FINE ART EFFORT BY TEAM MACHO

by Ariadna Zierold

team macho, painting, illustration, humor, funny, canada, toronto, upper playground

Team Macho is a collaborative illustration and fine art effort composed of Lauchie Reid, Chris Buchan, Nicholas Aoki, and Stephen Appleby-Barr. They create wildly playful and humorously crude works that range from rough illustration to polished paintings. They currently occupy a large studio in Toronto, Canada where their joint efforts are divided equally between illustrating for very fine clients and preparing gross quantities of highly imaginative artwork for galleries in Canada and abroad.

team macho, painting, illustration, humor, funny, canada, toronto, upper playground

Designed to subvert any sense of singular authorship, their production is a collaborative form of process art by which an individual paints a portrait or scene informed by elements from his compatriots’ portfolios. The result is an endless reinterpretation of each other’s point of view. The visual components of each work, however thematic or peripheral, become a pleasant surprise to both viewer and creator. The unspoken element that is conversely integral to Team Macho’s process is their piecemeal approach to collaboration; every member has contributed to each work even if someone’s hand never touches the actual work.

team macho, painting, illustration, humor, funny, canada, toronto, upper playground

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POSTCARD CANADA BY RYAN HESHKA

by Ariadna Zierold

ryan heshka, painting, canada, postcard, vintage, retro, upper playground

Ryan Heshka was born in Manitoba, Canada, and grew up in Winnipeg.  Fueled by long prairie winters, he spent a lot of his childhood drawing, building cardboard cities and making super 8 films.  Early influences that persist to this day include antiquated comics and pulp magazines, natural history, graphic design and music, movies and animation.  Formally trained in interior design, he is self-taught as an artist.

ryan heshka, painting, canada, postcard, vintage, retro, upper playground

The artist blends his childhood memories with the image of a postcard Canada, a snowy land of evergreen forests and frozen lakes, the habitat of deer, beavers and legendary creatures like the Sasquatch, or Bigfoot merged with clichés and stereotypes, attempting to construct an original image of his nation, balanced between reality and fiction, past and future.

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GORGEOUS PAINTINGS BY PAUL FENNIAK

by Ariadna Zierold

paul fenniak, realism, haunting, figurative, representation, canada, painting, upper playground

Paul Fenniak was born in 1965 in Toronto, Canada. He received a Bachelor of Fine Art degree from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and a Master of Fine Art degree from Concordia University, Montreal.

paul fenniak, realism, haunting, figurative, representation, canada, painting, upper playground

He is a master of the psychological realism. There is a genuinely haunting, cinematic monumentality. It reminds one that the narrative as well as painterly possibilities of traditional, figurative representation are still far from exhausted.

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New El Mac, Stare and Kwest Mural in Toronto

Renown muralist El Mac recently made his mark in Toronto, completing his first mural in the city.  Commissioned by Eventscape Inc, the mural was completed in collaboration with Montreal artist STARE and KWEST from Toronto, located at Eventscape Inc, 4 Bestobell Rd, Toronto, ON.

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ElMac: “This is a new mural I just painted in Toronto titled “To the Future”. The background was painted byKWEST of Toronto and STARE of Montreal, two of the most talented and respected graffiti artists in Canada, it was a pleasure to work with them on this. I’ve painted in Montreal a few times over the years, but this is my first mural for Toronto, so I was excited to explore the city a bit and paint there. The image is an homage to one of my favorite artists, Alex Colville, referencing his iconic 1965 painting, “To Prince Edward Island”. Colville, who passed away last year, was one of Canada’s best artists. I’ve been a fan of Colville’s work since I first saw it as a kid, and felt it would be appropriate to paint this mural in Toronto, the city of his birth. His work often elevated and mythologized the commonplace, something I strive for in my own art. He also put a great deal of time and subtlety into his paintings, an aesthetic I share, which is at odds with our modern culture of increasing speed and decreasing attention spans. Describing his painting process, Colville said:

“It’s a very unspectacular business, laborious, as I think it is with writers too. Every day you do a little bit and you hope it’ll all come into focus.”

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Photos via eventscape.net

New OS GEMEOS Bros Mural to be unveiled September 7th at Vancouver Biennial

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The world famous Os Gemeos brothers are currently working on a 75 foot tall wall of six gigantic silos as part of their ongoing “Giants” series at this year’s Vancouver Biennial.

“We did not want a conventional two-dimensional wall that we had done before – we wanted something different, special and unique… The connection between water and land on Granville Island, on the False Creek margins, also had a lot to do with the choice of location – for us, the water acts as a vein, symbolizing life, and it is very present in our work.”

The 70-foot tall silos with the total surface area of  23,500 square feet, will all be painted by Sept 7th, with an official public unveiling and celebration on the Island of Granville.

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Check out their recent interview:

OSGEMEOS In Conversation with Vancouver Biennale from Vancouver Biennale on Vimeo.

Photographs via Street Art News

In honor of the last Canadians standing, the Province Beanies

Canada is the vast land above the US that houses wonderful cities like Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. They have good health care systems. They gave us Steve Nash, Wayne Gretzky, Bryan Adams, and Dan Aykroyd. And, they gave us hockey. In honor of the NHL and the Ottawa Senators being the last Canadian team in Lord Stanley Cup’s playoffs (they play Game 7 vs the NY Rangers tonight), here is our collection of beanies, named after some of the more outstanding Canadian provinces, such as Nunavut, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and some of the other heavyweights.

All offered in the Upper Playground Webstore.

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