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a few more from Bike Porn 4

June 30, 2015

This week on Greetings from Toronto, we are showcasing artwork made by collective members for Bike Porn 4 (the art show component of Bike Smut 8 as seen in Toronto this past April).

“Cycle or Die” by Ehab Arafeh on 4″X6″ watercolour paper

Cycle or Die

Cycle or Die

“if it blows up your skirt” by Natascha Malta acrylic paint & pen on 8″ X10″ birch panel

if it blows up your skirt

if it blows up your skirt

“byke dyke” by Natascha Malta acrylic paint & pen on 8″X10″ birch panel

byke dyke

byke dyke

Maleficent photo set for Bike Porn 4

June 29, 2015

Because we didn’t share all the great work that was created for Bike Porn 4, (the art show portion of Bike Smut 8 in Toronto this year)- I thought I would take the opportunity this week and share some of the work that was created by collective members for the show.

Here are a few of our favourite shots from a Maleficent inspired photo shoot Becca Jaine did for the show, featuring our mutual friend Julia as the model.

juliabikes1 juliabikes2 juliabikes3

#Iwanttodrawyourband does UNSOUND TORONTO

June 23, 2015

This past Saturday for a very special edition of #Iwanttodrawyourband, Ashley Grafe and I collaborated on a live painting at one of the coolest and most unique events I’ve ever had the pleasure of attending.

This past weekend Luminato brought the Krakow-based festival Unsound, to breathe life back into the abandoned Hearn Generating Station. The decommissioned power plant occupies an interesting space in the city’s psychogeography. Situated in the heart of the Toronto Port Lands (a site where imminent revitalization plans are the source of much debate), the Hearn represents a possibility of what could be if the city’s redesign allowed artists to reimagine the unused space as a worldclass centre for the arts.

Luminato’s grandiose vision for the future of the Hearn certainly left a lot to live up to, and Unsound didn’t disappoint. Their treatment of the Hearn saw the entire space lit up & reanimated as part of a giant, immersive night of installation art for festival attendees with music as the pulse.

An unusually thought-provoking blend of sound art, experimental, and industrial music dominated the main stage- each piece paired with a visual component to accompany the experience. With the bass turned up loud enough for patrons to feel as well as hear the music, and especially with Unsound’s emphasis to turn off devices, and selfie free zones during certain sets- there were moments when the total sensory experience was somewhat (but not unpleasantly) overwhelming. This was especially true during “Double Vision”, a collaborative piece between Atom TM & Robin Fox featuring a laser show and some pretty intense visuals in RGB. For this performance we were asked to turn off the small light we were using to paint with, and maybe it’s not a coincedence that this set ends up becoming the part of the evening which really stands out in memory for me.

The sense of scale was such an intrinisic part of the experience, with the size of the venue and the creative choices of the artists suggesting a scale larger than human. In Ben Frost’s performance you got the impression that the music maker was a sky god using the elements of thunder and lightning to mesmerize the audience. Meanwhile Lillevan’s live animation of Morton Subotnick’s “Silver Apples of the Moon” takes us on a psychedelic voyage through time and space. Finally we become a little overwhelmed by all the art, and decide to simply venture through and enjoy the space itself, which has been lit up and decorated with some props which are well suited to the overall tone of the weekend’s festivities. Excited festival patrons sit on overturned trees provided as benches, or take turns posing with carwrecks which look like they were pulled from the set of Mad Max. We make our way to the side room where a dark dance party is in full swing.

Overall, the evening absolutely delivered on an epic night of artistic and urban exploration- which delighted the diverse audience of spectators that came out (an audience ranging from art collectors and socialites, to music nerds, clubbers, and the odd cyber punk). My hope is that the success of Unsound will help spur the public consciousness towards a more permanent use of this building for future arts and music events.

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Now to switch gears and talk a little bit about the painting. This painting is 2ft tall X 3ft wide, and was created during the event of the duration of several hours. It was made with acrylic paints and oil pastels on wood panel. Usually when we do drawings for #Iwanttodrawyourband, we focus on the bands. However for this particular event, we weren’t very close to front of the stage, and the visual element of the show was overall more about the visuals playing out on the big screen behind the musicians rather than the musicians themselves. We tried to capture the overall feeling of the show and being in that space.


Note* now that we’ve been able to photograph the painting, it is for sale. You can contact for sales.

UNSOUND Festival comes to Toronto

June 19, 2015

At 440 Unwin Ave, nestled in the Toronto Portlands between Cherry Beach & Ashbridges Bay lies one of the cities few abandoned spaces. The Hearn Generating Station was a power plant  decommissioned in 1983. Until now, if you wanted to explore inside the space you would’ve had to have been part of one of the film crews shooting inside of the space, or an urban exploration ninja.

