Visual Art and Design

Steel Bananas Visual Art and Design Section

It’s beginning to look a lot like Krampusnacht!

Photos by Steve Wilson For those unfamiliar with European legend, the Krampus is a mythical creature.  In various regions of the world – particularly Austria and Hungary – it is believed that Krampus accompanies St. Nicholas during the Christmas season, warning and punishing naughty children. While St. Nicholas gives gifts to good children, Krampus is

Spotlight: Sarah Clement

I grew up on the West Coast, dividing my time between the big city of Vancouver and the beautiful Sunshine Coast. I wandered around Europe before deciding to attend the Langara College Fine Arts Program. After chiseling away at soapstone, wielding a brush loaded with acrylic paint and soaking metal plates in acid, I found

Spotlight: Charline Fallu

Simili-artiste/étudiante en design de Montréal qui aspire à être une art superstar. Mon atelier, c’est une accumulation de portraits de femmes, de filles, d’androgynes, des émotions autobiographiques, des narrations simples : des joues rouges, des positions candides, les épaules basses, toujours un peu découragées, des rondeurs inspirantes, une pilosité abondante. Bien interprété, c’est la beauté sensible,

The Power of Print

[The poster] is a means of communication between the seller and the public – somewhat like a telegraph. The poster artist is like a telephone operator; he does not draft messages, he dispatches them. No one asks him what he thinks; all he is asked to do is to communicate clearly, powerfully and precisely. A.M.

Spotlight: Tiffany Muñoz

Tiffany Muñoz is a Vancouver based artist/illustrator.  She was born in Kamloops and raised from Salmon Arm to the backward suburbs of Vancouver.  She is mostly a self-taught artist.  This past year, Tiffany completed foundation studies in Interdisciplinary Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.  Her preferred media is a traditional hands-on love for pencils, pens, watercolours,

Lay Me Down Softly: The Art of Bloodletting

Amanda Nedham – “The Hunger Artist II” Yellow bile, black bile, phlegm and blood: for thousands of years the art of bloodletting was sought to balance the four humours of which the human body is composed. Greek, Roman and later Muslim and Western European medical establishments that adopted and adapted classical medical philosophy believed that

Spotlight: Chih Chen

I’m a recent graduate from McMaster where I majored in anthropology. I started teaching myself photography with the help of a very expensive and very awful digital camera when I was thirteen – all digital cameras were expensive then. Presently I’m more interested in analog photography. I love the entire process of rationing film and

Tiny Kitten Teeth: Retro Cute with Some Odd Drinking Habits

The other day, while pawing absent-mindedly through an old cardboard box of miscellanea, I happened upon a treasure trove of Children’s Record Guild 78s. Dressed in garish, dog-eared sleeves, and bearing titles like, Mendelssohn’s… A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Swing Your Partner, and Said the Piano to the Harpsichord, the actual records themselves are no great

Spotlight: Andrea Wan

Andrea Wan is a visual artist and illustrator based in Vancouver, BC. She went to Emily Carr University of Art and Design where she received a degree in Film, Video and Integrated Media. With a strong passion in storytelling and image making, she went on to study illustration and design at Designskolen Kolding, Denmark. Since

Infinity Dome: A Look Inside Phantasmagoria

Viewers take a look at the works, with Mars-1’s Tulpa 2 on the main wall “Phantasmagoria” refers to a procession of ever-changing and often fantastical imagery. This sequence of imagery, haphazard and associative, is not something we would see on an everyday basis. A surreal passage through time. The transition from waking to dreaming. The

Kate Beaton and The History of Awesome

Kate Beaton is the kind of artist that makes my job difficult. You see — she’s awesome. So much so that it’s difficult to write anything at all about her work without merely waxing poetical about said awesomeness ad nauseum. That is, without descending into a fangirlish quagmire so thick with praise and adoration that

Spotlight: Patricio Betteo

Patricio Betteo, son of South American parents, was born in Mexico City in the late 70’s. He studied  graphic design at the National School of Arts  but dropped out three years later because he wanted much more than that. So he started a big pursuit for comics (as an aspiration) and eventually he felt more

SCREAM (but hold the Universal Angst of Modern Man)

Edvard Munch’s The Scream (1893–1910) is among the most well-known and widely reproduced icons of Western art. Given the four versions (in paint and pastel) plus a lithograph made by Munch himself, The Scream has been a somewhat promiscuous and democratic image from the start. Over the last fifty years, everything from fine art prints

