Saturday, April 16, 2011

Canadian Artists

Continuing from the "Reflexive" post on Thursday, we now move into Canadian artists talking about Canadian artists…I selected handful of artists/photographers from, or, working in Canada (many of which you may be familiar with), and asked them to write briefly about a Canadian artist they found interesting...

A big thank you to all the artists for their selections.

1. Robert Canali
Robert Canali - CMY, 2011

Andrew Wright

Here is an artist named Andrew Wright, born in Cambridge, UK, but works out of Ottawa, Canada. I'm interested in his most current body of work entitled "Coronae" from 2011. The images depict expansive arrays of blackness that surround a center-weighted glowing orb which Wright refers to as a corona, a spin off of the celestial phenomenon. In the hope of perpetuating the ambiguity of the work, Wright uses the word Corona and its meaning to challenge our perception of the work by alluding to space, the moon, science and the unknown. The images themselves are seemingly nonrepresentational, however, at the same time they do represent what they actually are; each image is a digital scan of pin hole in a negative surface. The puncture wound in the negative is visually transformed into a somewhat celestial, nonsensical representation.

- Watch the video for a better idea of what the work is about.

Andrew Wright - Corona 1 (detail), 2011
Andrew Wright - Corona 2 (detail), 2011

Jessica Eaton - cfaal 65, 2010

Kristan Horton

I first saw the work at the CAG in Vancouver a number of years ago and was really impressed. In the series a still from the film is paired with a reconstruction of the still made out of everyday "crap".

Though Kristan is an artist that only sometimes uses photography, that series in particular was truly impressive in how clearly it speaks about the medium and the abstraction of putting space and light/shadow onto film.

Kristan Horton - Dr Strangelove Dr Strangelove, 2003-2006
Kristan Horton - Dr Strangelove Dr Strangelove, 2003-2006
Kristan Horton - Dr Strangelove Dr Strangelove, 2003-2006

Matthew Booth

Matt is a really great photographer who makes very very nice prints (it sucks to have to see his work online!). I visited him recently and got to see some new works in person. I was really excited to see he has posted some on his site though.....because he had been keeping them secret! I attached two of my favourites.

- Matt is also one of the editors of the excellent Canadian art publication Pyramid Power.

Matthew Booth - Matt Grubb, New Haven, CT, 2010
Matthew Booth - Phil M. Leonard, Century City, 1988, 2010

Seth Fluker - from Before Things Change (Published by Schnauzer)

Ali Bosworth

Ali Bosworth is a young photographer who is currently living in Victoria, BC. We recently met in Vancouver and everything I knew about his photography prior to meeting him became evident in his personality. While flipping through his 4 x 6 inch prints, I was instantly impressed by his desire to create the next best Ali Bosworth photograph rather than trying to promote the last best Ali Bosworth photograph.

Ali Bosworth - from his series Cappadocia (Summer 2008)

Lili Huston- Herterich - from her project Paintings, 2010

Sara Cwynar and Tibi Tibi Neuspiel
("Made in US" at 107 Shaw Gallery)

Here are a selection of install shots of the work in "Made in US" that I love so much. Why: they're nailing those brief 6 minutes in the morning when you can completely loose yourself in cereal packaging. Between slumber and consciousness, comprehension and imagination, reading nutritional facts serves as a catalyst for meditation, allowing for a dream-like epiphanies while slumped over O's. And, to top it off, how refreshing is it to see work dependent entirely on the aesthetics of commercial packaging have nothing to do with consumerism? Phewf!

Sara Cwynar and Tibi Tibi Neuspiel - installation shot
Sara Cwynar and Tibi Tibi Neuspiel - installation shot
Sara Cwynar and Tibi Tibi Neuspiel - installation shot
Sara Cwynar and Tibi Tibi Neuspiel - installation shot

Chris Ironside - Mr. LongWeekend #22, 2009

Suzy Lake

Before there was Cindy, there was Suzy. Both artists have been and continue to be points of reference and influence within my work. However, it was Suzy Lake who got the ball rolling when in September 1993 I enrolled in her Photo I class at the University of Guelph. Suzy wowed me with a canon of photographic artists, helped make me aware of creative aspects that existed within myself, and most of all, she gave me permission to play. I was hooked.

What I most love about Suzy's work is the performative and poetic sensibilities - the way in which they co-exist, compliment one another and, as a viewer, engage me. It is Suzy's photographic series, "My Friends Told Me I Carried Too Many Stones" (1994) that for me is her quietest and most self-reflective body of work up to that point. I am drawn back time and time again to the heaviness the title of the work implies, which speaks to those "stones" we all carry, but it is her pose and her gesture that I lose myself in. With her back turned to the camera, her left hand picks and scratches away the layers of wallpaper on the wall in front of her. It is a sifting through the past - searching for a sense of self. A clean slate. Hope.

- Magenta Magazine feature

Suzy Lake - My Friends Told Me I Carried Too Many Stones #15, 1994
Suzy Lake - Re-Reading Recovery, 1994 (installation view Mois de la Photo 1997)

Alex Kisilevich - Untitled, 2011

Rafael Ochoa

There is a certain familiarity, ambiguity and absurdity in his images that is quite distinct from his Canadian peers. He’s also been working with 3D rendering, using conventions of design and art history in a reductive approach, creating these really stunning, almost abstract images.

Rafael Ochoa - Space Painting (Career 2), 2011
Rafael Ochoa - Pink Ladder, 2010
Rafael Ochoa - Score: 2 to 1, 2010
Rafael Ochoa - Untitled 3, 2009 from "Glitzophrenia"

Jennilee Marigomen - from a series in progress

Ali Bosworth

Ali Bosworth's sensitive images capture the essence of living a quiet and serene life on an island in the West Coast. It is hard for me not to feel nostalgic, poignant, and safe when looking though his photos. His images are warm and honest and his unassuming style stays consistent wherever he goes. I agree with what I once heard someone say that his photos - "Ali's photographs are a beautiful stream of consciousness." His most first book, Kyklades (Gottlund Verlag) was named one of the Best Books of 2010 by Photo Eye Magazine.

- An interview with Bree Apperley on Too Much Chocolate.

Ali Bosworth - from Kyklades (Published by Gottlund Verlag)

Seth Fluker

I have been a fan of Seth Fluker's work and projects for some time. His most abstract photographs have beautiful painterly qualities to them and are full of depth, feeling, and symbolism. This Uta Barth quote reminds me of his work.. "I am interested in getting you to engage in looking rather than losing your attention to thoughts about what you are looking at. Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees is the title of Robert Irwin’s biography.”. He has been part of many notable exhibitions, including photography shows with Vice and Dossier, and is doing some great work with his publishing company, Schnauzer.

- An interview with Vice Magazine.
- An interview with Dossier Magazine.
- An interview with 01 Magazine.

Seth Fluker - Front Door 2 (Doormat), London, UK, 2009

Chris Taylor

Chris Taylor's photography shows his unique perspective and his keen ability to pinpoint the strangeness and absurdities in everyday life. I enjoy how he has fun with his photos and projects - a true reflection his personality. On the flip side, his most recent series of images of the recording artist, Bill Callahan, are both timeless and stunning, and beautifully capture his strong, modest and unassuming nature. Chris is incredibly motivated and has assisted the likes of Alec Soth, Eric Klemm, and Mary Ellen Mark.

- "When We Were Together" - Photo Essay for 01 Magazine

Chris Taylor - from his series "This Changes Everything"