Who knew so much went into planning an exhibition when making the artwork was hard enough in itself? Unfortunately putting on exhibition is more than simply printing photographs and framing them onto the wall but never fear, we have complied a small list of things for you to consider before displaying your lovely work!


It is important to consider the type of the lighting your work will be placed under. If you have fairly warm tones in your photograph and it is placed under tungsten or natural lighting, this could create an overall warm tone to your photograph that you may not want. It is key to view the space beforehand and colour balance your work to fit the lighting accordingly or bring in additional lighting as needed. Windows will also affect lighting and mixing different colour temperatures can cause an odd colour balance. Remember, the photographs will appear darker and less vibrant once printed than on your computer screen so it is always good to make multiple test prints!


There is more than one way to exhibit your work than simply hanging it on a wall. You can use magnets to create a seamless and borderless look or use frames for a geometric structure but be sure to consider the reflection on top of the glass! The artwork could be tethered to wire and suspended from the ceiling or at the top of a wall to appear as if floating.  Depending on what surface you choose to print or paint onto such as a fabric, it can then be folded and draped across a wall. Light boxes are also a unique and innovative way to display photographs that further illuminate and intensify the details of the images.


Depending on the type of surface your work is printed or painted on, the texture could create an unwanted appearance. Glossy paper is going to be highly reflective once a light is shone on it, however it makes coloured images look more vibrant and lively. Matte paper can appear quite flat and cause photographs to loose depth. It is always good to print on multiple surfaces and bring them into the gallery space to see how the look under the lighting. You could also print on: metal, wood, fabrics or glass; the possibilities are endless.


If you’ve created a body of work that all flows and connects with one another, consider how they will be placed and sequenced on the wall. You can place the images chronologically as if to tell a story or if the images do not necessary belong together, they can be grouped by colour or content. Sequencing is important to keep in the back of your mind when arranging the images. Try to think as a viewer walking into the gallery and where their eyes will travel first and carry through onto the next image. How do you want the work to be observed? Be sure to leave space between each piece to allow it to be observed solely on its own or keep them together if you wish to create a different affect.

We hope these tips and tricks have given you some things to consider when planning your next exhibition! You can always draw inspiration from other galleries to see how they display their work or call on other artists for assistance and opinions. Best of luck!

Welcome to 2017

It’s that time of year again. January is the start of a new year and new adventures. Every year we all want to start our blank canvases with a shiny new coat of paint to achieve that end goal. But with our eyes on the prize and the steady stream of every day life- how can we achieve all our resolutions for the new year?

Mark Rothko, Untitled (Black on Grey), 1970

Mark Rothko, Untitled (Black on Grey), 1970

Abstract Expressionism is a 20th century movement in art that focused on using abstraction to invoke a sense of emotion for the viewer. Rather than looking at a painting, a viewer is invited to experience a painting. With large-scale works like Rothko’s Untitled (Black on Grey), 1970 and Pollock’s Autumn Rhythm (Number 30), 1950 it’s easy to see how one might find themselves lost in thought, transfixed by the meditative quality of the paint.

Jackson Pollock, Autumn Rhythm (Number 30), 1950

Jackson Pollock, Autumn Rhythm (Number 30), 1950

So how can we better achieve our goals and find that perfect work-life balance for 2017? Slow down. Abstract art’s contemplative expressiveness can help us train our minds to relax, enabling us to better focus our attention and really take on our goals. Relaxing your mind, body, and soul is key for success. And what better food for the soul is there than art?

At Twist Gallery, we want to see you set new intention for this year. We change our exhibits every month so there is always something new to experience and something new to learn. January features several abstract artists and we have a whole year of exciting art to look forward to in 2017. Make time for art. Make time for you.   

Detail of Liv Collins, For You, 2017 (on exhibit at Twist Gallery until Jan 27)

Detail of Liv Collins, For You, 2017 (on exhibit at Twist Gallery until Jan 27)

Catherine Harasymiw, Cosmos A; Cosmos B (on exhibit at Twist Gallery until Jan 27)

Catherine Harasymiw, Cosmos A; Cosmos B (on exhibit at Twist Gallery until Jan 27)

Joseph Connolly

October 1st, 2016 marked a day in history for 94-year-old Joseph Connolly. It was on this day that an effervescent smile brushed his face while watching twenty-eight of his large-scaled paintings being installed before his eyes. It is now, several years later, that Connolly is reunited with a few of his beloved paintings, which were concealed in a Montréal storage. That Montréal storage was a time capsule of over a hundred pieces of Connolly’s artwork. A selection of his paintings are now being featured for the first time ever and Toronto’s Twist Gallery is playing host.

