General Idea’s Retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ontario

By Lorette C. Luzajic

The Art Gallery of Ontario really outdid itself this time, devoting two of its four floors of prime cultural real estate to the “art” of General Idea. It should have been called “No Clue.”

Given the breathless gushing about this Canadian train wreck trilogy of conceptual artists by critics and bloggers, I could have been fooled into thinking I’m the only one who doesn’t get it. But during each of the several occasions that I’ve spent time immersed in the exhibit, the dialogue of the audience around me gives it all away. “Is this supposed to be art?” I heard in not-so-hushed tones.  “How is this challenging? They were probably just high.”  “If this is the art my taxes go to, I’m with Rob Ford.”

Nor were all the visitors artless redneck bumpkins. “Another room of this junk?” asked one  to another. Both were well dressed, urbane women that I could assume attended countless art events. “I don’t get it.” “Am I supposed to get it?” The best was yesterday, from a little girl around five or six. She insisted on her own little piece of performance art, howling and yanking at her mother’s sleeve. “Mom! I want to get out of THIS PLACE NOW!”

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Talking with guest columnist Lorette C. Luzajic about her new poetry book, Solace.

Your first poetry collection was The Astronaut’s Wife: Poems of Eros and Thanatos. Are the themes in Solace a departure from those themes, the themes of love and death?

No. I would venture that love and death, or life and death, are  the main themes in most of art and literature, even science and politics and history and cinema. What else is there, really?  It’s true that the themes might be more obvious in a poem than in an abstract painting, for example, or a study about dieting. For me, that’s because it really takes an intensity of emotion to break open a poem.

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Just like skulls before it, the surge of the Octopus as a decorative statement has grown over the past few months, embellished on everything from t-shirts and jewelry, to plush dolls and art prints.

Octopus T-Shirt by ChiTown Boutique

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Amazing Graves

14 Oct

Amazing Graves

by Lorette C. Luzajic

The cemetery may seem an unlikely place to find tranquility, but I’m not alone in seeking serenity in the quietude of death. There seems to be no more elegant way of confronting the stark and solemn truth about ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Whether one said goodbye in the natural twilight of old age, or in the bloom of youth through horrific violence, in the cemetery they rest in peace.

Multi-story graveyard in Hong Kong – Photographer Unknown

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Drawings of Maess are always characterized by an uncommon precision of the line, frivolous and whimsical at the same time, and an uncommon saturation of the image, so often mistaken for computer generated images.

She draws from such distant sources as Spanish expressionism (with its dark humor), anti-discursive games of Duchamp (with their foolishness), and Monory’s neorealist painting, all tossed with caustic intensity. Her visual language varies between geographical markings, closed contour lines, computer-like documentation, a measure of potential instability and an eternally looping abstract form, with nervous, compulsive lines and organic structure. Here we learn more about her and her work in this interview:

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Columbian visual artist Pedro Covo’s work recently came across our path and we just had to share some of his gorgeous creations. Not only a fantastic illustrator, Covo creates some amazing paintings as well.

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In this short film directed and animated by Neil Stubbings, an unplanned pit stop for a solitary spaceman on a mission, turns into a close encounter of the third kind.

Adorably endearing!

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