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the Big Picture

Every once in a while we find ourselves wondering:
What does Toronto art look like?

If you were to line up art made by 20 or so local artists and look at everything as a group, is there any clear picture that makes the art particularly Toronto-y, like a "school of...," or some vibe that could be named?
We noticed, too, that as eds who publish a Toronto art mag, we can get stuck on our own familiarity with the scene.So we asked four interesting people to choose four or five artists they think are making interesting art in Toronto. These are their choices.

The four interesting people:
(read more about) filmmaker Richard Fung, writer Sheila Heti, curator Michelle Jacques, and designer Leanne Shapton.

blue planter

City Beautification Ensemble

(left) untitled, in Kensington Market, Toronto (2002)

"The CBE is an organization that is dedicated to the improvement of city living through the vigorous use of colour. The act of Beautification itself involves the continual addition of site specific, mood enhancing hues applied to the urban landscape in order to off-set the ill effects of the built environment that surrounds us." (from a CBE press release)
Learn a bit more about CBE at Mercer Union
Contact CBE
col envelope

Douglas Beube

Douglas Beube uses the titles and content of books to inform his sculptures.
Contact Douglas dbeube@mindspring.com





Glen Crumback

untitled pencil crayon on mylar 10 x 12" (2002)

Most of Glen Crumback's images are a combination of original drawings and tracings of found images. They're all drawn with pencil crayon on sheets of mylar.
Buy Glen's art at Katharine Mulherin Gallery http://www.busgallery.com


Karma Clarke-Davis

Auslander video still (2002)

Karma Clarke-Davis's videos are mediated autobiographies that have historical as well as pop culture references, especially to music videos. She was born in Trinidad and Tobago, grew up in the Saskatchewan prairies, and then lived in Toronto. She has uprooted herself again, to live in Berlin.
Buy or rent Karma's art at Vtape http://www.vtape.org
Contact Karma karmamachine30@hotmail.com


Yuri Didrichsons

untitled charcoal and graphite 13 x 24" (2002)

Yuri Didrichsons is also the guitarist for the rooty rock band Tangiers. He is attracted to innocence and strangeness and most of his drawings include animals and kids.
Buy Yuri's art at BUS Gallery http://www.busgallery.com
Contact Yuri yuri_didrichsons@hotmail.com


Karen Henderson

Water-lens Floor-wall 1,972 colour photographs 11' 3" x 28' 10" (1997)

Karen Henderson's large-scale work deals with small measures of visual change. They are more or less about what curator John Massier observed in 1999--reminders that every moment is the same and every moment is different. Henderson studied at Camberwell School of Art in London, England and at the University of Victoria, British Columbia.
Contact Karen karenah@interlog.com


Marla Hlady

Three wigs dance in circles and are controlled by a loop of three chorus versions of Waltzing Matilda (2001)


Helen Jones

Ilena oil on canvas 16 x 20" (2001)

Helen Jones is an art student at Avenue Road Art School in Toronto. These portraits were done as class assignments for John Viljeon's popular Masters Class in Portraiture.

Mara Korkola

Mara Korkola

No place 30 #1 oil on wood panel 4 x 5" (2002)

Mara Korklola uses actual locations in her paintings but she chooses sites that are particularly generic and mundane. She shoots and drives and keeps any notable buildings out of the frame.
Buy Mara's art at Lonsdale Gallery in Toronto lonsdale@idirect.com,
or Douglas Udell Gallery in Vancouver dug@douglasudellgallery.com
Contact Mara Mara_Korkola@camh.net


Nestor Kruger

two turntables digital video on dual screen projections (2002)

Nestor Kruger's work often deals with realities and fictions, and recently with natural and virtual nature. His first digital video project, two turntables, was shown at The Power Plant last summer. The installation involved two projections of 100 Linden trees, each one synthetically created using an inexpensive software program.
Another Nestor project: http://www.artmetropole.com/site/thebalcony/kruger/kruger.htm
Buy Nestor's art from John or Roger at Goodwater Gallery goodwatergallery@on.aibn.com


Jason Logan

untitled mixed media on paper (2001)

