July 10, 2015

July 10, 2015 I finally got new walking shoes. I ended up with canvas Blundstones and I hope they live up to the build and quality of the regular version. They weigh about a million times less and seem to breath more than their clunky but lovable siblings. The initial trial run yesterday went without a hitch until I spilled Gelato on them at the Junction Night Market.

The Wallace Walk condo development by our house is going to be nice when it’s complete. It will drastically change the area but I look at this as a very good thing. The more people, the better.  It’s the first time I’ve looked at the website and it’s pretty funny. Marketing really is a job with no shame. The image below is a view from the bridge that crosses what are now the GO/UP/VIA tracks from Wallace to Dundas West. Looking down and a weird angle. Ladder obsession.IMG_5537 IMG_5572 IMG_5582Back to my circles and squares in the studio. Here I’m fooling around in hopes to capture the kernel of an idea for a painting. I have a sneaking suspicion the idea might be a dud. Oh well, typically it will morph into something else and that’s always a good thing.IMG_5630A shot through the window into the space of the 8-11 collective on Spadina. I’m assuming it’s between exhibitions or they’ve moved. They no longer have a sign up and but that might be a result of the possible legal hassle such a sign might have caused. I love this space right now in it’s very-nearly-empty state. It may however be interesting to see the chaise lounge box become animated with the infusion of electricity.IMG_5645More studio ideas. I found two boxes of analog photo filters. There are a ton of various sized sheets in this and another smaller box. I’m experimenting with a possible series but for now the box itself is fascinating for it’s potential in a Joseph Albers meets dead analog process kind of way.IMG_5648

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Toronto

Lately I love/hate Toronto. It’s definitely my home and I really love where I live but I’m not so keen on the politics. I’m old enough to understand that people generally become more conservative when they get older but to me the more “conservative” someone is the more selfish, mean-spirited, bitter, materialistic and paranoid they are. At one time I identified as liberal, but lately I identify more with the New Democrats. I still don’t like any of the parties because at heart I’m a socialist and happy about it. Lately I wish I could just live and let live a bit more. If I’m not careful I’ll become an embittered old man.

Toronto to me is rough and refined. It’s beautiful and ugly at the same time. I don’t want some generic suburb of perfection to live in. Maybe that’s why the Junction Triangle is so great, although even it’s changing quickly. So far it’s pretty good after ten years, and hopefully, if I’m lucky, by the time we don’t like it anymore because it’s just too affluent we can get lost and be old radicals in some obscure place.

Right now I love things like this empty intermodal transport container. It’s sitting on a chunk of land that use to be McBride Cycles back in the day, when that got ripped down it was an empty, brick strewn wasteland surrounded by a frost fence, then it was sort of cleaned up and became The Junction Flea Market (aka Hipster Central) and now it’s the parking lot for the soon to be constructed Duke condominiums. In the background to the right of the frame on Dundas Street West just before Keele Street you can see the cool building that’s a Salvation Army shelter. To the left of the frame is a residential neighbourhood. This is sort of our neighbourhood’s Parkdale. This part of Dundas Street West contains a whack of low-rent, sketchy apartment buildings as well as a few weird store fronts for various whack-job religious sects, some cool old and new legitimate businesses like Dog Lounge and Cool Hand of a Girl, some used appliance stores, a strange aquarium store that we’re sure is a front for some other illegal business, laundromats, and a shit-ass bar called Shox. Despite it’s sketchy overall look and feel I really like this stretch of road. I’m 100% comfortable wandering along it and I usually find something pretty interesting to look at.

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The shipping container is something I’m drawn to. I think it’s because of several factors but the sculptural work of Kim Adams and the Photography of Robert Polidori are probably my main reference points. I’ve also been relatively interested in them since people have begun to make houses and stores out of them. These containers are also–like most of everything I’m truly drawn to–rather pedestrian and utilitarian. I still think about carving, photographing, constructing, performing, and setting up shop inside one of these every time I see one. This one is interesting because it was used as a booth during the Junction Flea and someone took the time to finish the interior off a bit. It’s even better empty and derelict in this mysterious space.

This place below is located in front of the small mall that use to have Zellers in it on Dundas West just after it heads north at Roncesvalles. Now all that’s in there is a liquor store, a really crap Loblaws store, and the carcass of the Zellers. Target decided it was too skid row to move into. This is the back of a tire dealer that’s in a separate building closer to the actual street. It also contains a really shitty donut store… but hey, is there really any donut store that’s not shitty? It was once Firestone and I took pictures of it then, but now it’s something else. This is the slightly American feeling colour scheme of that business. Orange, white and blue. The orange is approaching cadmium, so to me this is reminiscent of the American flag. I’ve shot this wall many times over the last ten years. In fact I’ve probably posted about it before too.IMG_1328

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