The Artist Project 2015: Preparation

I have been hermit-ing in my studio for the past month, working diligently on a new collection of planimetric and urban map inspired pieces. These are destined for The Artist Project, a contemporary art fair in Toronto, coming up February 19-22, 2015. This is my first foray into the art fair world, and into the Toronto art world as well. An unnerving undertaking for this emerging artist. The Artist Project, now in its eighth year, promises thousands of visitors, hundreds of fellow artist-exhibitors, a hectic four days of bustling interactions, and a swanky-looking VIP opening reception ('do I have appropriate footwear for a Toronto-VIP-opening-reception-type event??' is the inane thought that plagues me at 2 a.m.'s). I am bringing my brother to Toronto in the role as art fair minion/assistant (his helpful advice on wardrobe/footwear: for the love of God, please just nothing with paint on it), so that I have someone to send on tea-fetching, crate-unloading, or heavy-lifting missions. Unpaid family labour, heh. 

I applied to the fair last fall with my non-representational work, a concept based on planimetric city maps and aerial views of urban spaces. I decided (brilliantly) to bring all new work to the fair, a task which seemed completely reasonable in November, but in the harsh light of January is looking more and more absurd. But that said, the work is chugging along! I may even finish by the shipping deadline. Miracles do happen. So long as I paint for 21.2 hours per day until February 10th. 

This work, like my earlier non-representational projects, depicts the city as series of layers and patterns, taking inspiration from graffiti and white-washed walls, razed building and new construction sites, urban planning maps and roadway patterns. Each piece is created through layering various media on the canvas, like copper, cardboard and paper, followed by many layers of oil paint and glazes. Here is a peek at the studio and some of the works in progress. I will post images of completed work before I leave for Toronto.