If you’re in Toronto, or going to be before november 3, you should check out Permanent Demandat Cooper Cole Gallery right now. CC put together some smart, funny, and energetic pieces loosely about art and consumerism by Jesse Harris, William Buzzell, and Andrew Jeffrey Wright to make what looks to be a great show.
“This exhibition, Permanent Demand, explores the impact consumer culture has on society and the idea of art as commodity. Subjects tackled include wealth and social structures, luxury goods and real estate, politics and products. While each artist works in a very different style, a dialogue between the three exists through shared cultural influences of a generation. This exhibition will feature an accompanying catalogue available in a limited edition.” – Cooper Cole Gallery
Although difficult to generalize, a common theme ties together the exhibitions currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA) and the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU). “At the Far Edge of Words” and “Imaginary Homelands” engage on some level, with the complex reflections of the artists cultural identity in relation to their exchanges with western culture, concepts of otherness, and navigating the hybrid spaces between while defining ‘home’. Rather than allowing these notions to become static, absolute, or restrictive, the artists invoke politics, humour, and nostalgia as a means to mediate their competing definitions of identity.
Canadian artist Andre Ethier‘s oil paintings are rich with all the messiness of life. He seems to find and expose more beauty and meaning from the unsavory elements of life than the average person does from generic blue skies and roses. I remember catching some of his works in person a few years ago and each one just glowed with so much power — hobos and monsters leering and searching from behind syrupy glazes. And Ethier’s quasi still lifes, well, they’re practically wall-mounted explosives. See what I mean after the jump.
Recent Ontario College of Art and Design graduate Sarah Joncas already has a distinct, characteristic style that has earned her several awards, as well as garnered the attentions of top galleries around the US. Her paintings often focus on a lone woman, drawing out her narrative in a combination of bold hues and shadowy tones. The themes explored in her works are at times dark but at other times quite whimsical. Currently, the Toronto-based artist is representing Canada in an all-female group show entitled ‘International Woman’ which can be caught at the UK’s Warrington Museum now through July 7th. Living on this side of the pond, as they say? Then check out the artist’s upcoming joint show with fellow painter Caia Koopman, opening June 16th at Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City, California.
The world of child mafias, gooey relatable beasts, funky leathery space dudes, soft bodies, diseased bodies, and crusty bodies, is the world of DeForge. Toronto-based Michael DeForge is running amuck in the independent comic’s scene. He is consistently putting out top-notch work executed in his very distinct style, a style that allows for plenty of room for experimentation while still being immediately recognizable as the “DeForge touch”. At age 24, with just a few years solidly devoted to comics, it’s amazing to imagine what he will achieve in his lifetime. On top of that, he does prop and effects for the wonderful Cartoon Network series Adventure Time. He has the drive. He has the look. He has it all. He is King Trash.
Toronto artist Matt Bahen creates thick oil paintings of desolate scenery and, often, dogs. Tweaked just right, the lighting in Bahen’s work almost renders itself the subject in each respective canvas, creating a sense that the elements most “alive” in his world are not, in fact, animate. Scavenging dogs and dying foliage or crops are often the only living organisms depicted in Bahen’s most recent work. And though a veritable source of action, these elements often serve more as secondary, blended, narrative connections than primary statements. In keeping with the aesthetics of B/D, this body of work presents a perfect opportunity to draw as much life from the dead as from the living. Bahen is currently showing at LE Gallery in Toronto in a solo exhibition entitled “After Wolves.” If you’re up that way, do not miss out.
Anders Oinonen, of Ontario, Canada, just opened “People people”, a solo show at Cooper Cole in Toronto. For a while now, Oinonen has been pushing the features of the face to new bounds in his paintings. The artist has removed familiar eyes, noses, and mouths from their intended plane, and inserted them along the lines of an Expressionist landscape. Such a presentation of the face -associated with communication of our inner life more than any other part of the body- in tumultuous states of despair and incredulity as stimulating blocks of color masterfully applied to canvas arranges a statement which is hard to miss and extensive in depth.
Christian Stearry is great example of what happens when one spends their entire youth skateboarding- it begins to permeate every aspect of your life. His illustrations are focused on the tongue-in-cheek jokes found in growing up “bad,” whether it’s through graffiti, drinking, or being that guy that brings his bong everywhere. Lucky for us, it works.