After we had a messy but fulfilling lunch at Uno Mustachio at St. Lawrence Market, my friend Mandy and I attended the Art Toronto Fair. This was my first time attending it and Mandy’s second after having attended it in her high school years. The modern and contemporary fine art fair first started in 2000 and since then has been hosted annually. Many artists from Canada and around the world showcase their artwork for potential buyers and collectors. We weren’t planning on buying any art; it was a good chance to experience some good natured art pieces on a Friday afternoon.
We spent about 3 hours walking through the large area of the South Building of the Metro Toronto Centre where all of the art was set up. There were over 2,200 art pieces! I was very pleasantly impressed with the quality and creativity of the artists. I had never been to an art show before and didn’t have any specific expectations. We browsed through all of the art pieces and made our own commentary and joked around when we saw something funny or out of the ordinary.
My favourites were:
- “White Goblets”: a piece showing rows upon rows of tiny wine glasses that were shaped from used candy wrappers. You could see the individual brand names on the wrappers like Cadbury, Smarties, Quality Street, etc.
- “Garratt”: a piece that was made together using ordinary objects around the home to create a portrait of a man’s face. We saw lots of buttons, bread tags, some film containers, a lithium battery, old phone, and other miscellaneous stuff organised by colour.
- “Corner Stores”: a piece that tricked us into thinking it was a digital moving piece. When I saw it from afar and walked towards it, the image in the frame was moving from left to right. When I stopped, it stopped moving. As I walked closer to it, it moved again. Whatever direction I moved in, it moved! It was so cool. But it wasn’t a screen. It was a three-dimensional painting with specific spots jutting out. You really have to see it to believe it. One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Everyone else also couldn’t stop moving around to experience it.
Most of the art that were seen at the Art Fair was fully appreciable. The only other art show I can remember attending of this nature would be Nuit Blanche (which I attended this year; read about my experience here) and the art pieces during the 24-hour event were certainly less artistic and more pointless at times. Everything was really well done in this art fair… which is probably why the majority of the art warranted a price tag of $1,000-22,000 and more. The most affordable art I saw was $45 for a piece of coloured drawing done on a regular sheet of paper. I found myself enjoying the entire fair immensely; something that I was surprised about. There was also so much content in the fair that made it really worth the visit. The admission fee is $18 for adults and $14 for students if you purchase your ticket online ($2 more on-site). Nowadays, it’s hard to find long-lasting entertainment that is thought-provoking and affordable without the reliance on electricity during the process.
I definitely plan on attending this same art fair in the future with a like-minded friend who also appreciates the arts. It’s something new for everyone, and who knows, maybe you could find the perfect $2,500 painting for your home office. 😉