Zoe Koke talks to Esther Isabel

Zoe Koke’s body of work highlights the falseness of myths that have been presented to us in her display and assemblage of the afterlives of everyday objects, poking holes in the hollow promises that are global capitalism, perceived gender roles, and the American dream

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Premiere: O.S.S. Blanga

O.S.S. (Open Sound System) is a new collaborative project from music producers Unknown Mobile and NAP. A product of friendship, O.S.S. was made by Daniel Rincon and Levi Bruce over a course of impromptu studio sessions and hangouts between Canadian coasts. O.S.S., the EP under the same name, can be described as “Rodeo Ambience.” The EP features five suites, which aim to invoke “god rays,” – the rays of sunlight that are amplified by the passing of clouds at dusk.

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Will Sheldon Trouble After Dark

A cob-webbed clearing in a dark forest hosts shimmering pink daemons. The work presented in Will Sheldon’s solo show, “Trouble After Dark,” digitally on-view at Team Gallery until May 30th, is like The Nightmare Before Springtime, a world glittering in its own dew as death coagulates into life.

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Frieze New York Round Up

Frieze NY art fair went virtual this year which meant I could attend the fair for the first time from my Montreal home. Here’s my top picks from the fair, ranging from young, emerging, mid-career artists to outsider artists. I hope you enjoy my selection.

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Fashion File: Zaina Miuccia

Lost in the wallet-emptying, planet-destroying, hype-horny world of luxury retail are the things we actually like about fashion. In favour of fashion as a genuine means to self-expression, we present style icon Zaina Miuccia, aka Piglet, in a self-styled editorial shot by  her lover, Ivar Wigan.

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Vessel: Gage Lindsten’s Fantasy Game

We wake up in a strange room with no memory of how we got there. This appropriate mantra for our morning moments in isolation is also the first line of text to appear in the opening scene of Gage Lindsten’s interactive animated series, Vessel. Started nearly a month ago at the beginning of his quarantine, Vessel stars Nina, on the run from a Dr. Sphere and his androids

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Cowboys And The Sound of Trains

For the third instalment of “Cowboys And The Sounds Of,” an Editorial mix series from longtime contributor Daniel Rincon, we’re treated to the sounds of sad country music and trains passing by. The combination is unexpectedly heart-wrenching, as if the sound of trains bring us back to an era of long goodbyes and far distances. Three years in the making, Rincon’s two hour collection of cosmic country and folk is a testament to the enduring heartbreak and beauty of the genre.

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Sara Cwynar’s Marilyn

Marilyn Monroe’s body, a reclining nude in a classical painting, a model from an online shopping site—Sara Cwynar is known for reassembling objects of desire. Symbols of beauty are presented here, in the artist’s solo show, Marilyn, just as they are in advertising, stressing an important through-line in the two worlds and in the affects they produce. Cwynar’s project is in surveying the object-life of visual matter, pulling focus on the bizarre ephemera of commercial goods, and in doing so offering a feeling of desire that leads not to a check-out, but only back to itself.

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Sacred Choral Mix by Darby Milbrath

Sacred Choral music of the Medieval and Renaissance periods were written as devotional hymns for those seeking solace and inspiration in a violent, troubled world. Saint Hildegard von Bingen who was an abbess, mystic and composer, spent most of her 80 years shut away in isolation, in an obscure hilltop monastery in the Rhineland. The songs she composed came to her in mystic visions, which she wrote for her nuns to sing at their devotions.  On today’s new moon, let’s take inspiration from the saints and set intentions to begin new projects today.

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Ida Ekblad’s Deep Medicine

Grounded only by virtue of the ample cerulean blue smears at its top, Cruel Deceptive Empire, a painting by Ida Ekblad, feels at once static and full of velocity. Refracted yet thoughtfully rendered shapes embody the predicament of isolating a point of focus amid movement, like flipping through a Manga in search of a specific panel, or holding one’s gaze while speeding past them on a subway car. Ekblad’s exhibition, A Deep Medicine, in Paris at Galerie Max Hetzler, features works that unpack the graphic aesthetics of her 80s upbringing, without the saccharine of cliches.

