Monday, October 24, 2011

Vancouver Art: Troy Brooks and His Colossus

While scouring Vancouver for cool art, we ducked into Adrenaline, a tattoo parlor, to see what they might offer. Artist Troy Brooks had a few prints on the walls which blew all the others out of the water. Very strong, commanding yet soft portrait based works with a dash of surreal narratives thrown in.

After checking out Troy's website, it is obvious this guy has his chops down. He has a huge new body of wonderful work, based on Sylvia Plath's "Colossus", (one of my favorite books of poetry.) Below are just a few gems (some are cropped) from his new works and the info for Troy's upcoming solo show in Toronto. It opens this Thursday -  it looks to be a stupendous exhibition.

Troy Brooks

Troy Brooks

Troy Brooks

Colossus opening reception October 27, 2011,
 Thursday 6pm to 9pm
 @ Toronto's Pentimento Fine Art Gallery, 1164 Queen St East. 

"Colossus" (artist Statement)
This series is inspired by the writing of Sylvia Plath. The characters in these paintings are not images of Plath herself. They're based on the archetype that surfaces for me in her poetry; the persona of a conflicted young woman with monolithic ruminations, trapped in simple, demure settings and the repressive social mentality of the 1950's. These paintings are about a woman, much bigger than the fatuous definitions imposed on her. She is, at once, expanding and in the process if imploding.

Vancouver Art: Surrealism at the Vancouver Art Gallery

Eclectix was lucky enough to have timed our visit to Vancouver with the surrealism exhibition "The Colour of My Dreams" at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Not sure whether this show will travel elsewhere, but if it does, it is a must-see for all surrealism fans.

 There were quite a few pieces we had already seen in person but surprisingly - a huge amount we had not seen! There were sculptures, paintings, writings, photography and movies - covering all the bases of surrealism. They had a nice side room dedicated to erotic surrealist's works as well. A large, well done hardcover book published for the exhibit is available for purchase here.

From the gallery notes; the exhibit -
"features 350 works by leading Surrealist artists, including André Breton, Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, René Magritte, Joan Miró, Alberto Giacometti, Leonora Carrington, Brassaï, André Masson, Man Ray, Edith Rimmington, Wifredo Lam and many others.

André Breton wrote the first Manifesto of Surrealism in 1924, launching a movement which continues to exert a powerful influence. Inspired by Sigmund Freud’s own investigations, Breton was fascinated by dreams and set out to create an artistic process which would tap directly into the unconscious mind and dreams freeing artists from what he saw as “false rationality.”

The installation of the exhibition is designed to create a variety of environments and moods in which to contemplate the themes that the Surrealists explored over a period of three decades such as desire, androgyny, violence and transmutation. The exhibition also highlights the many techniques developed by Surrealist artists including automatism, frottage, fumage, Rayographs and ‘the surrealist object,’ an approach to sculpture in which several unrelated components—most often found objects—were joined together."

The Vancouver "art gallery" is really a museum along the lines of all the grand old buildings of Roman architecture. It has an added-on area for a garden cafe on the upper level which has a 1970's look to it. The food was so-so and over priced, surprising because most meals to be had at museum cafes are pretty darn good. Outside on the street was a "taco truck" and from the looks of the line and the smell emanating from the fresh fish tacos, that may be a better choice for lunch. 

Vancouver Art: Shary Boyle's "Flesh and Blood"

Eclectix visited Vancouver, BC in our summer travels and have some goodies to share. The first is artist Shary Boyle and her exhibition at the Vancouver Contemporary Art Gallery. We searched the city for solo shows of merit and this, sadly, was the only one! There was a plethora of boring, tourist art in most the galleries, lots of pretty, scenic waterscapes and not much else. Shary's show was a great surprise.

This was a truly eclectic show, Shary created delightful modern day sculptures with a vintage feel, strong paintings and drawings and a trippy, kinetic light installation (as the main focal point of the show). Her subject matter ranged through women's roles and self perceptions, the environmental woes, spirituality and humanity's follies- with verve, balls and emotion. Thankfully, Shary actually has something to say and is not afraid to express it.

Capturing the changing projections, the many-layered dimensions in the installation in the photos (below) was very difficult. It was a treat to immerse yourself in, in person, letting the shdows play over your own body. Much like the central, sculpted figure with her web - the viewer was involved in "catching" the imagery- pretty, flickering Easter Egg colors juxtaposed with peaceful yet moving statements, it was a 3D experience we really enjoyed and lingered in. 

From the gallery's notes:
 "Boyle creates installations that examine a range of psychological and emotional situations rooted in a fictional world. Her position is at once feminist, yet poetic, located within dreamlike states. Tense with troubled emotions, possessing an expressive immediacy and poised between grace and strangeness, her portraits and ‘genre scenes' read as allegories of the human condition. Their resolutely symbolic language raises bold perspectives on the present, revealing a conscience haunted by a consideration of the morals of our world today."

Interview With Karyn Crisis and SR2 Gallery Opening Photos

Just published a new interview with artist extraordinaire Karyn over at the Eclectix Etc. site and we dropped into her current exhibition at SR2 Gallery for the opening of "The Major Arcana".  Have a few pix to share of some killer new works, we didn't feature in earlier posts, and some opening night photos.

Opening night at SR2 Gallery

Beautiful Karyn Crisis

Detail from above