Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Giuseppe Penone

I came across some really inspiring images of the work of Giuseppe Penone in preparation for a presentation I'll be doing on his work for school. Penone is an artist from Italy associated with the Arte Povera movement. I am mainly interested in his work with food (he grew zucchini in molds of his own face, among other things), but he is probably best known locally for his large-scale installation Cedro di Versailles, which is currently installed in the Gallery Italia corridor in the AGO with some of his other work. Amazing stuff.

"My work developed from thinking about the principle of sculpture: how it broadens to encompass the elements of nature. It is the material itself that suggests the piece, a sculpture expressed in the equal juxtaposition of the human being and nature because the human being is nature. (...)
My work is by no means symbolic. It is based on the process, the method. I try to produce the work by pursuing the process of its making, the meaning and logic of the material. The work is the coincidence of the processes that have been formed; in this sense it is an identification."

-Giuseppe Penone

More on Penone here:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wunderkabinet, Round Two

Here are some pictures of my plaster fingers in the second Wunderkabinet exhibition, curated by Toronto expat Leah Buckareff. The show opened a few days ago, and runs until April in a cozy corner of a great shop/craft space called La Bastellerie in Berlin's Kreuzberg neighbourhood.

I was in last year's inaugural Wunderkabinet exhibition, and I'm thrilled Leah invited me back for a second showing, which features some of my favourite artists and crafty types from Toronto and abroad. The first photos give a glimpse of said talent, such as (from left) Sara Guindon of the Pin Pals, Lana Bragina a.k.a Uloni and Rosalyn Faustino. What company!

For more info on the Wunderkabinet, take a look at this website.

Photo Credits, from top: Lana Bragina and Leah Buckareff

Monday, January 17, 2011

Soft Rock

My mind was totally blown when I came across these LP pillows while doing an Exile on Main Street image search. The person/people who make them do commissions, and above are some photos of some of my favourites. It is not entirely clear who makes them online, but they can be purchased through New Zealand-based Etsy shop, Toggle.

If you could commission one cushion, what would it be? It's a tough question, but the New York Dolls debut came to mind on account of it's iconic centre label.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Restocked at Art History

I re-stocked a bunch of crafty bits and art multiples (what's the diff?) at Art History today. If you have a particular hankering for plaster fingers or ears, onion pins, tea pins, corn zines or Shrimplace, that is the place to get them locally.

Art History
1080 Queen Street West
(at Dovercourt)

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Hand and Rosary

Process shots of my work for the next School Jerks 7". Just finished it this morning!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Shrimplace on Etsy

Just put these up for sale in my Etsy shop. Check 'em out.

Monday, January 03, 2011

City of Craft 2010 Recap

Christmas and New Years came so soon after City of Craft this year, I've barely had a chance to reflect on how everything went yet! Above are three photos showing parts of the exhibition Love and Money, which I organized for City of Craft this year. Last year, I programmed 14 installations as well as a small-ish group exhibition, so by those standards I was a total slacker this year.

Love and Money reflected on intersections of craft and commerce. This is a sticky issue I think about often...I am a maker of craft-like things, but often feel positioned outside of both the mega-profitable how-to craft industry and the world of fine craft. Handmade craft objects in this day and age are in many cases luxury items that can only be afforded by a select few. This runs counter to the populist appeal of craft objects as opposed to, say, art objects. In addition, craft processes were employed in the past out of necessity and frugality, and to some in the west-- and to many outside of western cultures--they still are. This dichotomous relationship between craft and luxury and hand-making as a way of operating (somewhat) outside of the capitalist system is an interesting one. Each of these fragments of thought were floating around in my mind when I conceived of this exhibition.

Much of the work in Love and Money used craft to subvert notions of commercial exchange, and what can be considered "precious" or "luxurious." Themes explored included playing with and altering dollar bill imagery, the creation of objets d'art with imprecious materials, theft, combining making with altruistic/charitable gestures, creative reuse, and more. As the exhibition began to take shape, I was thrilled at how much the collection of work had an underlying sense of mischief and play with regards to the theme.

My big thanks to every individual who contributed to Love and Money-- each of the eleven artists in the exhibition, as well as Becky and Jen of City of Craft, and Janna, Valerie, and everyone at the Ontario Crafts Council.

In addition to curating Love and Money, I tabled City of Craft as a vendor this year. What a weekend! I met a ton of amazing people, and made a heap of moolah. This taught me that while the money can be a complex source of contemplation, frustration and stress, it feels pretty damn great to have it every once in a while...especially around Christmas.

Looking forward to what next year's City of Craft will bring!