Are we being extorted by art? | Page 5

Discussion in 'Politics (Toronto Issues)' started by Glen, May 4, 2009.

  1. thedeepend

    thedeepend Senior Member

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    The man himself, at an opening in New York with ever-present cigarette (lung cancer would eventually kill him).

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    The fabled block: Av Isaacs, with Carmen further to the north, and ground zero for the tiny queer art and fashion scene in the pre-punk days, the Fiesta Restaurant, sandwiched between the two.

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    There aren't that many photos of the gallery floating around webwise, but these two shots from 1969 give a good sense of the space. The art is ‘of its time’, and long forgotten. You can see Carmen standing on left.

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    An installation shot of General Idea’s “Going Thru the Motions” at Carmen Lamanna, 1975

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    Also the original installation of the “Boutique from the 1984 Miss General Idea Pavillion”, 1980. Anya Varda manning the desk.

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    General Idea "Reconstructing Futures" 1977

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    Last edited: Feb 27, 2010
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  2. thedeepend

    thedeepend Senior Member

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    i had to check...almost $500,000 for a good 70's Ewen--wow!

    Lot # 034

    William Paterson Ewen
    AANFM RCA 1925 - 2002 Canadian

    Full Circle Flag Effect
    acrylic on gouged plywood 1974
    96 x 132 1/4 in 243.8 x 335.9 cm

    Sold For: $468,000.00 CDN
    Estimate: $400,000 ~ $600,000 CDN


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  3. Urban Shocker

    Urban Shocker Doyenne

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    aa looks like he's having a Klaus Nomi moment in that group photo, deepend.

    http://aabronson.com/

    Decades before Damien Hirst chopped sharks in half and pickled them, Mark Prent's show at the Isaacs was one of the gallery highlights of our first year at OCA.
    This is a photo-silkscreen of Prent's Thawing Out - the original sculpture came up for auction in 1996:

    http://www.markprent.com/m/images/Thawing Out PrintSmall.jpg
     
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  4. adma

    adma Superstar

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    I adore how this thread's being extorted by art.
     
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  5. adHominem

    adHominem Active Member

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    deepend, those shots are lovely. I went to the reconstructed Miss General Idea Pavilion at the AGYU not long ago - did you catch it? I quite enjoyed it, as I was too young to have seen the original.
     
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  6. thedeepend

    thedeepend Senior Member

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    yes, from Klaus Nomi to Gerrit de Boer. hmmm.

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    personally i don't get the whole Greek Orthodox Patriarch/Talmudic scholar look for gay men, but maybe i'm old fashioned.

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  7. adma

    adma Superstar

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    Are their names "Trade" and "Mark"?
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  8. thedeepend

    thedeepend Senior Member

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    Regrettably I missed it, but I did see a lot of their work in its original context. The canonical work related to 'Miss General Idea' proper is before my time, as the majority of it was done in the late 70’s, but i saw the later ‘archeologically themed’ works relating to the 'Miss General Idea Pavilion' at Carmen's and other venues.

    By the time I was out and about in the art world it was the mid 80’s, and they had moved on to the poodle work, and the beginnings of the AIDS themed work that defined their later career. All in, it’s just such fantastic work. They are easily the most significant Toronto artists ever--no one else comes close….

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  9. Urban Shocker

    Urban Shocker Doyenne

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    I used to devour ( well, not literally - my hunger for art didn't go that far ... ) copies of FILE Magazine in the OCA library in the early '70s, and dropped by Art Metropole on Yonge Street now and then for their library. I now have one copy of FILE left, that's all. G.I. used to have audience "rehearsals" for the much-anticipated future event called the 1984 Miss General Idea Pageant at the AGO, though I didn't go. This site gives a nice idea of Toronto's art/music/gay scene in the early to mid-'70s:

    http://www.rbebout.com/divas/dcarole.htm

    We interviewed faculty for the student magazine and asked them to define art. From Graham Coughtry: "Art is my brother."
     
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  10. Tina–Twilight

    Tina–Twilight New Member

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    The Atlantic Records artist further commented on the music industry during his interview, referring to it as “a follower gang” filled with artists searching for something to latch on to.
     
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  11. Lenser

    Lenser Senior Member

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    I took classes with Graham Coughtry as well. I loved his "Figurative Departures" class, which was a lively free-for-all. He also played the best jazz during the model sessions. About all he did was encourage people to explore - paint, and paint a great deal. I remember as a very young man agonizing at one point over the future of painting - what with the rise of video, laser holography and performance art - and asking Graham if he thought "painting was dead." He snorted and replied that it may be "when I die but until then it ain't." And that was that. He was a real character but I appreciated his candour and his bonafide love for figurative art and painting in general. I came away from his classes seeing him as an important ally in my own resolve to keep on painting, regardless of what my fellow citizens might think of the arts in this country.

    I also remember attending a crowded opening of his in '80 or '81 at the Isaacs Gallery in Yorkville. Lots of 6' square and larger figurative paintings, rendered in that deliciously juicy way of his. I was with a friend, extolling the virtues of Graham's robust impasto technique - and made the mistake of thrusting my index finger a little too close to the canvas. Suddenly the tip of my finger sported a creamy dollop of flesh-coloured paint. I looked quickly around, alarmed, and very carefully and quietly grabbed a serviette and wiped the still fresh oil off of my finger. Graham really rushed that one to exhibit.

    As a painter I've become accustomed to the odd layman's brutish dismissal that paintings like mine are crap, that "my kid could do that." You have to have a thick skin or you're toast. It's also amusing to consider that the Painters Eleven were at one time at odds with the legacy of the Group of Seven. Nowadays I see far more striking parallels and similarities in the two periods than I see profound differences. I guess every era has its champions and that part of celebrating the new often involves the compulsion to trash the old. Some things never change.
     
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