17 April 2017 – I’m not too sure about that “high & low” distinction, but I stand by “art & art.”
And every molecule of it breathes Toronto.
Henry Moore’s Two Forms, for example, an icon of the Art Gallery of Ontario, long resident at the AGO’s N/E corner (and due to be relocated to Grange Park).
Fine art, “high art,” that inside the Gallery would be guarded & untouchable.
Out here on the street corner, it is beloved by all, stroked by all, sat upon & slid through by many, and never vandalized — except by all that love. “It’s worn through to the rivets,” a conservator once told me ruefully. “One of these days, we’ll have to have it repatinated.”
Inside the AGO, I revisit one of my favourite rooms, a quiet little room tucked away in a corner of the 2nd floor, housing only two works by Inuk artist Jacoposie Oopakak.
I love the simplicity of the caribou skull, title Family, its antlers delicately carved with images of people, a family tree.
I love, too, the painted line of caribou slanting down the wall, refracted by the case to dance with the skull as they walk and keep it company.
I’m back outside again, dog-leg into an alley just N/W of McCaul & Dundas — and look at this!
Street art featuring a high-minded quote by a brand-name thinker.
(Ignore her. She is not contemplating the art. She’s on her cell with her boyfriend, comparing their respective holiday weekends.)
I am impressed. I look up the Voltaire quote later on, back home. Many sources agree, it’s by our man Voltaire all right. One disagrees. Nah: Pierre de Beaumarchais said this in 1775, while working on the 2nd scene, 1st act, of Le Barbier de Séville. (Well, strictly speaking, no. What he said was: “Aujourd’hui ce qui ne vaut pas la peine d’être dit, on le chante.”
Really? I have no idea. Click here & decide for yourself.
Or ignore all that, and instead contemplate this next bit of alley-art philosophy, cheek-by-jowl with M. Voltaire/deBeaumarchais. No authorship dispute here: it’s the work of Blaze Wiradharma.
We are spoiled for choice. We can say something, sing something … or just spray it instead.