Idiot Box Cat : Northern Contemporary

Tuesday 19 March 2019

Northern Contemporary

You can say that I live up north... 

Last Thursday, I attended the launch of Northern Contemporary's new gallery space! I got there kind of late, so the crowd wasn't as big by that time, but it was fun. They had a few of their artists there on their grand opening night, as well as some of their works! Which I will show and discuss!

Here's a little more about Northern Contemporary! An exert taken from their website.

"Located in the historic Parkdale Theater building at 1605 Queen Street West in the neighbourhood of Parkdale, Northern Contemporary aims to showcase work from a wide range of artists focusing on illustrative, representational, urban, lowbrow, comic, pop art, and experimental work. The space is also home to a shard artist collective, housing over 25 different artists, artisans and makers featuring an incredible range of creative endeavours. Through a variety of events aimed to promote Toronto's already-thriving art community, Northern Contemporary provides greater exposure for artists to new markets. Come by and say hello!"  

So, I never really been to Northern Contemporary at their old location, but I've always heard about them, and seen some of the work from the collective of artists in that circle. For their grand opening night, they had 10 artist who displayed some great and unique works of art.

The walls are white, the ground is grey and patchy, the space is wide, and there's a random door.
Northern Contemporary's new space is spacious. Unfortunately I didn't get more photos of the space in the back, but there's a lot of studio spaces for artists who needs a place to work and be creative and there's a recording studio, and also there's a photography space for anyone who's looking to shoot some photos for a portfolio, a new display pic or for some kind of modeling gig.

It's pretty much a collective of artists that support artists with a space to create whatever there hearts desire, and since it's pretty much a public space, they do a great job of creating a community that inspires artists to do just that.

Now... Off to the world of the artwork of Northern's Contemporary!

The Artwork

So like I said, in the grand opening last Thursday there are a number of artists who shown their work!
I only have a few pictures from some of the works, so you guys won't get to see all of it. 

First off... 

"Unmanifest: Citrinitas"
Adam Giroux
Oil on Wood
36 x 48

Here we have Unmanifest: Gitrinitas by Adam Giroux, there's two subjects in this piece of art, one male and one female with a division between the two. They both have similar expressions, although the male looks more depressive and disdained. It has a really grayed out look and feel and the colors are very earthy, especially in the hair of the female, and the skin tones. I really like how Adam uses the colors to display emotion and expression in the piece. He really plays with rich deep colors that present an almost mist like quality to the piece. The shadows also adds to the expression and overall presentation to the image, almost as it, there's more presented there that we can't see. Overall it's a such an amazing quality of work by Adam Giroux.

"Her Absense Fills The Spring"
Moira Ness
Mixed Media
24 x 64

After the traditional expressions and artists directions of the great masters of the last couple centuries in human history, art began to take a different turn and presented the audience and viewers a different perspective and challenge in how they see art and how they define what art is. It began becoming political and social with messages, ideas, thoughts and content that was thought-provoking back in the late 50's. Moira is one of those artists who haven't forgot about that, and this piece shows. "Her Absense Fills The Spring" is a mixed media piece that consists of a long piece of a canvas that appears to be two long pieces of canvas stapled or taped together, that hangs off of a piece of board with holes in it. On the extra long canvas, at the top it's painted black with the words of the piece ("Her Absense Fills The Spring") pasted in bold white letters. I think this piece is one of those pieces that speaks to the right kind of audience who can identify what this artist is trying to convey. Since it starts with a gender pronoun, its obvious to say that it would speak to women who are either feeling empty, empowered, or inspired. Regardless of the message, this piece is one of those pieces that really makes you think about what's been said, rather than what's being seen. The imagery does speak a lot to the message, especially with the concept of the black paint being covered at the top of the piece. 

