Making Of

October 23, 2008

By Mike Landry
Mathieu Lefevre wears his art on his sleeve, and on his hat.

Mathieu Lefevre wears his art on his sleeve, and on his hat.

A series of ass paintings, a large mound of papier-mâché, and a homage to Jackson Pollack in the form of a studying desk littered with gum on it’s underside—just three of Mathieu Lefevre‘s small sculpture works from his latest exhibition Making Of.

Each piece is made from a new process Lefevre has been toying with—making art by not trying to make art. Grouping his creations together the show becomes a statement about finding more meaningful and productive ways to waste time.

“Just sitting around thinking about stuff, twiddling thumbs, waiting for inspiration to hit—you’re not really making anything but you are at the same time,” says Lefevre. “So all the pieces are made through just sitting around thinking about other stuff besides what you’re doing, which in this case was making pieces for this show.”

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Surfacing

October 23, 2008

By Mike Landry
A detail view of one of Zipp's scale-model gallery sculptures.

A detail view of one of Zipp's scale-model gallery sculptures.

After making a name for himself with his video work, Collin Zipp is taking breaking a break. He had been editing something on his computer a few months ago and was getting a nasty headache. So he went out to his garage, picked some old wood and started building

The result ended up being his first non-video exhibition, Surfacing. For the exhibition, Zipp has compiled the products of the all ideas that had been popping into his head recently. Surfacing will include sculpture, painting and collage.

“I’m kind of making a leap away from my comfortable area, and jumping into some new work,” says Zipp. “I’m pretty pumped about it.”

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Proverbs for Paranoids

October 23, 2008

By Mike Landry
Pete Smith's "Owtzdowe."

Pete Pete Smith's "Owtzdowe."

Rather than spending his lunch hours Tupperware dining, Pete Smith would go exploring with his digital camera. He was living in Toronto at the time and was documenting the physical geography around his home and his work—graffiti, billboards, paint spills and what he calls “visual interferences in our visual landscape.”

“Our landscape is pretty much filled with junk—graphic junk that we don’t really notice or pay attention to because there’s just so much or it and it’s all competing,” says Smith.

His latest series of abstract paintings take these visual interferences, and reworks them in an act of escapism from this busy world. The works are part of a new exhibition called Proverbs for Paranoids. Sometimes he takes recognizable forms like the city of Toronto, or the recycling, logo, but mostly he takes images hidden in the background of advertisements and logos.

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Making Real

October 16, 2008

By Mike Landry
One of Eli Bornowsky's untitled abstract dot works.

One of Eli Bornowsky's untitled abstract dot works.

Eli Bornowsky isn’t sure if the next week is going to be fortuitous or bad, but he sure is stressed out. The Vancouver artist is presenting 10 new abstract works at Blanket Contemporary Art Inc, as well as opening a show he curated at Or Gallery.

Both shows deal with the artist’s conviction towards a particular kind of subjective experience. It’s an experience he feels abstraction does quite well.

“It has to do with thinking about your sensing, thinking about your thinking, and experiencing your experience,” says Bornowsky. “It’s also a difficult experience, which I find challenging. And that challenge is important for looking at art.”

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The Maybe People

October 16, 2008

By Mike Landry
Jude Griebel's "Vacant Room, Seated Figure."

Jude Griebel's "Vacant Room, Seated Figure."

Drawing inspiration from children’s books and folk tales, Vancouver-based painter Jude Griebel has become a modern day Geppetto turning material into people’s portraits. Griebel crafts implied bodies of his subjects using domestic objects from his subject’s lives, such as scraps of clothes, furniture and other domestic material.

Griebel has been working figuratively in his work for the past five years dealing with themes of alienation, isolation and the imagination. His latest work has him making the whole piece figurative, turning his subjects into scarecrow like forms.

“By using pieces of these people’s personal symbols and arranging them it often stands in for them without the flesh,” says Griebel. “It’s these traces of these people, and it could almost be them. Often it seems more real, and carries more information about them, than an actual conventional painted portrait.”

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By Mike Landry
Jeremy Hof's award-winning work "Layer Painting Red."

Jeremy Hof's award-winning work "Layer Painting Red."

Before Jeremy Hof knew anything about art he knew he was a painter. Now his passion for the medium has taken him to forefront of emerging Canadian visual artists, after taking home top prize at this year’s RBC Painting Competition.

It’s an interesting to position to find young Hof in given his work could be argued as having as many sculptural elements as painterly aspects. And it’s a claim Hof agrees with, but insists that doesn’t mean he works aren’t paintings.

“I want to see painting evolve as well into areas maybe that aren’t familiar,” says Hof. “I want to try and create alternatives for paintings that will spawn new ideas or different understanding of what a painting can be. I personally don’t believe a painting just has to be paint applied with a brush on a piece of canvas.”

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Fear the Doily

October 9, 2008

By Mike Landry
One of Alain Bonder's menacing doily works.

One of Alain Bonder's menacing doily works.

When Alain Bonder was living in Montreal his dad used to send him random images with notes scrawled on the bottom. One of his favourites was an image from an old Italian horror movie of a man cowering under the covers.

For many years the note lived stuck to the Ottawa-based painter’s walls. But something clicked last year, and Bonder decided to pair his own macabre rendering of the image in black and monster green with an ornate doily dipped heavily in black paint. Although it was meant to be a keeper, Bonder soon found himself with an entire series called Fear the Doily.

“On top the doily looks dead on like a UFO to me. So it was this strange object, but at the same it’s something that would never hurt you,” says Bonder. “You would have to really try to be hurt by a doily.”

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