Category Archives: art

The nine circles of hell from Dante’s Inferno recreated in Lego

Not your everyday Lego project, to be sure. And yes, this is just as amazing as you might think.  Hell is no less scary when done using blocks.

For the entire series, see: The nine circles of hell from Dante’s Inferno recreated in Lego by Mihai Mihu – Telegraph

It nicely highlights the sculptural aspect of Lego is only limited by the imagination of the builder-artist.

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Thoughts on the architecture of the TTC

Is the TTC architecture bad? It’s something I have been thinking about after the critical comments from “A.R.” in which he pointed  out that: “Toronto has some interesting subway architecture, as well. you know. Maybe you should appreciate some of the creativity in the system” in response to my comment that “Toronto subway stations…look like washrooms without the necessary plumbing”.

I think alof of Toronto subway architecture is, if not bad, then boring. In this blog post I found, David Ahm from the TTC agreed, saying, “The Yonge-line stations are from the ’50s and ’60s and are functional but kind of boring.”

This blog post with Ahm’s comments were interesting, because you see the challenge of designing a subway station, budget being one serious consideration. But that doesn’t mean there can’t be interesting design work done on a subway, and in fact, lots of Toronto subway stations are well designed. And despite limited budgets, the TTC is looking to have better and better stations in the future, which is a good thing indeed.

Of my favourite stations, the ones I most like are Old Mill, Rosedale, Yorkdale and Dupont. I like the openness of Old Mill and Rosedale. They belong to the neighborhood, somehow. I feel like I am in a different city when I am waiting for a train (or a bus) at the Rosedale station. And I love the windows of Old Mill. Perhaps it is no coincidence that they are both above ground subway stations.

I also admire the design of Yorkdale and Dupont. Yorkdale makes the subway system itself seem dynamic, while Dupont is like an experiment in subway station design.

I like other stations too, like Queen’s Quay, Museum and St. Andrew and St Patrick. Of the latter two, I like the “tube” like design of the tunnels. It reminds me of a European subway station.

One thing I really like about the TTC is their choice of artwork. It is a collection of some of the best Canadian artists, from Charles Pachter to Joyce Wieland to Micah Lexier. And the scale of the work is striking, whether it is the 1.5 million one-inch tiles, used by Toronto artist Stacey Spiegel to create Immersion Land or 3000 handwritten samples that Lexier collected over 5 years to create “Ampersand”.  Anyone visiting Toronto should stop at various stations just to see it. (You can get a sample of it all by going to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto_subway_and_RT)

Feast for the eyes! Life photos archive hosted by Google

You can see it here: LIFE photo archive hosted by Google. (Thanks to kottke.org for the notice!)

Robert Lepage Brings His Magic to the Metropolitan Opera in NYC

Robert Lepage is bringing his brilliant stagecraft to the Met in New York with a production of “Faust”. I’ve seen LePage’s “Erwartung” and “Bluebeard’s Castle” and I thought they were exceptional, but he seems to be doing something really incredible with this production, as he intertwines the production with the voice and movement of the performers, so that the entire show interacts. You really want to read the article and see the video, so visit Techno-Alchemy at the Opera – Robert Lepage Brings His ‘Faust’ to the Met – NYTimes.com

I would love to see this show.

A great blog on photography


is The Year in Pictures including a great entry on Chicago based artist Jason Salavon. There is lots of great imagery and ideas here, but lots of nudes too, so it may be NSFW.

(Thanks to kottke.org for the tip)

Cloud paintings from Richard Herman


I love the cloud paintings of Richard Herman. You can find out more about his work and even purchase it from the fine Toronto art gallery, Art Interiors.

Lucient Freud at the MoMA

Currently the MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art in NYC) has a exhibit of Lucian Freud Etchings. For those not aware of Freud’s work, this could be a great introduction to it. And to fans of his (like my friend, Bruce!), this is a great opportunity to soak up more of his work. See  Lucian Freud: The Painter’s Etchings for all the details.

(Thanks to Occasional Oasis for the pointer).

Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools: Art and Fear

Kevin Kelly, in his list “Cool Tools”, has excerpts of what looks like a good book for anyone who wants to know not just about making art but being creative generally. Here’s a link to the site, and here is a fascinating story from the Cool Tool: Art & Fear

‘The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot -albeit a perfect one – to get an “A”. Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.’

A new art form: the customer review at Amazon!

Want to see what I mean? Go see:

Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon, 128 fl oz

It’s 97 pages. 9-7.

If you open up your web site to others to work on, they may work on it in ways you might not suspect.

(Tip: http://www.andrewsullivan.com)

Get your Christmas presents here at Art Interiors

This Toronto Based Gallery Specializing in Art from Up and Coming Artists has a great annual festival of small works of art on sale for $50 to $250. And the people who run it are great people too.

