Tag Archives: museum

Review: Royal Ontario Museum’s Friday Night Live’s #ROMInk

The first night of the Royal Ontario Museum: Friday Night Live’s #ROMInk was heaving.  It seems like everyone was waiting patiently to bust out their latest outfits and werk their new heels last night because by the time we arrived the ROM was pumping.

The ROM always has an impeccable eye for detail, a full bar service featuring Peroni beer (because why go anywhere else?), a rad house DJ or two and a Tattoo exhibit that will sure to make you swoon. If you need a bump – Friday Night Live is where you need to be.

‘Tattoos: Ritual. Identity. Obsession. Art.’ is now open until September 5, 2016! Coming from the musée du quai Branly in Paris, where the exhibition received rave reviews, Tattoos: Ritual. Identity. Obsession. Art. explores the 5000-year-old multifaceted world of tattooing, showcasing a visual history of body art and markings, ancient tools, and commissioned tattooed silicone body reproductions, inked by some of the most respected tattoo artists in the contemporary world.

Whether you’re drawn to the history and beauty of body art, a passionate member of the tattoo community, or someone who wants to understand the world of tattooing, come discover the ink beneath the skin.

Highlights of the night included:

> Stories from Cancer campaign Why We Ink by Toronto Casting Director Julie Fitzsimmons

> Temporary tattooing

> ROM collection items from “Out of the Vault”

> Musical performances by The New Electric and Ben Stevenson

After a long work week it made for a perfect ending to bask in House DJ, DJ brains4brkfst’s set. Chilled, cool, sexy, accessible and most of all fun.  A DJ who kills it with an ode to Prince at the end of the night will always keep a crowd warm and looking forward to next week’s Friday Night Live.  He wound the crowd down after playing a series of old school hip hop beats mixed in with Beyonce, Ja Rule, moombathon, glam rock, twerk and trap. Workout?  Yes.  Good times?  Always.

If you need a house jazz break you can be guaranteed to find U of T’s Faculty of Music’s Jazz Program to keep you propped up and perhaps take a spin or two at the different levels at Friday Night Live. It’s not about all big beats and busting a move after all!

The fantastic HATAW ensemble brought together professional performers from Filipino folkdance troupes across North America, and remixes ritual and folklore with contemporary styles of dance. A true delight whilst you sip a cocktail and have a bite at Mustache Burger in Earth’s Treasures.

Catch you next week for Punchline at the ROM’s ‘Friday Night Live’! Grab your tickets here!  https://www.rom.on.ca/en/whats-on/fnlrom-punchline


Portland Art Museum

The Portland Art Museum was a treat.  When you travel and have the time and access to see great art – there is a pressure to get it all in.  Instead of walking around aimlessly at the Portland Art Museum I thought I’d focus in on what interested me the most.

My favourites were the Forbidden Fruit from Chris Antemann at Meissen and the Native American Art installations.

Forbidden Fruit

Chris Antemann at Meissen

SEP 27, 2014 – FEB 8, 2015

In 2012, Oregon-based sculptor Chris Antemann was invited to participate in the Art Studio program of the renowned Meissen Porcelain Manufactory to collaborate with the Meissen master artisans on unique pieces and a series of limited editions of her sculptures, resulting in a grand installation that reinvents and invigorates the great porcelain figurative tradition. Using the Garden of Eden as her metaphor, the artist created a contemporary celebration of the 18th-century banqueting craze. Inspired by Meissen’s great historical model of Johann Joachim Kändler’s monumental Love Temple (1750), Antemann created her own 5-foot version. Stripping the original design back to its basic forms, she added her own figures, ornamentation, and flowers, as well as a special finial with three musicians to herald the guests to the banquet below. Employing her signature wit and formal references to classic Baroque Meissen figurines, Antemann has invented a new narrative on contemporary morality through her one-of-a-kind porcelain figures in a setting that evokes the decadence of Boucher and Watteau.

Antemann’s Love Temple is the centerpiece and heart of the installation. It was designed to house a host of semi-clothed revelers around a banquet of “forbidden fruit.” After sculpting the Love Temple and banquet table, Antemann expanded the vision of the installation to include a pleasure garden made up of eight separate pieces that surrounds the temple, creating an elaborate tableau in the great tradition of royal 18th-century sur la table.

Accompanying the lavish and overflowing banquet table is a massive 12-light porcelain chandelier and a collection of smaller sculptures to accompany the table along the gallery walls, evoking the tradition of palatial porcelain rooms. The small, intimate vignettes entertain with playful scenes of dalliance and seduction.


