Toronto Spring 2013

The following is an ongoing series of images I’m working. I post to the site so I can get comfortable with things and then edit them.

 

May 19th, 2013. Took the bicycle out to the Bloor and Bay area. On the way I stopped at the school across Bloor from Christie Pits. This is the view from the lower courtyard of the school across Bloor to the trees in Christie Pits.

Deeper inside the school complex is a covered courtyard. It’s pretty decrepit being used mainly by kids and skateboarders and of course being a public school they have no cash to fix it up. It’s dated and slightly dark under the canopy where the next shot is taken, but I’ve always been drawn to this spot. I’ve visited 10 or 12 times in the past 15 years. Both these shots depict the relatively rough but functional aesthetic I associate with Ontario Public Schools.

Just south of Bloor on St Thomas and Charlers is an empty Condo sales office. It’s for the Minto building called the St. Thomas. I think empty it’s probably vastly more exciting than the building they plan to construct.

I’ve been peering in the window of the old Escada retail store on Bloor for weeks. I was rewarded Sunday by the deconstruction below. I love the hanging fluorescent lights that have been left on. It’s like a found Dan Flaven that he put together when he was drunk.

Directly across the street from the abandoned Escada store is the old Louis Vutton store. Hoarding went up this week. I’ll probably ditch this image but it’s interesting in a way. There’s something I definitely don’t like about it though.

I’ve been stopping at the Club Monaco store at Bloor and University every now and then for years. I finally caught something I liked. That’s a bit of an understatement, I really love this shot. The reflections in the windows, pine tree, empty pack of smokes, scantily clad mannequin and the classically inspired conservative architecture all work nicely together.

The neighbouring window isn’t quite as cool but I still like it.

Previously…

The shot above and below were taken May 9th on my ride to work.

It’s taken through a window of what was once a very dodgy variety store on Pape a few blocks north of Danforth. I’m always surprised by the refusal of this entire road to gentrify. I’m not quite sure why this is. In the last 15 years nothing much has happened but I’m sure a whole whack of people with money have moved into the area. I don’t think everything should be subject to crazy gentrification, but this street is just sad for some reason. That said someone has laid a new floor in this place since I last shot it, removed the ceiling and in general cleared the whole thing out. Me thinks something cool will go in here.

This image also gave me another idea. I was thinking I might emulate the leaning plywood in a studio setting and see if I could start to “construct” images like the one above but with echos of famous geometric paintings in the way the panels of plywood are arranged. I may even just simply build constructions against a white studio backdrop like the one above. I simply love the way the plywood works like layers of paint.

I really like the image below, It wasn’t intentionally shot to be funny, but when I think of it in terms of Joshua Jensen Nagle’s wonderful polka dot work it makes me smile. My fascination with concrete, concrete block and emptiness is unbounded. Note the wonderful piece of crumpled material on the floor. I didn’t notice that until I processed the image.

The shot following appeals to my sense of the square geometric space again. Here the picture plane is sweetly dissected into four relatively equal panels, each with their own uniquely simply subject matter. I’m also making a dig at one of my favourite photographic pet peeves, black and white.

Friday the 3rd of May I took my sweet ass time getting to work on the bicycle. It was so amazing out. The first day of t-shirt and shorts riding. One of my stops was Bloor. Thanks goodness there’s a new Tiffany’s going in. The old one was so ghetto. The ring they’re advertising on the hoarding looks like a good buy. I love the fact that even Tiffany’s has to do construction and use hoarding. Hoarding is the great equalizer.

A very obscure self-portrait in an vacant Bloor shop. You can just make out the yellow t-shirt. I find the interlaced corner of this empty window display engaging. There’s something pin-wheel in the overlapping nature that I’d like to explore further.

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