This past weekend I met up with a group of artist friends after going to Art Toronto at the Convention Centre. Going to Art Fairs is a frequent pilgrimage for me, as I like to see what the top galleries are showing. But seeing what is supposed to be amazing art gets to be more of an empty exercise with each passing year.
We all wandered around the show on our own and compared notes after. It was great fun to share drinks and dinner with this group of dynamic contemporary painters and hear their thoughts. The conversation was quite lively.
Most of us had never met in person before. We’ve all gotten to know each other over the internet and really admire each others’ work. I had previously met two of them when I attended Kevin Ghiglione’s stunning solo exhibition at Muse Gallery last August.
We all agreed that the art being shown at Art Toronto was underwhelming at best. In fact most of us felt, as working artists, there was almost nothing inspiring.
This is supposed to be the best of the best!
Art Toronto features mostly Canadian galleries with a generous mixture of American, South American and European galleries showing their top artists. But it all seemed really hum drum and derivative.
I don’t know if you’ve ever felt this when looking at contemporary art, but some of the art felt like a con job.
I saw two large saggy canvases in the 5 figure price range that were badly stretched and warping. I saw another painting where the paint was literally flaking off onto the floor priced at $27,000!!
Much of it was pretentious, silly and trying too hard.
As a perfect example this painting by Kim Dorland was actually repellent. Yet it had a red dot, meaning sold. I can’t imagine someone paying $10,500. for this! I’d be embarrassed to have painted it and even more so to have bought it.
What do you think? I’d be interested in your comments.