Archive for the 'Thoughts on art' Category

The Rise (and Rise) of Yves Klein Blue

A quick note to say that I feel sort of vindicated. Back in March 2010, I wrote THIS post predicting the rise of International Klein Blue – that fabulous deep blue invented and patented by the late, great artist Yves Klein. Yves Klein, Petite Vénus Bleue, 1956 Image: canalblog.com And so it went…that bright blue was suddenly everywhere from J.Crew
Read more…

Loved: Nowheresville at General Hardware

The other week I dropped in to see one of my new favorite galleries, General Hardware Contemporary, in Parkdale. Not only was owner Niki Dracos super friendly, happily accompanying me in my rush around the gallery (I was late for a talk at Art Toronto) but I was really impressed by the work. Paintings by Anahita Rezvani-Rad. All images: VoCA
Read more…

Government Grants: Preaching to the Choir?

I’ve been thinking recently about Canada’s arts granting system. With all this talk of financial reform, from the global to the municipal levels (hello, Rob Ford), maybe it’s time we looked at whether the granting system in Canada could use some reform of its own. Image: canadianart.ca Federal, provincial and municipal arts councils are all arms length agencies of the
Read more…

Cindy Sherman, Lady Gaga and the Process of Self-Design

Cindy Sherman, the American artist known for her Untitled Film Stills, 1977–1980 and subsequent self-portraits in which she transforms herself, through hair, makeup, prosthetics and costume, into various female characters from the seductive to the grotesque, is all about disguise. Cindy Sherman for MAC Cosmetics. Image: heartymagazine.com She’s been working this way for decades and is one of America’s best-known
Read more…

Loved: Really, Really Good Public Art

Although I don’t blog about public art in Toronto, since it could create a conflict with my position on the City of Toronto Public Art Commission, that doesn’t stop me from blogging about public art elsewhere. The entrance to the new Sofitel Hotel in Vienna. Image: VoCA/Scott Barker I was in Vienna, Austria recently and saw the most fantastic use
Read more…

Better Late than Never: Canada at the Venice Biennale

It’s better late than never for some highlights from this year’s Venice Biennale. Flying into Venice. All photos: VoCA Having been to several Venice Biennales in my life, I almost always prefer the pavilions where the artist addresses the architecture of the pavilions in which the art is housed. The first Biennale was held in 1895 and there are only
Read more…

June: Wedding Season!

In honour of all the weddings taking place this June (including my own) I thought I would show the most famous wedding painting of them all: The Arnolfini Portrait, painted by the incredibly brilliant Flemish painter Jan van Eyck in 1434 and known to all first year students of art history as an excellent example of symbolism in painting. The
Read more…

Who Run the World – Girls? The New Female Warrior

Have you seen Beyonce’s new video Who Run the World (Girls)? I havent’ been able to get it out of my mind. Check it out HERE. A promo image for Beyonce’s new video Run the World (Girls). Image: cdn.idolator.com While pro-women statements have been popular in pop music for a while, (the Spice Girls and Girl Power wasn’t so long
Read more…

VoCA Rumour…

Rumour has it that the newly released Creative Capital Plan, which makes a strong case for Toronto’s art and culture sector as a significant industry and revenue generator, may be short-lived. Image: ocad.ca The report, headed up by Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the City’s Economic Development Committee, is billed as a partnership between the City
Read more…

Two Degrees of Andy Warhol

I thought I’d share with you a photograph that was recently given to me. It’s quickly become one of my favorite things. It’s a photograph of Andy Warhol examining a Polaroid. It must have been taken in the early sixties, and it was taken by a friend of mine, a German art collector, whose daughter Warhol was doing a silkscreen
Read more…