May 11, 2010

Get Your Art On: Hermann & Audrey Gallery Show

The words "gallery show" may evoke images of bored spectators staring at swanky art while pretending to be remotely interested in what's in front of them. 

The Hermann & Audrey CONTACT exhibit at the Baitshop throws traditional gallery yawns out the window and deliberately asks the viewer to engage with the work. Challenging Marshall McLuhan's definition of "hot" and "cool" media, Hermann & Audrey tries to place photography into the "cool" category, allowing for spectator participation. McLuhan and I go way back.

Disclaimer: I'm not an art critic, the views expressed here are how I personally interpreted the pieces. It may not be the most sophisticated review, but I believe all people should be able to have a view on art and not feel intimidated to get involved.

Stefania Sgambelluri & Kimberly Yun
Did I mention that I was also in the show? The theme for the "Women in Portrait" series was strong positive women linked together in chains. The talented Stefania took the photographs and chose her subjects to create the links, while graphic designer Kim hand-crafted and designed the stunning illustration. I chose Claudia as my strong, positive woman because at 25 years old, she managed to battle cancer and still look like a supermodel. Check out those flower shaped wings, they're pretty spectacular.
Cory VanderPloeg & Scott McIntyre
In Cory & Scott's "Street Perception" they work to immerse the viewer into another world. As I sway from the side to side, the skateboarder dude mimics my perspective and movements. It's pretty fun once you figure it out, and it is interesting to watch other people try to catch on. Watch Scott explain the full idea and process here. It took an immense amount of planning to achieve and it's pretty ambitiously amazing if you ask me.

Javier Lovera & Simon Rojas
In "Optometry" Javier and Simon ask the viewer to become a reflection of the art in front of them. When looking into the lens, my eyes are shown on the large screen and I'm suddenly a part of the work. The instructions sum it up perfectly: See yourself in the installation / Look away from the box / Realize that without you, there is no art. This is a great way to get people thinking about their role in supporting and maintaining the arts.

Jalani Morgan & Kwame Delfish
In "Seeing Sounds" Jalani and Kwame fuse painting and photography to bring photography and music to life. I love this canvas with the men playing the drums. The brushstrokes of the paint really emphasize the way the artist perceives the rhythm of the music. The image is powerful and positive as I would imagine the beats and energy of the sounds are.
Steve Carty
In "Lightworkers" Carty and various artists (Skam, Jon Todd & Kwame Delfish) use light and photography simultaneously to create and capture light in a way that may seem impossible to the naked eye. Imagine being able to control light and freeze it in a way that contrasts with photography. I envision my child self writing my name in the sky with fourth of July sparklers. Your eye catches the light and then it's gone. Carty finds a way to capture it. Awesome.

The exhibit was supported by Molson Canadian 67 and Hermann & Audrey also had their collective Molson 67 photography ads displayed. Below credit: Stefania Sgambelluri.

A special thanks to Jacquelyn West for inviting me to the preview. 

If you want to become active in the way you view art, photography, music, design, videos and life I urge you to check it out. The Hermann & Audrey CONTACT exhibit is up for the entire month of May at The Baitshop located at 238 Dufferin St, Toronto.

See you there! (well, my photo will see you there)


  1. I wish I could have made it to see the show! Looks amazing! And your picture turned out fab!