This weekend for the first time in its history, the Hearn is opening it’s doors to the public for Unsound Toronto– a music festival being presented through Luminato. A few rare private parties have been held in the space, including yesterday’s Luminato Opening Gala. On Wednesday morning I had a chance to walk through the space with the Luminato’s Artistic Director Jorn Weisbrodt, as well as Unsound Co-Curators Mat Schulz and Malgorzata Plysa.

Jorn spent a great deal of time in Berlin after the wall came down, and describes the city as a place with a rich culture of underground clubs, and spaces reclaimed by art & artists. In Toronto however, those kind of found spaces are rare. Jorn is positively infected with the potential of the space, and what it proposes for the future of the Toronto art scene- which is why he’s chosen to host the past 2 Luminato Galas in the space. Where previous city plans to revitalize the building by turning it into hockey rinks fell through, Jorn is hoping Luminato will “start a fire” in the imagination of Torontonians. In his grand & creative alternative, he envisions the space brought back to life to pump energy into Toronto in a new way- as a future cultural landmark for the city. This fits in well to this year’s overarching theme for Luminato, which echoes the cycle of chaos and order. Of industry conquering nature, and nature taking over again. Luminato will begin tonight by breathing life back into an abandoned space, and will conclude with an epic rendition of R. Murray Schaefer’s Apocalypsis featuring 1000 performers.

This is also the premiere of Unsound Festival in Toronto. Unsound Fest was started in Krakow, Poland by Mat Schulz and Malgorzata Plysa in 2006 to explore the intersection of architecture, music, and art. In subsequent years it has also traveled to NYC, London, & Adelaide using found spaces for the performance- including a 15th century Gothic cathedral in Krakow. The Toronto incarnation of Unsound will see the scale of festival aggrandized in the huge Hearn, which the pair remark feels like an industrial cathedral. The line up features what the pair describe as “the creme-de-la-creme of Unsound performers”, playing works commissioned especially for the Unsound Festival- including the Canadian premiere of Tim Hecker’s olfactory & musical experience Ephemera. (Note, the first of tonight’s performance of this is SOLD OUT, but there are limited tickets available for the later set).

The curation of Unsound musicially reflects the place where sound art & experimentation meets club music. And at Hearn Station there are no neighbours to offend with noise complaints,so you can expect the night to get loud. The curators explain the experience as “a sound that’s in your entire body”. It’s intended to be overwhelming, immerisive, and a little abrasive. But in case you forget yours, the event will be providing ear plugs for guests.

Other things to note for the show tonight- the building may be cold inside, and you are not recommended to wear stiletto shoes. A floor has been laid for the event, and safety measures have been taken to make sure that the space is safe and ready for guests- but wear shoes that can take getting a little wet or dirty. As far as transportation goes, your best bets are taking a cab from Union Station to the site, driving or biking. There will be bike and car parking there. Unfortunately the Hearn is not accessible by transit.

For those who are looking for an adventurous party and art experience this weekend, Unsound may be one of the most exciting experiences you’ll get to partake in this summer. Greetings from Toronto is excited to announce that we will be doing a live collaborative painting on the Saturday night of the fest to capture our experience of the space & and music within it.

Tickets available on the Luminato page.


Camp Wavelength release first round of artists

May 27, 2015

Camp Wavelength just released it’s first round of artists including;

The Wooden Sky, Do Make Say Think, The Weather Station, Doomsquad, Absolutely Free, Loscil, Pierre Kwenders, LIDS, Dirty Frigs, Kidstreet, Scattered Clouds, Avec le soleil sortant dans sa bouche, JOYFULTALK, Kurt Marble, RaveTapes + much more

After a year’s hiatus, Wavelength’s end of summer festival returns to Artscape Gibraltar Point on Toronto island for a reimagining of the ALL CAPS FEST. This year’s installment will take place on the last week of August this year, and allows a limited amount of festival goers the chance to camp on the Toronto Island for the duration of the fest. (However, you’ll want to snag early bird tickets soon if you want to camp out on the island.)

More info on the fest and info on tickets here.


#Iwanttodrawyourband does LAZERSUZAN

May 26, 2015

here are a couple drawings I made of LAZERSUZAN last month.

LAZERSUZAN plays tomorrow and every other Wednesday at The Only Cafe on Danforth.



#Iwanttodrawyourband does SoFar Sounds Toronto

May 15, 2015

some pencil crayon drawings I made at SoFar Sounds Toronto. this month’s edition featured music from Canadian Music Week.

SoFar Sounds put on secret shows all over the world. to get the location of the shows (which are only released the day before the event), you can sign up for their mailing list in the city of your choosing. musicians remain a secret until the day of.

Tom West

Tom West

josh savage

josh savage

midday swim

midday swim


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