Before paintbrushes and stretched out canvas, Connolly was formally trained as a businessman; the owner of a women’s clothing company. By the time he was 50, he had sold the successful company to explore the road untraveled.

Connolly swapped his commerce way of thinking for an abstract way of looking at the world. He originally wanted to dip his toes in the arts by participating is a class or two to learn the various painting techniques. After being informed that he wasn’t allowed to take one class, and that he had to be a registered student, he took the plunge and enrolled at Concordia University, in Montréal, Québec. It was during the 1970’s that Concordia University embraced the young-at-heart artist and reconnected Connolly with an artistic passion that would consume him in his Montréal studio for 35 years.

Connolly’s current solo exhibition reflects the influences of his generation. His artwork varies from bold geometric abstraction to passionate brush strokes that paint the flower beds that resemble the fervor techniques of French Impressionist painter, Claude Monet.

It is now - because now is a better time than any – that the wisdom passed on from businessman and artist is being told with the support of his family. Connolly embodies the true meaning of art, what it means, and why we value it. At 94, Connolly is living proof that a person’s creative ambition is the patient warrior guiding us to our triumphant accomplishments.

Joseph Connolly. Photo Taken by Amie Lovan 

Joseph Connolly. Photo Taken by Amie Lovan 

Joseph Connolly and his family. Photo taken by Amie Lovan 

Joseph Connolly and his family. Photo taken by Amie Lovan 

 Joseph Connolly’s solo exhibition is being held at Twist Gallery, located at 1100 Queen St. West, Toronto. It is open to the public from Tuesday – Saturday: 11am – 6pm, October 1st to October 29th, 2016. 

KINO SPACE: Artist Feature

Kino Space is currently on at Twist for the month of September. The show consists of several artists who work in the film industry with a diverse background in photography, painting and mixed media works. KINOSPACE began as a way for artists working in the film industry to get out of their working studio environments and create and collaborate together.  

This week we’d like to take a closer look at Shari Lee Hollis’s work and her process behind it. Shari creates large scale oil paintings on wood. Her work is inspired by personal notes to self, and things we need to remind ourselves of. A particular standout piece of hers in the show is three wood panels titled 'Let Go or Be Dragged'. Shari says this piece evolved from the idea of human nature’s pattern to often repeat a behaviour over and over hoping for a different outcome when what we really need to do is just let go for change or to move forward, saying that “sometimes we need a fix foot painting with a relevant message to push us forward!”

Shari was kind enough to share some images of work in progress.

Kino Space runs until September, so be sure to come by the gallery to see this and more in person.

Peep The Technique: Gary Barnett

Gary Barnett is an abstract painter residing in Kitchener, ON. This month Gary's best works are being featuring in his solo exhibition, 'One Concept' here at Twist Gallery. We caught up with Gary at the opening reception for his show to learn about where he gets his inspiration and the techniques he uses in his work.

How have your past experiences in music and graphic design led you to pursue painting?

Well music, I got involved with music when I was very young actually. I started taking piano lessons when I was about ten years old. A little bit beyond that I got into new age music, which really is a more natural, organic type of music, so I think that got me interested in other forms of art, which led me into graphic design. I took graphic design in college and in that program I studied life drawing, which really inspired me to go more in the direction of fine art rather than graphic design.


Explain the philosophy or concept behind the artistic style in your paintings.

The concept for my paintings when I first started painting, I used to draw landscapes, flowers, trees, I think I was inspired by nature like most artists are. But I soon realized I was just copying nature and I wasn’t really happy with the results I was getting, so I wanted to experiment with trying to re-create nature. I guess it comes from the concept that all nature, all life in the universe is just chemistry and energy, we’re basically just a mass of energy floating through time and space, that was kind of the initial concept behind my art. Then I started using paint, mixing it with different chemicals, applying forces to the paint rather than controlling the paint with a brush or a knife or other traditional tools. I started blowing the paint, using gravity to control the paint, vibration, and mixing different chemicals with the paint to see what kind of results I could get. Basically the idea is that I wanted to create a natural event on the canvas, actually re-create life on the canvas, or as close as I could get to that.

