How to See by David Salle

On my long ride into work this morning I finished David Salle’s book “How to See”. While everything is still fresh in my head, here is a very short review.

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For those unfamiliar with Dave Salle, he is an American painter who rose to prominence in the early 1980’s with bright, graphical artworks that bear a strong resemblance to Robert Raushenberg. His book “How to See” contains several short essays about his famous artists friends and their work.

While not overly academic, the book may be a little dry – if not pretentious – for the casual art fan. For the practicing artist however, it provides a unique look into the mind of an extremely successful painter, and shows how someone in the “in crowd” looks at, and judges art.

With the exception of a few digs (specifically one against Oscar Murillo), the tone of this book is largely upbeat. It is obvious that Salle knows a great deal about the art world and the creative process.

I liked all the essay’s, but I especially liked the one titled “A Talk for the First Day of Class.” It contains a series of questions and exercises, some serious, some not.

If your a fan of David Salle, or a fan of art in general, I suggest you pick up a copy.

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Goals for 2018

Direction is important, so every January, I take a look at the previous year and write a list of goals for the new one. Below, is my list for 2018. Happy New Year!

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  • Continue work on my latest project
  • Reduce production costs
  • Expand distribution channels
  • Develop and increase brand awareness
  • Find new clients
  • Develop networking skills
  • See more local art shows
  • Visit more galleries outside of Toronto
  • Develop business skills

Four Masterpieces

Here are four of the most recognizable artworks I’ve seen in the last couple of years. In the future, I plan on seeing a few more and I’ll be sure to post those as well.

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ABOVE: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Luncheon of the Boating Party, The Phillips Collection, Washington DC

ABOVE: Claude Monet, The Japanese Footbridge, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

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ABOVE: J. M. W. Turner, The Slave Ship, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

ABOVE: Gilbert Stuart, George Washington (The Athenaeum Portrait), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Guillermo del Toro at the AGO

This past weekend, I visited the Art Gallery of Ontario to see it’s latest exhibition, Gillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters. Here is a short review.

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Surprisingly, Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters is not the most depressing thing I’ve seen at the Art Gallery of Ontario (that award goes to Alex Colville) or the darkest (paging Francis Bacon). Believe it or not, it’s actually one of the gallery’s lightest exhibitions, and probably the one I would have enjoyed the most as a child. That may sound a bit weird (maybe I was a twisted kid), but it really isn’t as scary as it first appears.

Although some of the imagery may terrify a small child, for adults, it’s not a particularly haunting exhibition. I get the impression that beyond the imagery, del Toro is probably a decent dude. Many artists aren’t, although on the surface, they may appear to be.

At Home with Monsters provides an interesting glimpse into the mind of a supremely creative individual, but it is not all that heavy or intellectual. That’s okay, because it is well put together and visually stunning. In fact, it’s a great way to spend an afternoon looking at cool, if not creepy stuff. If you’ve got some time between now and the new year, I suggest you go.

Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters is at the Art Gallery of Ontario until January 7, 2018.