Thursday, August 25, 2011

Drew Burnham at Bau-xi Gallery

Bau-xi Gallery is located across the street from the AGO in Toronto and we checked it out with visiting there. The current exhibit were works by Canadian artist Drew Burnham, all large wilderness,  landscapes. Generally, I like landscapes - what's not to like? However, they can be boring and empty, lacking interest or spice.  Drew's works were not lacking anything - vivid in color and contrast, fluid in composition - exciting kinetic lines of wild scenes. They had an almost hallucinogenic feel, staring at them it felt like someone had slipped you some magic mushrooms. Trippy leaves, deep flowing shadows and psychedelic colors vibrate the eye, reminding one of Henri Rousseau's "The Dream". Beautiful works that make you want to hike inside them along with Alice in Wonderland.

Playing Dead in Kensington Market, Toronto

Really nice Miles Davis mural on a corner shop

After walking all around the "hip" part of Queens Street West in wilting, hot humidity- we got brave and hiked up to the Kensington Market area of town. 

After some iced coffee we were ready to peruse all the fun little stores, vintage shops and arty places. A more colorful and gritty part of town, with a lot of street art and bright colors.

Stopped into Black Market, a huge place full of vintage clothes, great fluffy prom dresses and costume wear.
Harry Potter wear at Black Market Vintage shop

Up the street was Play Dead, the most interesting and artful shop we found. Street art style paintings, hand painted tees and jackets, lots of dark, skull apparel with some humor thrown in. Art on rough hewn wood and other found objects, gothic clothes and Mary portraits.
Play Dead exterior

Play Dead skull art

Play Dead art

Play Dead art
My favorite piece in the shop was a line up of aerosol cans in an old crate. Covered with Campbells soup labels, ala Warhol - they would have made a great tee shirt for the more hip tourists or the locals wanting to show a little homegirl pride. Alas, none were to be found or I would be sporting one right now.