You have a unique method of painting that combines paint and natural forces. Can you explain this technique?

The technique is again based on the fact that all life is chemistry, and through experimenting with different chemicals , mixing different types of paint together, I use different forces to control the paint. I have a table that I work on that’s about eight feet long and about four feet wide with a glass top. So what I do is I lay a canvas on the table, soak it so it’s really flat, and then I start pouring the paint on the canvas and start using forced air to blow the paint, add different chemicals with the paint, I mix different types of paint together. One thing I’ve discovered is that at a molecular level, acrylic paint and different types of paint are very similar to organic life. So when you mix them together and apply energy to them you can get very interesting, natural results that appear, fine details and things that happen in nature that you see in plants or frost on a window for example, and you can get that by manipulating the different types of paints.

What do you want people to feel when they see your work?

I guess I want them to feel the same way that they would feel looking at a sunset or looking at an ocean or just looking at nature. I think a lot of paintings, they create the mood or they depict that scene but you don’t really feel that energy or feel that connection with nature and that’s what I’m trying to depict with my paintings, to re-create that emotion that you feel when you look at nature.


What sets your work apart from other abstract painters?

What would set me apart is the fact that all of my paintings are all based on this one central concept of energy, nature and life, and in effect trying to re-create nature on the canvas, and I think a lot of painters, they create a concept, each painting has its own message or it own concept, whereas for me all of my style of paintings relates to one central concept, which I think makes me different than most painters.

Where/how can people learn more about you and get in touch?

The best way to get in touch with me is through my website at There’s links to all my social media on there and also my e-mail.

Gary's exhibit, 'One Concept' is open to the public until December 12th, check our Exhibitions section or go to for more info on the exhibit and Gary's work.

Putting A Price Tag on Your Magnum Opus

As an artist it can be a challenge earning yourself and your artwork recognition, this can be a daunting task on its own. But once you have established yourself and your style the next step is making it all worthwhile, a.k.a selling your work and actually making a profit.

One of the most important factors concerning selling one’s artwork is pricing. It is easy to set the bar high for yourself but it is also all too common for artists to sell themselves short, resulting in lost time, money and effort, which can become very discouraging.

Obviously if you are an artist you do what you do because you are passionate about it, not because you want to make money. But taking yourself and your work to the next level requires a marriage between this passion and a business-minded approach to pricing your work.

Here are some key tips to consider when deciding how much you think you and your artwork is worth:


1. Materials.

First and foremost, whatever the cost of all materials used in producing any given artwork should be the base for giving it a price tag. Let’s say you spend $60 on all materials for a single piece, start here.


2. Time.

Decide on an hourly wage that you think you deserve, but be realistic. If you haven’t sold anything before, then start low, obviously no lower than minimum wage. Then multiply this number by how many hours you spent working on your piece, plus the cost of materials.

And remember; base this off how much time you spent working on the piece, not how long it took you to complete it. Let’s say your wage is $18/hour and you spent 10 hours working on it, that’s $180.


3. Be competitive.

Now that you have priced your work according to the cost of your materials and the time you have devoted to your baby, take a look around. Explore how much people are paying for similar artwork by similar artists within your community or artist network.

You don’t want to charge way more than other artists are charging for art that looks just as good as yours, nor should you sell yourself short. This is the trickiest part of setting your price and it can add hundreds if not thousands of dollars to your price tag.


Planning Your Event at Twist

Whether it is a wedding, corporate event, seminar or any kind of celebration, it is our passion to deliver to our clients a personalized and unforgettable experience here at Twist Gallery. Over the past 6 years we have hosted countless events ranging from wedding receptions, to yoga seminars, to corporate conferences to virtual reality film festivals and we have had a blast doing it. In working with our event partners we have the ability to give our clients an acting role in planning their event down to the smallest detail, and this is what keeps our clients coming back.

