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Avron Mintz art

Avron Mintz has responded to my request for examples of the digital art he is producing. He starts with observation of his surroundings, selects subjects that he thinks may have potential and photographs them.

So, abstract or nonobjective as these examples may look, they do begin as recognizable images. Well, not always recognizable. Sometimes viewers would be hard pressed to recognize extreme close-ups and photos of textures.

The photographs are then opened in Photoshop or Picasa (or both) and manipulated with various filters until something appears that satisfies. Familiarity with the kinds of results given by filters and combinations permits a level of control.

The artist favours natural subjects as a starting point … a leaf, for example, or trees or clouds … because they give him confidence that the resulting forms will be aesthetically sound.

Another level of control is selection from the myriad of images that can be quickly made this way. Avron makes his own choices, but relies on his wife Elaine’s eye, too. If she doesn’t like one, she’s always right, he says.

A few images are chosen for ouput as hard copies, then more choices must be made, because of all the substrates available these days … aluminum, acrylic, paper, foam core, you name it. Size must be determined, as well, of course.

Artists today often act more as art directors than as makers. Unlike art directors of the last century, practitioners now direct computers and inkjet printers rather than other people.

A meeting with collaborators

Fair exchange … last week I introduced sculptor Gord Smith to sculptor Rob McBride, this week Gord introduced me to Avon Mintz, painter, digital graphic artist and one half of the Smith + Mintz artistic collaboration.

We met at the architecturally stunning Mintz condo called ELAV Nest by architect Reza Aliabadi, whose firm did a complete renovation about 3 years ago.

My jaw dropped when I stepped inside. It’s an art gallery! Paintings and sculptures are everywhere. One of the first pieces I saw was a large Gord Smith openwork steel piece, silhouetted again north light. Gorgeous. Just inside the front door, there’s a large, impressive Avron Mintz painting you’ll see if you follow the condo link above. Pre-computer work. Very well done.

The name ELAV is a contraction of the names of Elaine and Avron Mintz. Elaine gets full credit from her husband Avron for her unerring eye when it comes to judging his digital art, so there’s another level of collaboration going on.

I’ll come back to the subject of Avron Mintz art when I receive images to illustrate his work. For now, I am just showing you one piece, Red Butterfly, to give you a sense of the abstract work by Smith + Mintz.

These artists are a good influence on one another.

Snapshots and the visual arts

The Incredible Hulk demanded that I take his picture before I could go into the Gerrard Art Space. Actually, I was supposed to be in the picture with him, because he was a prop for selfies, erected as an attraction at the South Asian Festival.

Yeah, I didn’t know he was South Asian, either.

Anyway, I did get into the art space to look at the current show, loosely themed around the notion of “Home”. There are 16 artists represented. Lots of variety, mostly mixed media pieces.

Danica was immediately drawn to Dana Green’s Spirit Dwells Inn, a more or less life size figure made of wire mesh, attached to a rough 2×4 frame. The appeal was in the innards … a shell, bird’s nest and mousetrap in the head, for example.

A snapshot doesn’t capture a piece like this. It really wants to be seen in person. A perfect exhibition piece, in this respect.

Another of Danica’s favourites was easier to photograph … Susan Aaron’s Spritz of Joy, but that raises a question. Just because I can take a snapshot, as we all can now, with our phones, should I?

Unsure about reproducing the artist’s whole piece, I decided to show only a close-up detail and leave it to you to go see the complete composition.

Danica related to these colourful squares, partly because they reminded her of quilting.

GAS has an upcoming Puppet Show (August 2nd to 21st, Reception Thursday August 3rd 6pm-9pm). 1475 Gerrard Street East

Gardens, bottom to top

I’ve had coffees at the Riverdale Hub, seen shows in its art galleries and even toured the business centre services that provide opportunity for immigrant women. I’ve been in the serene little rain garden on the ground level, too, but never before in the summer.

Tours were on offer during the South Asian Festival and I grabbed the opportunity to get up to the rooftop herb garden I’d heard about.

Volunteer Kelly (right) shows us raised bed boxes, full of herbs and veggies.

The produce goes downstairs and onto the menu in the first floor Social Gardener Café. I believe that’s what you call vertical integration.

The roof is even greener than my photo shows. Large solar panels have been deployed to harvest clean electricity and light wells penetrate to lower floors. bringing in natural daylight.

A note in the window

I had heard that Jim Addison died, but only today saw the note his family posted in the window of his vacant store at Gerrard and Woodfield. I never met the man, but everyone I know who knew him speaks well of him.

When I first noticed it 30 years ago,  the Addison store was a nifty plumbing store with gorgeous, high-qualty, antique fixtures and porcelain on display. Art directors went there to get things for film shoots.

Then his corner store became the first home for Joanne Filetti’s Gerrard Art Space. When GAS moved to its present location down the street, Debby Facey made it into her Vintage Hunter store, for a while. That, too is closed now and the store sits empty. What’s to come remains unknown, but the neighbourhood has lost a good landlord.

South Asia Festival weekend

Cloudy weather suited me. Other years, Gerrard Street East has been a bake oven on festival days, making evenings my preferred time to go.

Only passing rain showers dampened things a little this year, and the threat of thunderstorms.

Slide show


Two sculptors meet

Readers may recall posts about my conversations with sculptors Gord Smith and Rob McBride. Today I had the pleasure of introducing them to one another.

Gord Smith, centre, in the Tragically Hip T shirt, Rob McBride in the hat.

As I expected, Rob was blown away by the art in Gord’s condo/studio. I learned of some new, textured relief sculptures Gord is working on at present, too.

Gord’s website can’t keep up with the man, but a good representation of his impressive 60-year career is there.

Rob’s site is just at the beginning stage and photography of more work is underway.