Spotlight: Mia Calderone

The combination of an all American mother and a Puerto Rican father, Mia experienced cultural confusion from birth. At the age of 7 she was sent to live with her father in Sao Paulo, Brazil where she found a heavy aesthetic influence in the Catholi buy levitra online c Church. At 14 she moved to

Spotlight: acorn

Born and raised up and down the west coast of the Americas, acorn is a self taught sloth mimic and representative of the “skate-jutsu” methods. After a long stint of collecting seeds throughout Europe over the course of a couple years, acorn is now living in the bat-infested community of Melbourne, Australia. This particular seed

When Banksy Comes to Town

“Banksy came to Toronto!” Ah ha (I think, too groggy for an exclamation point) so I didn’t leave my cellphone set to “loud”— I merely dreamed the obnoxious ring-tone, and now for the surreal conversation. No doubt the scene shall soon shift without warning to a seaside resort or Santa’s underground lair or somesuch. “…

Familiar Mutations: Mars-1 and Infinite Tapestry

Look at this piece and tell me what you see. Microscopic organisms illuminating a dark passage, maybe an ever-expanding mass of fireflies or perhaps it’s just one of those trippy 3D graphs. Whatever it is, it’s surrealism to the core. The San Francisco-based Mario Martinez, better known as Mars-1, has been blowing minds for a

The Ghosts of Rolly’s Garage. Or, Rediscovering AT.AW’s Orphans

Ambling up Ossington Ave. the other day (which, up-and-coming-neighbourhood status notwithstanding, I rarely do) I came across an establishment called Meta Gallery, located in a white-painted building built like an auto-mechanic’s garage and set back from the side walk. The adjoining building’s northernmost wall stretched out, painted black-on-black with a peculiar clouds-shaped artefact of more

Spotlight: Alexis Barattin

Alexis Barattin is an illustration student and a freelance illustrator from Toronto. She spends most of her time drawing and enjoys experimenting with collage and other media. Alexis also likes really expensive cookies and is trying to learn how to do the cryptic crossword. Check out more of her work on her blog and in

Illustration Proclamation: Gary Taxali and Dan Perjovschi

Gary Taxali and the team at Narwhal Art Projects have brought together a collection of original illustrations by Taxali. Hundreds of works are assembled in groupings that flow like a free form comic strip. Ranging over the generous displays is an experience that lends itself to playful associations amongst neighbouring illustrations, while demonstrating Taxali’s dexterity

Spotlight: Megan McKenzie

Hi my name is Megan, and I’m a Toronto-based freelance illustrator. Having grown up in the city, I attended the Ontario College of Art and Design to eventually graduate with a Bachelor of Design in illustration. When not hunched over my drawing table, you can find me immersed in a book, playing with my ever-growing

Where History and Comedy Dance Beneath a Hyperlink’s Gentle Glow: On The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

In matters of art on the internet, conceptual artists have a habit of getting there first and leaving behind little more than tedious ghosts of their abstract inspirations. Sometimes it takes an artist from the commercial world to build something truly awesome on that old territory, something destined to do more than just stick around

This Editorial Belongs in the Doghouse

I have a love-hate relationship with fashion. On one hand, it’s interesting, creative, and provocative. Fashion design is so fascinating. Some of the pieces that designers come up really ought to be displayed in an art gallery. Wearing a well-made g Buy viagra soft cheapest tab arment must be some sort of sartorial sex. On

Spotlight: Yien Yip

I am an illustrator and a textile artist. Born and bred in Alberta, Canada, I have been drawing and painting ever since I was a kid. However, like every other member in my family, I decided to be realistic and became a chartered accountant. After five years in the field and one quarter life crisis

Careful Smudges: Negotiating the Gendered Subject

Photos by Zach Hertzman // Through performance and body painting, Adrian Cohen-Gallant and Sophia Ilyniak have negotiated their relationship with several issues central to the artistic representation of sexuality and the gendered subject. The early successes of this artist couple are related to two tensions in their works. One tension is the conflict between the

Weird Treasures at The Grange

It’s a given that any review is going to hand the reader a pair of expectacles to wear when sallying forth to view the object in question with their own eyes. It’s a rare thing to come across an object where that taint could make a significant difference in the experience—but so help me, the

Spotlight: Dani Crosby

My name is Dani Crosby. I am a graduate of the Sheridan BAA Illustration program and am currently based in Oshawa Ontario. I put my personality, emotions, and twisted sense of humor directly into my work to create strong visual messages that words alone cannot convey. Through my work I love to make people from