Through working with some of Toronto’s most notable catering organizations we are able to make the food at your event a major hit with your guests. With top-notch presentation, quality control and creativity our caterers can impress even the most skeptical foodies. Whether your event calls for a 5-course meal, or simply snacks and appetizers, our caterers have proven over the years that food will be a major hit with your guests.

Consider our 5,000 square foot venue as a blank canvas that can be fully customized and transformed into your ideal event space. With fully customizable furniture, bar, food, lighting and sound options you can make your dream event a reality. Call us today to get started on planning your next big event with Twist Gallery.


Kino, the word for cinema in several languages, has become synonymous with a cinematic movement that encourages non-competitive creativity and community amongst filmmakers internationally. KINOSPACE is committed to spotlighting Canada’s screen-based artists by showcasing works from a diversity of backgrounds, provinces, mediums and formats including: film imagery as photographic stills; short films; painting; photography; and mixed-media works.

                                                                                                                      Works by Youri Makovski

                                                                                                                      Works by Youri Makovski

KINOSPACE began as a way for artists working in Canada’s film industry, unionized and independent filmmakers, craftspeople and technicians to get out of the studios and collaborate together. Launching this exhibition during the month of September enriches the film festival spirit in the city by broadening and opening doors for artists to participate and engage in Toronto’s major celebration of cinema while exhibiting a broad spectrum of image art talent from Canada’s community of film makers.

                                                                                                    Works by Annie Bradford Metheany

                                                                                                    Works by Annie Bradford Metheany

The exhibit features work by Chagall Velleneuve-Hollis, Shari Lee Hollis, Youri Makovski, Jack Ruttan, Jeremy Kane, Frances Mckenzie, Annie Bradford Metheany, Debbie Wong and Jasmine Mujkanovic. Each artist brings a unique artistic style to the table and showcases their creative abilities aside from those they demonstrate in Canada’s film industry. Twist Gallery invites you to experience the pieces on display in KINOSPACE that cumulatively resonate a deeply genuine and organic portrayal of each artist’s talents apart from the film industry. 

                                                                                                                      Works by Shari Lee Hollis

                                                                                                                      Works by Shari Lee Hollis

                                                                                                                        Works by Debbie Wong

                                                                                                                        Works by Debbie Wong

                                                                                                              Works by Jasmine Mujkanovic

                                                                                                              Works by Jasmine Mujkanovic

                                                                                              Works by Jeremy Kane and Jack Ruttan

                                                                                              Works by Jeremy Kane and Jack Ruttan

                                                                                                                  Works by Frances Mckenzie

                                                                                                                  Works by Frances Mckenzie

                                                                                                       Work by Chagall Velleneuve-Hollis

                                                                                                       Work by Chagall Velleneuve-Hollis

Output - Spring at Twist Gallery

This month at Twist Gallery we are proud to be featuring photographic work by alumni of Humber College’s renowned Creative Photography Program. The diversity of approaches to photography is quite broad and each artist has done a stunning job of putting their own twist on the conventions of photography.

 In the spirit of the annual CONTACT photography festival that spans across Toronto for the month of May, we have focused this month’s exhibit on photography. It is an interesting time in the world of photography as the tools needed to experiment with photography are now readily available to almost everyone. Almost all mobile devices these days now have built-in cameras to utilize, many more people have their own camera, and quality has become evermore affordable. Social media has also opened the door for the masses to photography, with apps like Instagram that allow anyone to have a chance to develop their own photographic style.

Last month’s exhibition “Reverie” featured the portfolios of photographic work by students graduating from Humber’s Creative Photography Program this year. If you checked it out you would have seen the works of talented emerging photographers. It is interesting to see where the artists in this month’s exhibit are at in their photographic journey knowing they too were once curating their own portfolios for graduation. We invite you to experience the work that these alumni have produced in their artistic journey since their graduation from Humber’s Creative Photography Program.

Weddings and Other Events at Twist

Over the years we have hosted so many beautiful weddings and created memories that will last a lifetime for all of our guests. Whether you are looking for a space to hold your wedding ceremony, corporate or social event, Twist Gallery is happy to meet all of your event needs. From catering, to sound equipment, to furniture and floral design, our guests have been able to plan with us and our partners to create the perfect atmosphere for their special day and/or event. Give us a call or send us an e-mail with any inquiries you may have regarding hosting your event at Twist Gallery and we will work together to make your desired event a reality. 

