CHIHULY at the ROM

Last Sunday, I visited the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) to see a selection of works by famed glass artist Dale Chihuly. Here are some of my thoughts on the exhibition.

.

ABOVE: Dale Chihuly, Persian Ceiling, 2012, installation

BELOW: Dale Chihuly, Float Boat, 2014, blown glass and wooden boat

I like all types of art for all types of reasons, and often, what I like wouldn’t fall into anyone’s definition of beautiful. That said, I do appreciate aesthetics, and sometimes, I like an artwork for it’s beauty alone. One artist whose work I do consider beautiful is Dale Chihuly. He’s currently showing at the Royal Ontario Museum, and last weekend, I stopped by for a look.

I really enjoyed this show, and I loved the fact that photography wasn’t just allowed, it was encouraged (Instagram, here I come). What I didn’t love was the price of admission. It was way too steep.

If you’ve heard about the exhibition and are debating whether or not you should go, I highly suggest you do (if you can afford to). It isn’t overly intellectual, but it is jam packed with eye-candy, and based upon the reactions of the people I saw there, it’s a real crowd pleaser.

CHIHULY is at the ROM until January 2, 2017.

A Visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens

Last weekend, I got in the car, and left the city to see the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario. The place is huge (Canada’s largest) and well worth checking out.

.

ABOVE: Dave Hinds, Pollinizers, sculpture

BELOW: Steven Siegal, Land, sculpture

If you’re in the Toronto area and have a car, or know someone who does, you should jump in it and head down to the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) in Burlington, Ontario. I went for the first time last weekend, and I was impressed.

The first thing to note is that this place is not only huge, but spread out over several locations. Fortunately, there is a shuttle bus that runs frequently, and even better, it’s included with your admission ($16). Each garden is unique, and depending upon the season, offers something new.

If art is your thing (it is mine) you can see some at the International Sculpture Garden in Hendrie Park. It’s a small collection, and the artists within it are relatively unknown, but the work is fairly good, and new sculptures appear to be added regularly.

If you’re looking for a day out away from the city, and you love to walk among nature, then this place is for you.

A Brief History of John Baldessari

I recently went down a YouTube rabbit hole and came across a great little video about conceptual artist John Baldessari (narrated by Tom Waits). What an interesting guy.

.

ABOVE: John Baldessari, Stonehenge (With Two Persons) Violet, 2005, mixografin print on handmade paper, edition 60, 29 x 32 inches

While I recognize the importance of conceptual art to the modern art canon, more often than not, it’s total bullshit. One conceptual artist I do admire is John Baldessari – he manages to push the boundaries of art without being annoyingly pretentious about it.

I recently saw a great little video about him on YouTube, and in it, he comes across as a pretty decent guy (not pretentious at all). I had planned to embed it, but after reading a bit about copyright, I’ve decided instead to provide a link. It’s only 6 minutes long and it’s super fun.

Here’s the link.