Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Introducing: Critical Superbeast

I am resurrecting this blog with the announcement of Critical Superbeast, a blog of art criticism put together by a collective of artists, writers and administrators in Hamilton, Ontario. Stay tuned for my post about Trisha Leigh Lavoie's exhibition at hundreddollargallery The Comfort Bureau next week.

About Critical Superbeast:

Critical Superbeast is a collaborative art writing and publishing project seeking to actively de-stigmatize the act of being critical. While firmly rooted in a sense of place, content is not strictly focused on the Hamilton area. Contributors are encouraged to take a broad geographic view, to constellate cultural production in Hamilton within a greater contemporary context, and to challenge the opposition of centre versus periphery in arts discourse. 

Image: Suzy Lake, 322 Beaubien, Dorothy Evers-Marx 1910-13, 2014 (printed in 2016)

Monday, February 09, 2015

On The Waterfront at Hamilton Winterfest

On The Waterfront happened and wrapped only one short day ago. Main documentation to come soon, but here are some fun snaps taken by others found on Twitter.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Christiane Pflug

Christiane Pflug, With the Black Flag, 1971

Kitchen Door with Ursula, 1966

I saw a photo today of the inside of the AGO and was reminded of a painting I saw there from their permanent collection a few years ago that I really loved. After a bit of research, I found that the artist's name is Christiane Pflug and the painting is called With the Black Flag.

Even though the painting was done in 1971, it really reminds me of what the city looked like through my eyes as a child, maybe about 15 years later. While the Victorian houses in the foreground are generally associated with the central core of the city (Pflug lived her last years in an apartment near Summerhill Station), the high rises and hydro poles feel quintessentially Scarberian. The unsettling stiffness of the trees, the red sky, and of course the black flag give off a emanate an undercurrent of anxiety and foreboding. This feeling is only made worse by what appears to be a second flag emblazoned with the Elmer the Saftey Elephant logo...the stuff of childhood nightmares!

A little more research revealed that Christiane Pflug committed suicide at 35 on the beach at Hanlan's Point, which partially explains the mood of her paintings. I really enjoy both of these, and am interested in learning more about her.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The End in the Spectator

Nice mention of my piece The End (Evelyn Prentice) in the Hamilton Spectator today, in both the Spec print paper and website. Thanks to Spec art critic Regina Haggo for the mention in her review of the Invitational exhibition at you me gallery, which is up for another week or so. The closing reception and informal artist's talks will take place on Sunday, February 8th at 2 pm for those who are interested.

Read the review for yourself here: 

Monday, January 12, 2015

New Website

I made a new website over the Winter Holidays.

This website is different from my last because while it has a small archive of artwork, it focuses more on my curatorial projects. While I'm still doing a few final tweeks, you may find it here:

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Evolution of a Drawing

I just finished the above drawing for Maximumrocknroll's upcoming Comics and Art Issue. This one is a real hand still hurts!

The inclusion of the photos in this post illustrates how the drawn image came to be. In the summer, I took about a dozen photos after an industrial fire in the North End of Hamilton where I live. The photos turned out really well-- the contrast between the vivid blue sky, the iconic red Hamilton brick and the extremely orange rust was really striking. And the way the remains of the fire were reduced to rubble was also really something.

As amazing as the colour was in the photo, I decided to translate the photo into a black and white drawing. The idea for the drawing comes from global cities and global culture and the continuous allure of the cities named in the illustration (the text is lifted from the American Apparel bag) in contrast to my own feelings of immobility, and the obvious immobility of a lot of people who live in my city, and more specifically, my neighbourhood.

When I moved to Hamilton, I was more or less unemployed for over a year. In one of the coldest winters on record, Ben and I would walk for a half hour to his shop one block north of the site of this fire late at night to plan the business he was about to start. Even though we were on the cusp of "starting something new," it was one of the most depressing, lonely, fraught winters of both of our lives. Occasionally, I would go back to Toronto to visit friends and a favourite topic of conversation among many of my friends and acquaintances was the trips they were about to go on, had been on, or just went on as part of school or for pleasure. The contrast between the topic of travel and the way I felt at the time felt really cruel. 

This is what this drawing is about.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Winterlore on AKIMBLOG

Nice mention of last year's Hamilton Winterfest exhibition, Winterlore, on Akimblog's 2014 Critic's Picks, Hamilton edition. Thanks, Stephanie Vegh!

This year's exhibition is fast approaching. More info in this recent post here.