Keight Maclean collaboration with Moira Ness

Here we have a series of pieces by Keight Maclean and Moira Ness. All ranging from different sizes, as you can see here. Keight and Moira both take a very old masters, Michelangelo Renaissance approach to these pieces, breezily creating expressions of female's faces on each piece of wood. They reminds me much of Caravaggio's work, highlight the darkness and intensity in their body of work, the high contrast between the lights and the darks. I also like the spray paint effect in one of the pieces, giving it a very shocking look, breaking up the black in the background. Also, the one in the top right corner, with the woman who has her head tilted back while her hand is on her forehead, I like the drip effect coming out from under her arm, and her face. These pieces are amazingly done, and I like the traditionalism featured in this series.

Matt Daniels
Acrylic on Canvas
36 x 48 

So I met Matt Daniels a couple years ago at an ETA event that was hosted by an artist named Trilli, who actually runs the organization. Solid guy, you could tell he really is about his business and his craft, although at first I didn't think he was an artist based on appearance, not because I was judging him, or that I think that an artist has to have a certain look, but because I didn't think a guy like that would be an artist. Needless to say I was wrong, because his work is incredible. Here, we have "Intution" it's acrylic on canvas, soft pastel colors move through the image, with a coarse red line, a splatter of what seems to be a chestnut like color, and a pale blue patch. The yellow streaks are also placed on the sides, and there's another white patch that's even smaller located closer to the bottom right side of the painting. It's lush, it moves in a way simulates your mind and perception of what it is your looking at. I also love the contrast two, the red coarse line and the splatter of chestnut breaks up the painting and creates another dynamic in the piece. Matt has a nice way of using warm colors to create mood and distance, giving it a cooler effect, even though you are looking at a warm painting. 

"130 Commissions Rd"
William Emerson Gaydos
Framed archival print
16 X 20

So this is a framed print of 130 Commissions Rd, I'm assuming by William Emerson Gaydos. He's a photographer, I don't know if he also does art but while I was at the event he more of his photography up for display. I had to take the pic from the side because I didn't want my reflection to be in the photo. Stunning photo, I like the dark shadows of the side of the building how it creates balance with the nice blue sky that turns more white as your eyes glance down in the foreground. The rustic iron like building on the left side has this nice monochromatic tone the fits in nicely with the image. The white frame and the mat pulls everything together to make this photo very presentable. Love it! 

"To become a big bowl"
Cat Lamora
Paper, Adhesive
12 x 16 x 16
Here we have a sculpture piece by Cat Lamora. Very eclectic looking scupture, I love the flower illustration on the side of the bowl, with the red and white combination. The walls in the water look jarring. Facing each other in a very interesting parallel with two of them facing side by side vertically and the other two facing side by side horizontally. It's a cool little piece that could displayed in a living room or dinning room setting.

There's something to be said about a "collective" a group of artists who come together to do the one thing they enjoy and love which is "creation" plus with more heads you can accomplish more things, and you don't necessarily need to always have a call for submission because you have artists in your roster who can always put on a show. Me personally, if I were to be in a position to have a collective, I wouldn't want to have a gallery as well, because I would be focusing my efforts on getting my artists out there to tour different cities, and possibly countries for more exposure and potential clientele, but that's for another topic of conversation. 

Lastly, we have Emily May Rose's work! She's the raccoon lady that does this cute and interestingly funny illustrations of raccoons. She had returned from South Africa from an artist residency. Emily May Rose is also the face behind Northern Contemporary. Her work is stunning, and she also works in spray paint as well, making her creations known and seen by many. She sports a pink custom converse, an illustration of raccoons in an apartment being reckless, and a huge installation of her little raccoon guy on the left side. I was in love with her work when I had first seen it, and props to her for having an amazing outlet for artists to come and explore their creative and create a network of uber talented people.

So, there you have it, the new space have been opened up and they are currently taking submissions for studio spaces! Located at 1605 Queen West for those of you who are artists, and who are also living in Toronto, Canada. 

Follow Northern Contemporary on all their social media accounts 
Website: Click Here
Facebook: Click Here
Instagram: Click Here 

and... Come by and say hello!

With that being said, 

Catch you on the flip side folks! 

Paint-Life. 2019. 


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