Gary Taxali

Waddington’s Presents its First Pop Up Exhibition: Gary Taxali / Shanti Town

Waddington’s presents its first Pop Up Exhibition:

Gary Taxali: Shanti Town

January 30 – February 9, 2014


For Immediate Release

January 14, 2014

Toronto, ON – Waddington’s is pleased to present acclaimed Canadian artist and illustrator Gary Taxali’s Shanti Town in the first of its series of Pop Up selling exhibitions. The show runs from January 30 through February 9, 2014, at Waddington’s, 275 King Street East, Toronto.  An exciting new concept in Canada, selling exhibitions are becoming increasingly popular in the international auction world.  Waddington’s presentation of Shanti Town will be a Canadian first.

Gary Taxali is one of Canada’s best-known and highly acclaimed artists.   His signature pop culture works are infused with 1930s-style packaging, posters, typography and advertising with original and sophisticated characters and graphics on to distressed surfaces.  His illustrations have appeared in the New York Times, Esquire, Rolling Stone, GQ and Playboy.  The recipient of over 500 awards, Taxali was commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Art to create a limited edition silkscreen to accompany the release of his first vinyl toy. His artwork for Aimee Mann’s 2008 album @#%&*! Smilers, was nominated for a Grammy Award and most recently he designed a series of coins for the Royal Canadian Mint.  In addition to his international exhibitions and lectures, Taxali creates toys, designs pocket squares for Harry Rosen, is an author, and teaches at OCAD University.


Clearly a non-traditionalist, Taxali was delighted to partner with Waddington’s on its first pop up retail exhibition.  “I love the opportunity to explore new territory – working with an establishment like Waddington’s opens up all kinds of possibilities for my work.”


He describes the Shanti Town exhibition, created specifically for this event: “In Hindi, the word “shanti” means peace or tranquility.  “Shanty” is also a ghetto or impoverished village often located within or on the outskirts of a city.  The double meaning is appropriate in how I wish to convey the messages in my work. 1930’s Depression era signs, posters, packaging and graphics have always served as a large mood inspiration for my art.   My fascination with this era highlights my preoccupation with the paradoxes of human relationships, love, isolation, period advertisements, propaganda, and economic despair and frustration – all recurring themes in the works presented in this show.  Yet, there is also a recurring sense of acceptance of “what is” in every piece.  This is where I cannot escape from humour.  While it mocks the worst parts of the human condition, it also binds us to a shared understanding that life should never be taken too seriously.  I simply cannot think of a more peaceful way to be than that.”

Stephen Ranger, head of Waddington’s Concrete Contemporary division, is thrilled to be working with Taxali on the company’s first pop up retail exhibition.  “What makes his work so compelling is how the imagery engages us with both a sense of nostalgia, as well as basic truths about our lives. Depression-era figures juxtaposed with text slyly and humorously define how we really think and feel.  I think this exhibition will strike a cord with everyone.”


An exhibition catalogue will be made available to the public.













Opening Reception

Thursday 30 January 2014

6:00 – 9:00 p.m.


Retail Exhibition

Thursday 30 January 2014 to Sunday 9 February 2014

Weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Weekends 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Artist’s Talk

Saturday, February 1

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.



275 King Street East, Toronto, Ontario


Waddington’s, Canada’s Auction House since 1850, is the country’s most diversified provider of auction and appraisal services.  Waddington’s offers live and online auctions of fine art and collectibles across a broad spectrum of markets, including Canadian, Inuit, Asian and International art, as well as Decorative arts and Jewellery.  A full-service company with respected subject matter expertise, Waddington’s is also the leading expert on providing downsizing services.  Waddington’s international network of clients and contacts ensures our auctions and services reach the broadest possible audiences.


For more information on Waddington’s visit:

For more information on Gary Taxali, go to, and

For Media Information:

Ciarlo Communications                            Vandana Taxali

Tel:     416-763-3783                                  Tel: 416-865-0800

Cell:    416-458-5090                                  Email:




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