Alexandra Mackenzie merges lo-fi and fine art influences in Dream Catchers at the Drake.
DREAM CHASERS at the Drake Hotel (1150 Queen West), to February 12. 416-531-5042. Rating: NNNN
Working outside the paradigm of the white gallery cube is no doubt one of the joys of curating inside a hotel. The Drake's Mia Nielsen uses the space handily, exploiting the unique qualities of the works in this eclectic show of drawings and illustrations by emerging artists. Dreams seem to be the theme this season.
It Could Be Who You Wanted To Be, Carrie Chisholm's mobile sculpture/drawing, hangs in the front display case. A dancing girl, skirts gathered and foot lifted, is loosely outlined on a mylar panel suspended from the ceiling. Mylar snowflakes float around her in a cloud, creating an easy, breezy multi-dimensional image that catches the changing light as it slowly twists.
Projected onto the back wall of the lobby, Stacey Steer's animation Night Hunter consists of over 4,000 drawings collaged over early film footage of Lillian Gish, whose mooncalf demeanour works perfectly with Steer's dark, surreal imagery. It has the feel of hand-cranked turn-of-thxe-century cinema, making this corner of the first floor feel that much more forlorn and haunted.
Drawings by Alexandra Mackenzie in the main lobby could be fantasy pages from the greatest 70s sci-fi colouring book that never was. In Ascension, a black-and-white mass of alien, human and animal bodies is shot through with rainbow seams of colour that build up to a glowing orange psychedelic portal.
Like many emerging Toronto artists, she melds a grab bag of lo-fi and fine art influences to come up with something new.
Derek Albeck's eye-boggling graphite-on-paper renderings of plaid shirts hang in the coffee shop.
Since he's loosely draped the shirts in the drawings to resemble crude, mask-like faces, his virtuosity nearly undercuts itself.
Only on second glance do you realize you're witnessing extreme photo-realistic drawing prowess.