Where the Pathos Lies: Dash Snow’s Polaroids

Describing Polaroids is simple. It’s a big, black, paperback photography book containing all of the polaroids that Dash Snow selected to be enlarged and displayed as works of art during his career. However, explaining Dash Snow’s Levitra order online polaroids takes much more consideration. One of the collections eight titles, ‘Situations Galore’, best describes the

Spotlight: Kim Sokol

Kim Sokol is a recent graduate of Sheridan College’s Illustration program. She’s a Toronto-area illustrator, diving headfirst into the freelance business. She works with ink, watercolour, and a copious helping of Photoshop to create bright, dynamic narrative illustration. She’s inspired by strange people, old hats, cars from before 1930, terrible movies, weird mythology, and eye-searing

Spotlight: Justin Erickson

Justin Erickson is a Toronto-based artist with a particular passion for horror and the macabre. His compositions are generated by working with a variety of illustrative media techniques, digital manipulation, graphic design, and narrative concepts. After graduating from Sheridan College’s Illustration program in the spring of 2005, Justin experienced three years of success as a

The AGO Can Ignore Halloween, But That’s Not Stopping Me: A Guided Tour for Hallowe’en

I’d wager that for most everyone reading this, the Art Gallery of Ontario is one of the last places you’d think of when I say the words “horror,” “ghostly,” “creeptacular” or “Halloween.” Since its recent reconstruction (what with its slick modern architecture and interiors so brightly-lit that shadows tell tales of it to their little

Spotlight: Jessica Vallentin

I am an interdisciplinary artist currently exploring photography, print media, video, sound and performance. I am interested in using art as a tool to connect with individuals in an attempt to understand the human condition. My openness to ideas and willingness to explore new mediums have created a portfolio of diverse projects. You could also

Spotlight: Thomas Girard

My name is Thomas Girard and I’ve lived in Toronto for 3 years now. I’m a professional web developer, aspiring visual artist and armchair neroscientist. When I moved here I was inspired by the artistic community Toronto had and I just wanted to immerse myself in that. I got started doing the things I do


STEEL BANANAS IS LOOKING TO HIRE A VISUAL ART + DESIGN COLUMNIST THAT’S RIGHT! If you possess: extensive knowledge of and/or experience with contemporary visual art and design awareness of the goings-on in the art scenes of Toronto/Montreal/Calgary/Vancouver and/or other major Canadian cities the ability to write engaging conversational prose a yearning to be able

Spotlight: Sarafin

Sarafin first showed the signs of a young artist after a concussion at the age of two, when she began drawing a series of anthropomorphic traffic light people. Growing up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, she was often found sculpting with foam rubber and a glue gun, painting with acrylics and watercolour, and even making crude animated films with a borrowed video

Spotlight: Rodrigo Bravo

Born in Santiago, Chile in the magical 1980’s, Rodrigo grew up in a loving environment where he was encouraged to express himself through the arts. He was even expelled from a grade school for drawing caricatures of the faculty. Arriving in Canada in 1996 to join with the rest of his family in London, Ontario, Rodrigo attended H.B. Beal

Spotlight: Jakub Tywoniuk

Jakub Tywoniuk is a 20 year old graphic design student with masculine features and a feminine grace. He resides in Toronto where he draws bizarre comic books with the intention of corrupting everyone. For him, drawing is not a pleasant process, but a stressful pastime fraught with self-loathing and criticism. This biography is terribly sarcastic

Spotlight: Marlee MacLean

Photography has always been a recognized aspect of my life. Growing up, I was constantly reminded by my father to make sure that I wasn’t cutting off heads in portraits and he did his best to help me understand the difference between a good photo, and a not-so-great photo. Little did I know that his

Spotlight: Landon Speers

Often times I feel like I’m too interested in too many things at once. Other times I feel I’m not interested in enough.  Then there’s times where I feel I don’t have enough time, hands and brain power to ever do everything I want to do and I get frustrated.  I think I’ll always feel

Collaborative Artforms: Intersections between Music and Visual Art at the Opening of Permeate

Curated by Emese Varga with the intent of bringing “contemporary Canadian artists and a composer together under one roof to juxtapose perspectives and expressions of what music/sound is to them”, Permeate features visual artists Katie Pretti, Scott Everingham, Amanda Clyne, Ezra Gray, Margaret Nieradka, Sarah Fardon-Choi and Christopher Wong, all inspired by the intersection of

Spotlight: Chad Verhaaff

  When first asked to write an article about being an artist in Toronto or an art student trying to make as an artist in Toronto, I realized that I was neither. As of November I decided to take a year off in my final year of animation (Seneca College). I do live in Toronto and I