Still Life Opening Reception

This month at Twist Gallery we are hosting the Still Life Group Exhibit, featuring a group of talented Canadian artists who have each put their own dynamic touch on the Still Life art form. Similar to real life, Still Life isn't always a bowl of oranges. As beautiful as a simple bowl of oranges can be, the artists featured in the exhibit have each brought something new to the timeless art form of Still Life. Come check out the Still Life Group Exhibit until February 27th, Tuesday to Saturday 11am - 6pm.


A Call To Artists

We are always looking for new, talented artists with fresh artwork to feature here at Twist Gallery. Whether it is your first, or one hundred and first show, we offer the same professional and hospitable treatment to each of our artists. Artists are welcome to exhibit solo or with a group. Check out our artist submission guidelines page ( or drop us a line, anytime!


Abstraction: An Exploration into the Unknown

When one thinks of abstract art generally what comes to mind is a broad art style for which no rules apply. When an artist embarks on an abstract project it does grant them a great deal of artistic freedom however some rules do apply. Colour, line, shape and form must all be present and there must be very little indication of a visual reference to real-world objects.

Abstract art came about in the early 19th century when artists were gaining more artistic freedom and the ability to make a living out of their art due to the public’s growing interest in art and the diminishing need for artists to depend on the church for business. This caused artists to leave behind the artistic ideals that lingered since the renaissance in which art’s main goal seemed to be to imitate as closely as possible real life settings and to represent three-dimensional perspectives. Rather, artists began incorporating styles derived from Romanticism, Expressionism and Impressionism and began an exploration into the unknown.

This month we invite you to experience how a handful of talented Canadian artists have continued that exploration into abstraction through a variety of mediums in A Departure from Reality: The Abstract Collective.


The Founding Father of Modernism

by Louise Coleman

Who doesn't enjoy a bit of Jeopardy?

Who doesn't enjoy a bit of Jeopardy?

A while ago now, the final Jeopardy! question within the category ‘History of Art’ asked the contestants to answer the following: who was the founding father of modern art?

As usual with IQ-testing game shows, the risk of saying the wrong answer, hurting your pride and potentially your ego far outweighs the self-satisfaction of a correct answer. However, with this particular question, the answer was plain as day.

It had to be Paul Cezanne. One of the most important painters of the 19th century, his unparalleled technical approach to painting was admired and mimicked by many of the great artists from the 20th century art movements, who saw Cezanne as an icon for his expressive use of colour and new, heavy-handed technique. There was no quandary, the answer would be Cezanne.

Paul Cézanne, self-portrait, ca 1880

Yet Alex Trabek, the host, did not concur. The other contestants had no new suggestions, and he was forced to reveal the answer: Francisco de Goya.

Amid a foundation in modern art by means of readings, teachings and research, this was a perplexing outcome. The devout standpoint on the subject contrary to, in my opinion, majority belief piqued my interest. What made Goya the most plausible patriarch of modern art?

Francisco José de Goya, Self portrait with spectacles, ca 1800

Arising from the 18th century and the Industrial Revolution, the birth of modernism was characterised by the challenging of realism and its subsequent fusion with abstraction. A new art was ignited: one that not simply recorded a picture of the world, but one that imprinted a complex and intimate perception of it.

The position of “first modern painter” has always been fluid, and often darts from one 19th century artist to another. Whittling down the parentage of modern art to a single artist is a subjective review, and often depends on which exhibition, artwork or artist currently has the critic’s attention.

However, Cezanne has remained a firm favourite for the role. Nature was a fascination for Cezanne, and this subject matter carried him through his progression from natural, light-filled paintings, typified by the Impressionistic aesthetic, to a new era of painting, Post-Impressionism, where he united colour and form through emphasis on structure and solidarity. His technique is distinguishable by thick layers of pigment, vigorously applied using small, pixellated brushstrokes, to construct planes of colour and distorted tonal variations.

