Monday, October 1, 2007

White Night, White Heat

Like just about everyone else in the city, I went out for Nuit Blanche on Saturday. I have never seen so many people on the street at one time in Toronto in my life. Sorry - with the sole exception of a big olympic hockey win a few years ago, I have never seen so many people on the street at one time in Toronto in my life. Barriers were erected along Bloor St. to keep pedestrians off the road, and sidewalks between University and Spadina were so crowded I felt like I was shoving my way through a packed bar... I didn't think T.O. was lacking for things to do but I stand corrected. Apparently all night, city wide, corporate funded art parties were what was lacking.

I stopped at the Art of Fashion: Surreal Journey to see the Paper People Clothing installation by my friend Jenn Fukushima. Jenn graduated last year and has been working like a one woman sweatshop on her line since she was still in high school. Her clothes look just like her. Colourful vintage fabrics, patchwork seaming and wild texture seem like they'd be hard to wear but surprisingly, I'd wear just about anything she makes. Jenn had live models curled up in her installation, whom we immediately joined on the floor with a glass of wine making paper people, funny crowns and feathered headgear.

While I was there, I discovered the incredible weirdness that is Chris Cunningham. His display featured a rainbow coloured KKK ensemble, eyeball covered fetish gear and a dress that incorporated a television into it.
Not exactly a drag queen, I would classify Chris as more of a performance artist in the vein of Leigh Bowery or maybe a designer like Gareth Pugh since he makes his own costumes. His style reminds me of anime or surrealist paintings. I suspect he might be an illustrator as well as a performance artist because of his inspirations, but it's just a hunch. I'll let you know if I find out because I will definitely be keeping an eye on him...

You can find more of his work here:


Danielle said...

Christabel would laugh - when I met him he said emphatically he was not an illustrator and showed me his (enigmatic) sketchbooks as proof.

He is I hear, quite the artist's model though.

irene said...

Hahaha, he keeps an enigmatic sketchbook but he claims he's NOT an illustrator...??? Oh man, why am I so intrigued when people contradict themselves?!?

Oh, and I'm dying to hit up one of those life drawing classes...