I Head East.

I have been a West End Girl for the better part of my Toronto existence, teasing friends about “east of Yonge? What’s that?” and bringing books and water and a snack whenever I go to visit those who live in places with exotic names such as Donlands, Danforth and Pape.

Recently a couple things in the East have piqued my interest, so I thought I’d tell you about one that I’m going to today – the Pentimento Fine Art Gallery. (1164 Queen Street East).  I went there a few weeks ago to see a fantastic show by R. Kelly Clipperton  called Top 30 –  an absolutely stunning array of photos based on  album titles.

It was fantastic and thought provoking and my companion and I argued over which piece we thought was the absolutely best, darting all over the gallery to compare and choose – click here to see some of them. You were also invited to choose your top ten favourites for an upcoming exhibition. I like interactive art like that. And I am very pleased that some of my choices made it into the top 10.

Today I’m going back to see G. Elliot Simpson’s Brotherhood. His artist statement says, “I’m intrigued by how people transform themselves, and how others experience that transformation. And it seems to me such transformation involves as much a self-deception as it does any expression of faith. People think themselves capable of all sorts of acts that are not necessarily possible. Perhaps it’s because there is only so much that a person can experience in the immediacy of one’s existing body. It seems that any further awareness there is to gain must come through distortions to, and at the expense of, the regular public order of ourselves – so that to break out of yourself, you must be willing to break yourself.

I think this sounds fascinating and am looking forward to seeing his work.

I’d never heard of Pentimento until quite recently. When I went I was really delighted with a cool little space, and I wondered what Pentimento meant – it’s “An underlying image in a painting, as an earlier painting, part of a painting, or original draft,  that shows through, usually when the top layer of paint has become transparent with age.” I think this is a perfect name for this space, it’s modern and cool yet full of history from the floorboards to the fantastic little courtyard our back. It’s the type of place that makes you want to have an event just because.

My absolutely favourite thing about the gallery, was one of the gallery owners John S. Rait. John was many people before opening this art gallery, so naturally we had about fifty people in common, but we had never met. He is a lovely, lovely man, funny and friendly and I was glad to meet him.

I highly suggest you check out the exhibition, and most definitely the gallery itself. I love its feel, its character and that quite honestly, it’s an extra work of art on its own with every exhibition that comes through.

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