With a final few brushstrokes left and the selection of which painting goes where on the gallery walls, Toronto contemporary artist JOHNY DELUNA is just a few days away from launching his exciting new solo show, “Spontaneous Levitation”, at the Art Square Gallery, 334 Dundas St West (opp. the AGO).
I caught up with Johny over the weekend and asked him to share some last-minute thoughts on his new show….
As your solo show, Spontaneous Levitation, draws closer, how many new works of art will be represented at the show? I will be showing about 10 new works from this year and about 15 works from prior years.From where have you drawn inspiration for these new canvases? The genesis of most paintings starts with one small event or observation My inspirations come from observations of the human condition. I try to depict the fragility of our lives, the unusual effects of random events, the consequences of our behavior. It seems that issues rarely disappear they simply re-emerge in a modified form. I want to articulate these ideas in a new and fresh way, so I let the work express itself intuitively. Sometimes I don’t recognize the finished piece as mine. (No Free Lunch, below).Can you share the story behind one or two of these new masterworks? The piece titled Eating Spaghetti With Scissors (below) is based on our need to add unnecessary complexity to our lives. Perhaps this complexity gives us comfort, the feeling that our life is richer and better. I think we mistake motion with progress and quantity with quality. When we can’t answer an important question with a straight answer, we fake it with circuitous logic. We vigorously defend this opinion with a mind numbing jumble of half baked ‘truths’, opinions, rumors and petty biases. We end up ‘going to the wall’ defending these opinions; opinions that that we don’t fully understand ourselves.What would you like gallery visitors to come away with after viewing your work? I hope people will find the show to be very fresh, humorous and thought-provoking. I hope the works will speak to each person in their own way. I hope visitors will encourage their friends to visit the show as well.Come meet Johny at his opening reception and view his provocative large-format paintings (acrylic on canvas) this Thursday June 8th (6-9pm) at Art Square Gallery, 334 Dundas St West, Toronto. Show runs until June 19th.
Last year, artist COLIN NUN displayed his typographical painting “Union” during Urban Gallery‘s annual group show and it turned out to be the show-stopper of the exhibit (see below).This month, Toronto’s URBAN GALLERY proudly presents Colin’s solo show “Prototype” featuring his unique and intricate paintings including a smaller version of his popular painting from last year, this time titled “Union II” (below)As I wandered around the gallery, each painting threw down the challenge “read me” – so standing back and squinting a little, each painting became the word and the meaning. A recipient of an Ontario Arts Council grant, Colin’s work is fascinating and I was intrigued by a smaller piece, a 12″x 12″ gouache on paper titled “Coop” – the more I looked at it, the more I related to the meaning of the word. Hopefully I can afford to put a red dot alongside it within the next week or two. Sold!Colin has a number of big bold paintings such as “Crux”, “Cycle” and “Barber” (below)…and I especially liked his “Void” – can you see the word on the canvas below?Colin’s proud dad, Frank (below, right) brought along some family friends and they gravitated towards his large canvas titled “Deluxe”. Colin’s twin sister Erin also dropped in to support her brother – here she is enjoying some refreshments along with the artwork (below).These super cool dudes, all friends of Colin’s, dropped in and added their thumbs-up to the show……especially his buddy Frank who seems to have a personal connection to “Cream” (below). In order to maintained his dignity and integrity, tho, I employed my “don’t ask, don’t tell” interview style with him…LOL!Let’s watch now as Colin tells us all about his work….
Gallery curator, Allen Shugar (below L) enjoyed hanging this show and he spent some time chatting with Colin during the reception.Two of my fave pieces are “Joy” and “Silence” – each is subtle and the texture Colin achieved with the oil paint makes them both very tactile (but I restrained myself and kept my hands to myself!)Colin shared his creative insights with gallery guests and he attracted attention from fellow artist Erik Chong (2nd pic below)…If you’re looking for an exciting gallery experience, definitely consider dropping into Urban Gallery while Colin’s work is on display. All paintings are very affordable for the budding art collector, and each is mind-expanding and visually challenging. You can learn more about Colin at: www.fineart.colinnun.com/Urban Gallery is located at 400 Queen St East (just E of Parliament) Toronto. Hours and directions here: www.UrbanGallery.ca And please do follow the gallery on Instagram and upload pics of your visit to Colin’s show (just like these two guests) @UrbanGalleryTO
What an unexpected pleasure to receive a last-minute invitation to join contemporary artist Linda Langerak last night at the super cool Super Wonder Gallery at 876 Bloor St West, Toronto. The gallery was hosting a show inspired by Rorschach, featuring multiple local artists’ work incorporating the Rorschach inkblot concept and Linda was one of the participating artists (below) with three distinct pieces on show. lankyratcreations.comWhat an explosion of colour! I was blown away by the number of pieces cleverly curated by Daniel Anaka, also an artist himself…and very cuddly, too! (see below)
Photo courtesy Linda Langerak
Below are a few of my fave works that really stood out, and I encourage you all to drop in to see the show yourself – Rorschach runs until Friday Nov. 27th.I must admit there were two pieces that really resonated with me….what do you think of these?
Relianece by Freya Kazemi
Bull Painting 1 by Thelia Shelton. Photo courtesy Linda Langerak
I ran into artist Kris Hamilton who has recently moved to Toronto to pursue her painting career and I loved the two pieces she showed me here..Linda intro’d me to several of her fellow artists whose work also hung on the walls -here’s the handsome and talented Paul Dolgov….And below, here’s the fabulous Gaya Kairos….Meet Michelle Dinelle (below) all colour coordinated with her art…And here’s the super suave Ricardo Silva…So come take a virtual walk thru the gallery with me and enjoy more stunning works…
I caught Linda snapping away, capturing some of her friends’ works….Big THANK YOU to gallery owners Christian Aldo (artist & event booking) and Kevin Bushman (operations/bookings) for hosting such a grand event and supporting local Canadian artists. Super Wonder Gallery is also available for event bookings (live entertainment shows, corporate events, private parties) and is fully licensed so check out their website for details. www.superwondergallery.com