holditnow

Happy Canada Day

 

Breathtaking mask from a renowned west coast Kwakwaka’wakw carver. Beau Dick (1955-2017)

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Beau Dick   Dzunukwa Mask 2007

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Finding the Landscape

Pink Horizon

Pink Horizon       Digital Image 2017-18

A slight rework of a sketch I started last summer.

One Thing or Another

One Thing or Another

One Thing or Another Digital Image 2018

Infinity Mirrors @ AGO

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Dots Obsession- Love turned into Dots 2007 Yayoi Kusama

Well, we finally made it to Yayoi Kusama’s  Infinity Mirrors at the AGO. Kusama is definitely having a moment at the moment. Her work seems to be custom made for our times, although she’s been exploring these ideas for decades. The rest of the world has finally caught up. The process of seeing Infinity Mirrors is almost a separate experience to actually viewing the work in Infinity Mirrors. Let me explain……

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Life (Repetitive Vision) detail 1998

Kusama’s work is a playful exploration of materials, sexuality and your position in the universe. We are all solitary dots in an infinite cosmos of dots. As bleak as that outcome sounds, she still infuses the work with a sense of jubilation. The work also acts as a catalyst for the viewer, where are you in relation to the work and do you make yourself the focal point?

The experience of Infinity Mirrors started long before the exhibit opened. The interweb was awash with images and the hype was thunder on the horizon slowly growing louder. Securing tickets was part of the experience. The logistics of the exhibit had to limit availability, so the demand heightened. No one likes to read these words “You are currently 9000th in line.” There was a sense of joy being able to be a part of it. You were given a time  and then all you had to do was wait. Kusama provided you with infinite space but had to limit your time and the result; time became the true star. You had 20 to 30 seconds in each room. Not a lot of time to drink in your place in the universe and that is why Infinity Mirrors works so well.  The obligatory selfie helps you freeze time to help sustain that fleeting moment. Yayoi Kusama has her finger on the pulse of our lives.

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Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity 2009

 

Spill Over

Hot Ticket

Spill Over Digital Image 2018

Rocks on Strings

rocks on strings

Rocks on Strings     Digital Image 2018

First painting of 2018.

Films about Art…..Art about Money

20170512120704-DamienHirst_cropped_960x600So I just finished watching Damien Hirst’s Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable on Netflix, or should I say I almost finished. I have 12 minutes left but the little red circle started spiraling away and told me to  come back later. I think I’m good. I have entertained this ( bare with me while I find the right word) delusion – no that’s not it, lie- no,  farce – maybe (…..anyway it will come to me) for long enough. This particular moving picture show is engineered to perpetuate  the whimsical false narrative of an art exhibit that has completely lost the plot. Damien Hirst tried to mine the rich territory of the space between myth and fact, artifice and commerce and material culture and world-building but instead he delivered a glut of over-priced, over-sized and over-blown barnacle encrusted knock-off He-Man statues.

Damien-Hirst-The-warrior-and-the-Bear-1The film never addresses the actual specs of the exhibit. It was put on in two pavilions in the lovely setting of Venice. Apparently it took 10 years to fabricate and cost somewhere in the ballpark of 60 million dollars to produce. Hundreds of hours and assistants toiled over close to 200 pieces. The discerning art collector has their choice of three models to choose from for each piece. With or without coral along with a smaller dainty version in all manner of materials- gold etc… I guess the film is just a fancy commercial that stresses that we should all be aware of the vast amount of resources and effort devoted to this project. It also stresses how far over produced lazy conceptual art can masquerade the idea the emperor has no clothes.

r9e3CCSThe only piece I could find in the exhibit that I liked was this one. It caters to my lizard brain in the sense of beauty for beauty’s sake and the gold and the bronze play really well together.  The best part of Damien Hirst’s work are his titles but in this case they do little to add to the pieces and are rendered impotent. Am I being too harsh- maybe, but the film painfully pointed out  what could have been an engaging idea and squandered it. You feel sorry for the actors trying to sell shlocky bobbles all the while adding the odd wink to the artist. Perhaps a better title for this film could be A 20 000th of a League Under the Sea ……. because you know, it’s so shallow.

Maybe that’s the word I was looking for earlier.

The Air Apparent

The Air Apparent

The Air Apparent     digital Image 2017

I’ll Tumble For Ya

I ll Tumble For Ya

I’ll Tumble For Ya  Digital Image 2017

Getting ready for Myths and Confetti that opens on Dec 2 at the Rotunda Gallery in Kitchener Waterloo.

Evolution of an Image

evolutionHow do you know when a painting is done? Some artists have a very concrete vision from the onset, others like myself propose visual problems and then try to solve them. I obliterate most of what I do only leaving faint traces. The ghosts of paintings past. Mapping the creative process is an engaging endeavor ripe with insight and regret. What if you push it too far and it all falls apart? What if you destroy the superior image? Artists have been painting over their own images since the beginning. Some for simple economic reasons and others for the constant desire to do better. Making art is a never ending action. The solution to one composition is the problem to solve for your next. Sometimes you end up nowhere near from where you started.

diamond gesture sex

Diamond Gesture Romance      Digital Image 2017