Cézanne, Mont Sainte-Victoire seen from Bellevue, 1885

Goya arrived on the scene earlier than Cezanne, who began his technical experiments with still-life paintings in the mid- 1870s. Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown in the 1780s, until he became seriously ill in 1792, leaving him permanently deaf. It was from this point his art began a metamorphosis, as his style became less inhibited and revealed bold, penetrating characterisations that were almost caricature - unprecedented in contemporary religious art. His painting turned to a darker subject matter after the Spanish Civil War, in a period known as the ‘Black Paintings’, as Goya illustrated his embitterment and disillusion towards society.

Goya, Saturn Devouring His Son, 1819-23

Cezanne and Goya applied similar stylistic techniques, such as the bold handling of paint and contrasting lights and darks, but in subject matter they starkly differentiated. Nevertheless, the crucial discrimination between the artists is how each perceives the connection between the subject matter and artistic technique. Cezanne used painting to indulge his technical experiments in the manipulation of the classical laws of perspective, with the natural subject matter taking a backseat to his practical artistic evolution in colour, space, and tone. Goya, however, utilised painting as an act of story-telling, to illustrate and emphasise the travesties he had witnessed through his technical expertise in dark tonalities and heavy brushstrokes.

Goya is the “first modernist” by lineage: he held particular importance for 19th century French Impressionist painters, such as Delacroix, Manet and Degas. Cezanne’s influence over the address of form and colour appeared later, and directly influenced 20th century artistic movements such as Cubism, Fauvism and successive avant-garde artists.

Eugene Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People

Jeopardy was correct in that Goya was technically the first influence on modernism; his deep pessimism and expressive searching was unprecedented in paintings, and would be significant for generations to come. But Cezanne’s analytical approach to painting also left its mark, as can be seen in the Cubist works of George Braque and Pablo Picasso to name a few.

In uniting and comparing the art of Cezanne and Goya, their roles are illuminated in the carving of modernism. Appointing one ‘patriarch of modern art’ fundamentally neglects a crucial facet of modernism; either the evolution in subject matter is overlooked, or the growth of technical ability is sidelined. But when it does come time to choose a winner, as the final question in Jeopardy for example, it is interesting to observe and analyse why that artist was chosen, and who was inevitably left in the dark.

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday!

Make the most of this b-e-a-UTIFUL weather and wander down Queen West to check out our Divergence exhibit! 

There are over 70 graduating artists from Humber's Creative Photography program, and our walls are filled to the brim.

There are also some fancy snacks and a cash bar until 9pm this evening for you to enjoy.

Your Friday night = sorted.

He agrees.

Can't wait for you to check it out!

Contemporary Art Controversies

Myra by Marcus Harvey (1995)

'Myra' by Marcus Harvey sits large at 9 x 11 feet, and depicts the infamous 'Moors Murders' killer Myra Hindley. Through the use of imprints from a cast of a child's hand in black, grey and white, the painting is a version of the iconic police photograph that was plastered in newspapers for decades after her convinction.

Harvey stated that "she probably didn't do any of the murders," but nonetheless its showcase in the Sensation exhibit at the Royal Academy in London spurred an outcry, as the mothers of the victims protested, the painting was vandalised, four members of the Royal Academy resigned, and even Myra herself wrote from prison that the art be removed.

In the end, the painting remained for the remainder of the exhibit, albeit flanked by security guards and covered with a plastic shield.

Piss Christ by Andre Serrano (1987)

Andre Serrano's 'Piss Christ' is a photograph of a wood and plastic crucifix submerged in a glass of the artist's urine.

The work won Serrano several awards, including a $15,000 fellowship from Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SCCA), funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). As an additional aspect of this award the work was exhibited in a three-day show, ending in January 1989, which drew letters of outrage from two hundred members of congress, demanding why federal money was used to support blatantly blasphemous artwork. 

More recently, a print of 'Piss Christ' was ruined by Christian protesters in 2011 while on exhibit at a contemporary art museum in France. 

However, the meaning behind this work was distorted, as the artist did not have the intention of denouncing religion, rather he merely wanted to depict the cheapening of Christianity within today's commercial society.

Shark by David Cerny (2005)

Prague-born artist David Cerny is known for his controversial works - babies crawling up towers, Sigmund Freud hanging from the side of a building, and Peeing Statues (surely self-explanatory).