A fantastic website dedicated to Gustav Klimt

A great flash presentation on The Life and Work of Gustav Klimt can be found at this site. Lots of his work here, from the famous like “Judith with the Head of Holofernes” to early portraits. A visually stunning site, which is most appropriate for this great painter.

Edward Burtynsky’s Quarries on exhibit in Toronto


At the NICHOLAS METIVIER GALLERY is Edward Burtyhsky’s Quarries. As he says:

“The concept of the landscape as architecture has become, for me, an act of imagination. I remember looking at buildings made of stone, and thinking, there has to be an interesting landscape somewhere out there because these stones had to have been taken out of the quarry one block at a time. I had never seen a dimensional quarry, but I envisioned an inverted cubed architecture on the side of a hill. I went in search of it, and when I had it on my ground glass I knew that I had arrived.”

It is on for a few more days: check it out if you can.

Gerhard Richter books at Amazon

Amazon has quite a good collection of Richter books, including this one, which I quite like:

and this one, which is a fine little collection:

and this one, which covered the MoMA’s retrospective of Richter.

For this entire list, go here:

Amazon.com: Gerhard Richter

The shattered Still Life of Martin Klimas

Over at The Morning News – Still Life

is a feature on an amazing artist, Martin Klimas, who as the artlcle says,

destroys a lot of clay to make his art. Combining the silence of Eadweard Muybridge’s horse pictures with the association-rich composition of a still life, Klimas breaks recognizable objects so they become something else, and stops us just at the moment of transformation.

(Thanks to andrewsullivan.com for this one)

Edward Hopper and Winslow Homer at the Art Institute of Chicago

In 2008, The Art Institute of Chicago will be putting on an exhibit of Edward Hopper (with a bonus exhibit of Winslow Homer going on as well). Here’s an idea of what you will see regarding Hopper:

The exhibition will be arranged chronologically and thematically, focusing on the work he executed in Gloucester and Truro, Massachusetts, Maine, and New York. Approximately 50 oils and 30 watercolors, together with literature and history of the artist’s own time, will show Hopper’s place in the tradition of American realism and modernism. Edward Hopper and its companion exhibition, Watercolors by Winslow Homer: The Color of Light, will provide a survey of the American realist tradition and chart the growth of modern subject matter—from Homer, America’s first modernist, to Hopper, the nation’s best known 20th-century realist.

Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” in Second Life

Robbie Dingo has produced this fantastic video using Machinima software and Second Life to recreate Van Gogh’s Starry Night painting. It is impressive.

Thanks to Aaron Kim to pointing this out!

Canadian Opera Company’s Richard Bradshaw dead at 63

Sad news today for people who love opera: Richard Bradshaw dead at 63

The brilliant Women in Film

From the brilliant eggman913, who brought us Women in Art, comes Women In Film

Wonderful.

How to paint the Mona Lisa using MS Paint!

You might think: that is insane?! MS Paint. The same MS Paint on my Windows machine that’s hasn’t changed since 1985!

Watch the video. It is amazing. I think Leonardo would approve.

FlickVision is the new Life

There is a new interface to Flickrvision: flickrvision (beta)

It is a 3D map of the world that spins around and shows photos people are posting on Flickr. You really have to see it. I find it profound to see all these images, from the sublime to the goofy, being posted. I even saw one of a trail around my neighborhood.

It reminded me of Life magazine, except it continual, and the photographs come from everyone.

I also had a thought watching this, imagine flying around the world, dropping down from time to time, and watching what everyone is doing. It is an approximation of omniscience. :)

77 Million Paintings By Brian Eno

Brian Eno has new work at the Long New Foundation that was featured at the Venice Biennale


You can (and you should :) ) read more about it here: 77 Million Paintings By Brian Eno

Or go to The Long Now Foundation

and learn a whole lot more interesting things.

An awesome, terrifying, beauty

When I watch this video, I feel like two different parts of my brain are working at the same time: one part comprehending the beauty and another comprehending the terrifying content. See it yourself:

Women in Art

This video is an astounding compilation of women represented in famous paintings. Each image transmogrifies into the next in a seamless way as if to suggest that all of western painting is a continuous work. You have to see it.

Women In Art

One thing that it made me think of is the actual women who model for the painters, as opposed to the painters and the paintings themselves. The ability of it to do this is remarkable.

One more reason why YouTube is great.

How do the numbers add up (visually!)

Chris Jordan does an amazing job of depicting statistics. The magnitude is simply….awesome.

Check out his current work here.

For instance, see

a depiction of two million plastic beverage bottles, the number used in the US every five minutes.