SPACE TV! The “Innerspace” television program interviewed a group of us artist’s about our group show called “Hanna Barberic”. Alex Currie aka Runt, the artist behind the local favourite Lee’s Palace mural, curated the show of fellow “indie outsider” artists at the Steam Whistle Brewing. Showcasing five established artists, each with an unmistakable style, “Hanna Barberic” featured the work of Mike Parsons, Menno Krant, Runt, David Irvine, and John Abrams. Although each artist has a unique signature, all share the same love of pop culture, film, music, urban life, and art at-large.
Each artist bares their own unique style,
drastically different from their compadres at the show, but are still able to
forge a cohesive theme. David Irvine is the man behind the Gnarled Branch
collection and is known for his recycled Record Art pieces, as well as painted
pins, boxes, furniture, ornaments and even medieval banners. At the gallery, I
was particularly drawn to his collection of serene landscape works superimposed
with pop culture imagery for a whacky and whimsical splash – rubber ducks as
galleons on the open seas, Dumbo the elephant flying over a wintry wonderland,
an eerie skeletal portrait of a woman, and the intriguing juxtaposition of the
Re/Max hot hair balloon and a giant rooster.
Mike Parsons’ style still veers heavily on the disorienting and bizarre but where Runt is heavy on highly saturated bursts of bright colour, Mike’s palette of choice is a monochromatic black and white. He’s the man behind Hey Apathy! and specializes in book drawings (of which comics are available for purchase), animation, murals, street art, and even fashion. He can often be found in the warmer months throughout the city laying down his signature black and white creations to almost dizzying effect. His style is highly detailed and leaves plenty of room for your eyes to wander, inspecting detail and finding story in every inch of work – a deliberate play on the city’s collision of human and machine.
Menno Krant is known for his outsider appeal, favoring heavy paint on canvas as the foundation for his bold, brash and frantic interpretations of iconography. His work appears distorted, chaotic and possessing a somewhat childlike appeal. Menno favors dark colours with brighter ones as highlighting accents and utilizes both human and animal as his subject matter. It’s the bizarre quality to his work that grabs your attention and keeps you interested.
John Abrams pulls a lot of his influence from the films of Alfred Hitchcock, especially his ability to capture an audience’s attention and lure it into a world of double perspectives. John’s latest work captures key scenes from Hitchcock’s most beloved films including To Catch a Thief, The Man Who Knew too Much, Dial M for Murder, The Birds, and others. His 60s pop art style holds a rather alluring quality that he often overlays with a commentary of sound affect and graffiti accents.
The diversity of the art on display is incredible with plenty for any art lover to gravitate to, created by a selection of Toronto’s best outsider artistic perspectives. It’s a proud collection that can be summarized by being simply fun and off the wall, irreverent and outspoken and definitely worth exploring. The interview aired on Space TV Jan 18 2013