Jason Logan draws primarily with gouache, ink and black pen. He uses contact lens solution to create watery effects.
Contact Jason at jasonlogan@yahoo.com


Kent Monkman

Nearer My God To Thee acrylic on canvas 36 x 48" (2000-01)

Kent Monkman's Prayer Languages series addresses the effects of Christianity on Aboriginal sexuality. Erotic images of men wrestling are barely discernible beneath layers of Cree syllabics that were resurrected a century ago by an Anglican missionarly in Manitoba and used to transcribe church hymns. It is not clear whether the figures are embracing or fighting. They are, perhaps, a metaphor for conflicting ideologies.
More about Kent http://www.urbannation.com/kent.htm
Contact Kent kent@urbannation.com


Louise Noguchi

Crack video still (2000)

Recently Louise Noguchi's videos and installations have combined self-portraits with all things cowboy. In one video loop, the artist is seen strapped to a wooden disk while having knives thrown at her as the disk spins in circles.
Another excellent project by Louise http://www.uturn.org/Prisissue/noguchi.htm
Buy Louise's art at Robert Birch Gallery http://www.robertbirchgallery.com
Contact Louise louisenoguchi@hotmail.com


Kelly Richardson

There's a Lot There video still (2001)

Kelly Richardson tries to make work which is somehow simultaneously absurd, hilarious, beautiful, sad, pathetic, lonely, futile, and exciting. She has exhibited nationally and internationally in Taipei, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Melbourne and New York. Upcoming exhibitions include the Islip Art Museum, New York (Sept 25-Nov 17, 2002), Art Gallery of Ontario (Nov 20, 2002-Mar 2, 2003) and Robert Birch Gallery (Nov 15-Dec 7, 2002). She now lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Buy Kelly's art at Robert Birch Gallery http://www.robertbirchgallery.com
See more of Kelly's art www.kellyrichardson.net
Contact Kelly coffee@ca.inter.net


Brent Roe

All Those Seeking Meaning Line Up Behind This Canvas acrylic on canvas 24 x 24" (1997)

Brent Roe's paintings are characteristically cartoon figures and text within an abstract background. Roe: "The thought bubble, surely, is one of the visual arts' greatest inventions."
Buy Brent's art at Wynick/Tuck Gallery http://www.wynicktuckgallery.ca



untitled (Mimico Fish & Chips) from Vernacular Drawings (Drawn & Quarterly, 2001)

Seth goes by only one name. He was born in a small Ontario town in 1962 and moved to Toronto to become an illustrator. His work has been seen in Details, Spin, Mother Jones, Saturday Night Magazine and lots of other famous magazines.
More about Seth at Drawn & Quarterly http://www.drawnandquarterly.com
Contact Seth clyde_fans@hotmail.com


Derek Shapton

Derek Shapton's photography has appeared in numerous magazines including GQ, Raygun, Harper's, Elle, This, Toronto Life, and Shift. This self-portrait series, shot while driving around in a Buick Century, vary in dimensions and formats. The series started in 1997 when Shapton bought the for one dollar from his aunt. A lot of Shapton's time is spent driving.
More about Derek www.derekshapton.com
Contact Derek derek@derekshapton.com

swizzle sticks

Swizzle Sticks Theatre

Swizzle Sticks Theatre has a core group of twelve stilt dances who have been working as an ensemble for seven years. Artistic director Christopher Pinheiro is a choreographer and textile designer from Trinidad. He now lives on Toronto Island.
More about Swizzle Sticks http://www.torontoisland.org/swizzlestick/index2.htm

Margot Williamson

Margaux Williamson

future pond scene mixed media acrylic 4 x 3' (2002)

Most of Margaux Williamson's research is done while riding her bike around the city. Her paintings are created out of her imagination and not from actual things or places. Williamson: "I get excited about what happens when you let things get out of control. I just let things happen."
Buy Margaux's art at Katharine Mulherin Gallery http://www.busgallery.com


Kevin Yates



Sean Yelland

Sean Yelland tends to think of his paintings as stills for films that don't exist. A narrative is always hinted at but the plot is left consciously ambiguous.
Contact Sean seanyelland@rogers.com

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