nooks and crannies in buildings, walls, inside a pipe, and the interior of abandoned phone booths in Los Angeles and across the world. She says this installation acts as an invitation to look and discover things that are normally ignored to celebrate the beauty of urban space and to participate in a global treasure hunt.

She has also started a beta program for anyone to install geodes in their own cities. Some successful installations include Jordan, Turkey, South Africa, Korea, and France. Email here if you are interested. If you are also interested in supporting Smith’s project, please consider donating on her website.

Here is video of a panel of female street artists in LA featuring Smith, Kristy Sandoval, Anna Drumm and artist manager and publicist Heidi Johnson:

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Contemporary Art, Culture

Venice Biennale 2015

As the preview for the Venice Biennale’s 56th edition of the International Art Exhibition opened last week, the art world has been exploding with works from artists around the world. 89 national participants are exhibiting in these historical pavilions and here are a few of my favourites:

British Pavilion: Sarah Lucas’ “I Scream Daddio”

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“Deep Cream Maradona” fills the room in the British Pavilion. 

Hungarian Pavilion: Szilard Cseke’s “Sustainable Identities”

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Plastic is slowly inflated and large white balls are pushed through tubes by air.

Croatian Pavilion: Damir Ocko’s “Studies on Shivering: The Third Degree”

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Mirror fragments used to distort the subjects in the film as a part of Ocko’s installation. He explores questions about the human body and its physical realties. The film shows abstract close-up shots of burnt skin and edited with images reflecting the crew while filming.

Japan Pavilion: Chiharu Shiota’s “The Key in Hand”

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Keys collected from thousands across the world, and 400,000 metres blood red string seem to explode from and surround an old boat. Shiota explores the concept of memory.

Turkish Pavilion: Sarkis Zabunyan’s “Respiro”

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“Respiro” meaning “breath” in Italian explores the concepts of transformation and shared human experience. The neon rainbow light a series of 36 stained glass panels that depict imagery reflecting nature, spirituality, and the sublime.

The exhibition continues until November 22, 2015 at the Giardini della Biennale and at the Arsenale.

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