Wednesday 25 July 2012

Toronto Outdoor Art Show Continued

Two other notables I stumbled across at the TOAS this year were Cole Swanson and Steve Chmilar. Both men are inspired by art from earlier eras: Swanson by Rajasthan and Chmilar by Bruegel.

Cole Swanson, Product Placement: Del Monte Plastic Wrapped Bananas

Cole Swanson gives Indian miniature painting a modern twist, taking the traditional art form and populating it with modern life motifs. Fascinating stuff. I love when people build upon and spin traditional approaches in new ways. And Swanson is no dilettante: he studied under Dr. Nathulal Verma, a renowned Indian artist. There you go. Appeal to authority.

Cole Swanson, Motorized Cart Ride 9" x 13"
Check out his work.

Steve Chmilar switched from music to painting, and I'm happy he did. I love the work of Flemish artists such as Pieter Bruegel and Hieronymus Bosch, and last year I saw some of their originals in the Bojimans Museum in Rotterdam. Obsessively detailed, tightly painted macabre scenes brimming with imagination and wit. Bruegel's Tower of Babel is a particular favourite of mine.
Steve Chmilar's Rickshaw, oil on board, 16" x 38"
Chmilar is going for a similar effect, and while his work strikes me as inconsistent at this point, you can see the potential he offers, which is that of a master. It should: he lavishes 500 hours on each piece. Check out his work.

Oh, here's one of Bruegel's Tower(s) of Babel (He painted several versions):

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