Unfamous: The Works of Gary Taxali
Curator: Kelly McCray
First Canadian Place Gallery
100 King St West, Toronto
December 12 – January 27, 2017
Opening December 15, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Artist Talk: January 19, 12 – 1:00 pm
First Canadian Place and Kelly McCray of ArtBarrage are pleased to present Unfamous, the works of Gary Taxali at First Canadian Place Gallery. This will be his first exhibition in Toronto since 2012.
Internationally renowned and acclaimed recipient of numerous awards for his artwork, Gary Taxali has been trailblazing a path that intersects the paradoxes/anxieties of contemporary society through imagery of bygone eras. Reminiscent of 1930’s Depression era signs, posters, packaging, vintage graphics and ephemera, Taxali confronts themes of human relationships, love, sex, isolation, frustrations and consumerism through our yearning for nostalgia.
One can attribute the popular success of Taxali’s work not only to the familiarity or innocence of the past, his illustrative technical prowess and consummate visual text compositions, but also to the conscious decision to illuminate his work through strong elements of humour. The artist states that while humour “mocks the worst part of the human condition, it also bounds us to a shared understanding that life should never be taken to seriously”.
Through the artists’ combined elements, he draws on our empathetic impulse to feel the dejection of his Toy Monkey or to feel the frustration of his senior citizen trying to master the Yo Yo, not unlike contemporary anxieties caused by the constant need to upgrade/adapt through our self-imposed climate of technical advancements.
As Taxali has made a habit of turning the element of time on its head,
he has also habitually captured the commercial world by storm, feeding a populous of mass consumption with his fine art mastery. Over the years, his artwork has been featured in Rolling Stone Magazine, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Newsweek, GQ, Harry Rosen, Warner Brothers among others.
There appears to be a simplicity and ease with which Taxali creates his iconic imagery. He states, I like to create things that look like they existed but never actually did”: an accidental beauty that is not forced upon the eye of the beholder, but rather instinctively arrives…fresh… in his realm of the “Unfamous”.
Taxali’s upcoming exhibitions include Context Art Miami with Matthew Namour Gallery and his work will be included in the Juxtapoz Clubhouse at MANA Wynwood (2400 NW 5th Ave) featuring installations by artists from Jonathan LeVine Gallery.
Gary Taxali is a contemporary fine artist known for his retro vintage pop art style rooted from an award winning illustration background. Gary slickly re-imagines pop art and his work has a nostalgic feel with a modern sensibility. It has a low brow/high brow appeal. Gary uses a variety of techniques including silk screening, drawing, ink and other mixed media. He often utilizes found objects and distressed surfaces as his canvas.
He has exhibited in many galleries and museums throughout North Ameria and Europe including The Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), the Jonathan LeVine Gallery (New York), Matthew Namour Gallery (Montreal), Wanrooij Gallery (Amsterdam), MondoPOP Gallery (Sydney), The Antonio Colombo Gallery (Milan), Steve Lazarides/The Outsiders (London, UK), and The Andy Warhol Musuem.
Gary has worked for clients including Sony, Warner Brothers, Converse, Nintento, Time, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, GQ, Esquire, LA Times, The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and others. He has been featured and interviewed in the CBC National, Maclean’s, Fashion Television, MuchMusic, the National Post, the Globe and Mail and many others. A short film on his art entitled “Gary Taxali: The Art of Whimsy) premiered at the Canadian Art Film Festival in March 2015.
Gary has also collaborated with various brands and integrated his art in various mediums including releasing collectible designer toys, writing and illustrating a children’s book titled “This Is Silly!” published by Scholastic and created artist-designed silk pocket squares for Canada’s major men’s retailer, Harry Rosen, is the Toronto artist for Gap Inc. headquarters for Old Navy amongst his many projects. Gary created the cover art and inside illustrations for Aimee Mann’s album @#%&*! Smilers, which earned a 2009 Grammy Award Nomination for Best Art Package. Gary designed six celebration coins for the Royal Canadian Mint in 2012. He is also a member of the Stamp Advisory Committee for Canada Post.
For more details, visit the artist’s website at www.garytaxali.com. He is represented by Vandana Taxali (www.entcounsel.com)