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Jobair Jaber’s Passe-Temps

Tantalizingly visible in quarantine, through floor to ceiling windows on Avenue du Parc, Hotel Emerald is populated with enamel and plush sculpture and paintings fluctuating from jewel-toned to muted pop. These are the works of the twelve artists Jaber invited to produce freely around the concept of play. Several artworks pose in a sand-box, roughly centre, and child-like vitality runs throughout the show. 

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Jessica Canje’s Katya Zelentsova Zine

Before I met Katya Zelenstova her work was already alluring to me. I was like, “Who is this girl making sexy knitwear?” She asked me to fit model for her a couple of times and I ended up walking her BA collection at the Central Saint Martins show. Her clothing puts me out of my element, but somehow I feel powerful and confident in her designs. Perhaps this is the future of fashion editorials now, but the concept for this zine came before everything changed, when we decided to just have fun and shoot her collection around her flat in London.

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Tiziana La Melia and geetha thurairajah’s Ozone Gleaners

If gleaning involves ascertaining, or, more literally, collecting information or materials, gleaning ozone, an unstable gas, seems hella scary. Ironic, then, that Tiziana La Melia and geetha thurairajah’s show “Ozone Gleaners,” at Montreal’s Projet Pangée, produces an atmosphere of pastel repose. In the press release, an excerpt from La Melia’s OAKWALKDRONE poem refers to “gamma rays on everyone’s marigolds,” and indeed a slippery proximity between twee habitats (two paintings are even shaped like gable-roofed houses) and sinister, electromagnetic undertones permeates the show.

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Srijon Chowdhury at Foxy Production

“Cruelty has a Human Heart,” reads the first line of William Blake’s, A Divine Image. The poem, originally published in 1789, is unsurprisingly still poignant today, and in its entirety appears almost super-imposed over an ethereal white horse and its passenger in Srijon Chowdhury’s expansive painting, Pale Rider. Featured in an eponymous solo exhibition at Foxy Production in New York City, Chowdhury’s works reinterpret traditional approaches to painting by subverting genre, medium, and mythology.

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Sneak Peek: Eternal Family

 Cole Kush’s new artist-run platform Eternal Family, offers a Netflix-style model that profits the artists first. Eternal Family is a video membership experience that spotlights TV-series and one-off episodes that are self-produced, and often too experimental to make it to mainstream channels. Kush, a filmmaker and animator whose works tend towards absurd, unsettling comedy, sets the tone for a collection of innovative visual works that promise laughter, education and inspiration.

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Susan Cianciolo’s Spirit Guides

Susan Cianciolo has been looking inside herself, searching for the joy and humanity in the quotidian, long before a time when we were all at home, driven by stress and confusion to get crafty and spiritual. And the fruits of her work are collected here, in her decade-spanning survey, “Spirit Guides: Paintings 1990 – 2020,” at Bridget Donahue. With works that are experienced like diary entries or scrapbook pages, corkboard collections of memories and moments, Cianciolo offers sketches of everyday divinity, of small joys and moments of peaceful self-exploration. 

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Ellen Berkenblit’s Sistergarden

Like an ouroboric daisy chain, with no clear beginning or end beyond the mouth through which one enters, Sistergarden, Ellen Berkenblit’s latest exhibition at Anton Kern Gallery, features eleven large-scale works. Each piece depicts the cropped side-profile of a sister, rendered in murky melancholic hues, though punctuated with fluorescent embellishments. Pop ciphers—a richly lacquered nail, a CD-rom iris, a velvet bow, a scrappy corsage. Mouths agape in a soundless gasp, or reticent in firm-lipped contemplation, Berkenblit’s sisters echo our present moment of isolation. Here we are, all together; here we are, all alone.

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