2014: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

From appropriation to plagiarism, and art selfies to art vandalism, 2014 was a busy year. Here are some of the art world’s highs and lows – mostly lows.


ABOVE: Kara Walker, Sugar Baby, 2014, sculpture, installed at the Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn

ABOVE: Paul McCarthy, Tree, 2014, sculpture, installed at the Place Vendôme in Paris

ABOVE: Brett Bailey, Exhibit B (Human Zoo), 2014, performance at the Barbican Centre in London.

Without further ado, here are the good, the bad, and the ugly for 2014 :

The Good

Kara Walker’s Sugar Baby was arguably the most talked about – and praised –  artwork of 2014. The accolades are well deserved.

The Bad

In October, Paul McCarthy installed Tree (a giant green butt plug) at the Place Vendôme in Paris. While that in itself is more funny than bad, some ass-hats took it upon themselves to attack the artist, and then the artwork. Not cool.

The Ugly

Brett Bailey’s Exhibit B (Human Zoo) caused a shitstorm everywhere it went last year. The threat of ‘extreme’ protests finally forced the Barbican Centre to cancel the show in September.

Grading the 2014 OCAD University Graduation Exhibition

OCAD University is one of Canada’s top art schools (and rightfully so). Here is a quick review of the 2014 Graduation Exhibition.


ABOVE: The Sharp Centre for Design @ OCAD University, Photo: John Vetterli

This past weekend, I went to the graduation exhibition at OCAD University (formerly, the Ontario College of Art and Design).

I look forward to this show every year, and I am always impressed. The 2014 edition was no exception.

Not everything is great – they’re students after all – but the potential is boundless, the optimism palpable, and the talent apparent.

Will the class of ’14 be one for the ages? Is there another Carmichael, Bush or Boyle in the mix? It’s probably too soon to tell. One thing’s for sure, OCAD U will produce one sooner or later.

Here’s hoping these grads are still creating five, ten and twenty years from now. Good luck to them all.

Grade: A+


Hudson Christie

Camille Jodoin-Eng

Rebecca Ladds

Sarah Letovsky

Katlyn Nemo