However, his 'Shark', inspired by Damien Hirst's 'The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living' (1991), is an extraordinarily disturbing piece showcasing a startlingly realistic sculpture of Saddam Hussein submerged in a formaldehyde-filled tank.

This artwork was released in 2005, just a year before Hussein was executed, and was subsequently banned from several countries including Poland and Belgium for its shocking subject matter.

How Ya Like Me Now? by David Hammons (1988)

David Hammons intended this mural as a statement against black leaders' assimilation into white politics, but it became furthermore controversial due to the situation in which it was presented.

Hammons depicts a portrait of Jesse Jackson with bleached hair, white skin and blue eyes, with the lyrics 'How Ya Like Me Now?' from musician Kool Moe Dee scrawled below. The juxtaposition of the portrait with the rap lyrics intended to further illustrate the widening gap between the hip-hop generation and civil rights activists. 

It was installed in a city-owned park in Washington DC as part of an exhibition about black culture, but its installation by three white assistants was found by a crowd of young black men, and naturally such a scene discovered without further explanation was presumed negatively: a sledgehammer was taken to the work and it was torn down. It now resides in a private collection in Washington. 

The Top 10 Art Sales of 2013

As you may know, 2013 was a big year for the art market.

More than likely you were caught up in the wave of coverage spanning Francis Bacon's expensive painting of Lucian Freud, or perhaps you remember the sale of Koons's 'Balloon Dog (Orange)' to newsprint magnate Peter Brant for an extortionate amount of cash.

Bloomberg recently printed the 'best of' list for auction sales in 2013 and it's a stunner, with the lowest amount at the $46 million mark. Experts are worried about a bubble, and as Kathryn Tully points out, these ten sales accounted for 669 million or 5% of total auction sales in 2013.

 “These prices are being driven by excess cash,” said Anders Petterson, the founder of ArtTactic, to The New York Times. “But if prices rise too much, this clique could lose interest and move on to something else, and if they lose interest, a lot of other people would lose interest as well.”

The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF) has released its annual findings on the art market, portraying valuations that magnify the cause for concern. The total value of transactions for 2013 was close to the highest amount ever recorded, and while there was also an increase in market transactions, the two do not correlate

Clare McAndrew, the founder of Arts Economics that carried out this study, summarised that this reveals a top-heavy market: "A significant part of the uplift of the market was due to higher priced works, rather than simply more works sold."

Here's the list of the most expensive lots sold at auction in 2013, courtesy of artnet:

  1. $142.4 million: Francis Bacon 'Three Studies of Lucian Freud
    Christie's, New York, November 2013
  2.  $105.4 million: Andy Warhol 'Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)'
    Sotheby's, New York, November 2013
  3. $58.4 million: Jeff Koons 'Balloon Dog (Orange)'
    Christie's, New York, November 2013
  4. $58.3 million: Jackson Pollock 'Number 19'
    Christie's, New York, May 2013
  5. $57.2 million: Andy Warhol 'Coca-Cola (3)'
    Christie's, New York, November 2013
  6. $56.1 million: Roy Lichtenstein 'Woman with Flowered Hat'
    Christie's, New York, May 2013
  7. $50 million: Alberto Giacometti 'Grande tête mince (Grande tête de Diego)'
    Sotheby's, New York, November 2013
  8. $48.8 million: Jean Michael Basquiat 'Dustheads'
    Christie's, New York, May 2013
  9. $46 million: Mark Rothko 'No. 11 (Untitled)'
    Christie's, New York, November 2013
  10. $46 million: Norman Rockwell 'Saying Grace'
    Sotheby's, New York, December 2013

The New Way To Buy And Sell Art

Welcome to the new world of the online art gallery.

In conjunction with our physical gallery, we have launched a brand new online Shop For Art. We are so excited to expand the reach of our Toronto artists, and draw you into a previously unseen collection of contemporary Canadian art.

We exhibit a wide range of contemporary artists, all currently living and working in Toronto. Check out some of the talents that have been hiding out there!

If you're looking for an original gift, to browse up and coming artists, or a creative place to get inspired, take a gander through our collections. Or alternatively, if you're an artist currently living in Toronto make sure you take advantage of our free month to exhibit online, with your own profile.

Whatever the motive, take a moment to look through our Shop For Art – the modern space connecting buyers with artists and art they love.