A very cheeky exhibit and perhaps art that we may cast off as cheap and cheesy.  But the beauty in these porcelain pieces is the attention to detail, sauciness, the manipulated control in creating such fine and cohesive work.  I was mesmerized and found myself lost in the Love Temple piece.  As I moved around the tableau I saw even more decadence and conversations between the characters unfolding.  The ‘forbidden fruit’ reminded me of sugar plums and added a further enticement to keep looking as a voyeur into the characters debauchery.

Native American Art

The Museum’s collection of Native American art is housed in the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Center for Native American Art. The collection, remarkable for both its depth and diversity, consists of more than 5,000 prehistoric and historic objects created by some 200 cultural groups from throughout North America. Included are outstanding works by Native American masters such as Allan Houser, Charles Edenshaw, and Maria Martinez, in addition to regional contemporary artists such as Lillian Pitt, Joe Feddersen, Pat Courtney Gold, Rick Bartow, and James Lavadour.

The Center is located on the second and third floors of the Hoffman Wing in the Museum’s Belluschi Building; each gallery is devoted to art from a specific cultural region. The second-floor galleries focus on the Museum’s world-renowned collection of Northwest Coast art as well as galleries dedicated to the Arctic, Plains, Woodlands, Southwest, and California regions. Also located on the second floor is the Phil and Sue Bogue Gallery, dedicated to the display of the Museum’s excellent collection of Pre-Columbian art from Meso and South America. Two additional galleries featuring work from our own region, western Oregon and the Columbia Plateau, are located on the third floor.


Being Canadian, I am always drawn to First Nation art.  I particular love looking at costuming, accessories and especially bead work.  The Portland Art Museum will satiate your fix.  From the ornate dress, beaded handbags and tapestries you will be moved by the emotion and history woven into each piece.  Awe-inspiring and also worthy of reflection into the history of Native American Art in the Northwest Coast.

If you have time check out the Modern Contemporary Art space.  I took swooning breaks between the works of Damien Hirst ‘5 Skulls’ and Andy Warhol’s ‘Family Album 312’.

The Portland Art Museum needs some of your time the next time you are in Portland.

Portland Art Museum

1219 SW Park Avenue

Portland, OR 97205


Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

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Whenever I travel I love to check out the city’s Museum of Contemporary Art.  Every city has their own version of cool Avant Garde work and interesting artists I have never heard of.  Last summer whilst in Chicago I checked out the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA).

One of the nation’s largest facilities devoted to the art of our time, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) offers exhibitions of the most thought-provoking art created since 1945. The MCA documents contemporary visual culture through painting, sculpture, photography, video and film, and performance. Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, the MCA boasts a gift store, bookstore, restaurant, 300-seat Theater, and a terraced sculpture garden with a great view of Lake Michigan.

Even though the exhibit has now passed, I really enjoyed Martin Creed’s installation at the MCA.

In works that ranged from intimate poetic objects to large-scale neon signs, Martin Creed revaluated the status of art with a generous sense of humor. As part of a yearlong residency at MCA Chicago, Creed brought his avant-garde sensibility to the building and the city. In each month of 2012, Creed unveiled an artwork in a different space of the MCA, progressing upward through four floors of the building and extending his work outward to the sculpture garden and plaza and into the city of Chicago. Some works lived as sculptures in the museum’s public spaces, and some projects were site specific—for instance, murals in the atrium and café. Others still, such as a work that takes the form of crumpled balls of paper placed in each of the museum’s public spaces, play with the notion of the carefully curated object.

The artist’s work and projects enlivened the museum and the city and involved visitors in unexpected ways.

Chicago indeed is a city of skyscrapers.  Creed’s art was symbolic in its layered tall art energy.  The symbiosis of his art and stepping outside MCA and being greeted by real life metal living giants was inspirational and added another layer of depth to the beautiful architecture of Chicago.

Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity

Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity

Lastly, if you are in Chicago this summer pick up Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity from the MCA bookstore.  It’s a fantastic read and examines contemporary works of art that take as their subject the form, technology, myth, message, and image of that iconic building structure, the skyscraper.

Skyscraper brings together a wide-ranging group of artists from around the world and across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries to explore this enduring fascination. The exhibition features the work of Fikret Atay, Jennifer Bolande, Roger Brown, Jeff Carter, Roe Ethridge, Jonathan Horowitz, Bodys Isek Kingelez, Jakob Kolding, Vera Lutter, Abelardo Morell, Eliza Myrie, Ahmet Ögüt , Claes Oldenburg, Gabriel Orozco, Enoc Perez, Monika Sosnowska, Thomas Struth, Jan Tichy, Andy Warhol, Peter Wegner, H. C. Westermann, Wesley Willis, Catherine Yass, and Shizuka Yokomizo, among others.

See you again in August MCA!

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

220 East Chicago Ave,

Chicago, IL 60611