Dedicated Drawing Club
Dedicated Drawing Club is an East Van collaboration between Toni Latour and Nicola Tibbetts. For three years, the artists met regularly to create drawings that were dedicated to people in their lives. With funding from Capilano University, the project expanded into exhibitions, a website, a book, and a DDC product line. Dedicated Drawing Club began in 2011.
All Bodies Draw
Amy: all bodies drawing, graphite in sketchbook, 10” x 10”, 2013
Amy: Fried Chicken Dreams, graphite in sketchbook, 10” x 10”, 2013
A group all-bodies drawing session yielded these results.
Feels Like Home to Me
Feels Like Home to Me, 17-monitor HD video installation, 34 Graphite Drawings by Toni Latour and Studio Assistants, 2007-present
Feels Like Home to Me is a 17-monitor video installation accompanied by a series of 36 framed drawings. The project reflects on concepts of home, loss and identity through an exploration of place. Over the summers of 2007 and 2008, Toni Latour traveled back to the 17 places she’d lived in up until that time. This brought her to 8 Canadian cities, across thousands of kilometres. In front of each location she recorded herself singing “Feels Like Home to Me” by Chantal Kreviazuk (original by Randy Newman). In addition to the videos, Latour is in the process of drawing each of the 17 locations in graphite on paper. To complement these drawings and expand the dialogue on departure and return, she has researched and selected 17 birds that are native to the various areas, and is drawing them as well. The project is in progress.
Jack and Toni
Jack and Toni, graphite on paper, 10” x 8.5”, 2005
This piece was commissioned and sold by Artspeak Gallery, Vancouver, for their annual fundraiser. It was accompanied by a handmade embroidered squeaky toy and a matching double-collared leash. The piece speaks humorously to the interconnected and interdependent relationship between the artist and her dog.
Andy, Andy, Ed, Marcel and Me
Andy, Andy, Ed, Marcel and Me, graphite on paper, 10” x 8.5” each, 2001
Andy, Andy, Ed, Marcel and Me was originally designed as an artist project for MIX Magazine for their Winter 2001 edition called: Attention Economies. Five separate drawings and texts were digitally compiled into one piece to fit the format of the magazine, but were later exhibited individually. The piece depicts a portrait and quote from Andy Warhol, Ed Keinholz, Marcel Duchamp, Toni Latour and a statement about Andy Kaufman. Each quote or statement makes reference to the labour of the artist.
Text for Andy, Andy, Ed, Marcel and Me:
Andy Kaufman: Andy Kaufman at the peak of his television career.
Andy Warhol: “I really believe in empty spaces, although, as an artist, I make a lot of junk. Empty space is never wasted space. Wasted space is any space that has art in it. An artist is somebody who produces things that people don’t need…So on the one hand, I really believe in empty spaces, but on the other hand, because I’m still making art, I’m still making junk for people to put in their spaces that I believe should be empty: i.e. I’m helping people waste their space when what I really want to do is help them empty their space.”
Ed Keinholz: “To be an artist would probably be someone who was trying to avoid an honest days work. That would be the attitude of the people in the community where I was raised. And it might be that I moved toward construction because that was a tool situation, with a hammer and a nail and a pair of pliers to make art would be a more feasible process than to stand in front of a canvas and make brush strokes.”
Marcel Duchamp: “Marcel, no more painting, go get a job.”
Toni Latour: You can do it! You’re good. And even if you weren’t… you keep doing it. And that’s what matters.
Larry, Balthus and Me
Larry, Balthus and Me, graphite on paper, 19.25” x 17”, 2002
Drawing allows for histories to converge and fictional scenarios to surface. Larry, Balthus and Me depicts Larry Clark (contemporary filmmaker) on the right, Balthus (20th Century painter) on the left, and the artist in the centre. Above Clark is a film still from “Kids” (1996) that shows 2 teenage girls kissing. Above Balthus is his painting “The Guitar Lesson” (1934) that pictures an adult female teacher engaged in a sexual act with her female child student. For Latour, these, and similar images, have always occupied complex spaces. In unsettling ways, they have primarily acted as objects of desire and fantasy, in a world where relatively few same-sex representations emerge. But they have also been subject to great debate and criticism. Some of the controversy surrounding these images is triggered by the identity of the image-makers, and the politics of desiring lesbian imagery made by men for men. In this piece, Latour is simultaneously embracing Clark and Balthus, and presenting them to the viewer for analysis. Latour’s identification as a queer artist and viewer is meant to inform the content of the work.
Eyes on the Back of My Head
Eyes on the Back of My Head, diptych, graphite on paper, 19.5” x 20” each, 2002
Drawing allows a freedom to create objects that would otherwise be very difficult to make. Eyes on the Back of My Head depicts the artist wearing a pair of fictional spectacles that allow her to look at the back of her own head. In an illogical manner, this piece concerns itself with ideas of self-scrutiny and anxiety around keeping up. Self-monitoring is taken to an absurd level in this Orwellian work.
Since 1975, graphite and pencil crayon on paper, 50″ x 50″, 2007
From the ubiquitous microwave oven to the life-saving MRI machine, this piece examines the fads, products and inventions that have shaped and changed our lives over the last 3 decades. Humour enters into the 81 drawing work as Apple’s Ipod sits close by an actual apple with a syringe poking out of it, suggesting the current state of our genetically modified food supply. In that vein, Dolly (1996-2003), the first animal to be cloned from an adult cell, is positioned on the grid opposite the 1980’s pop phenomenon Chia Pet, looking oddly similar in shape. Objects of great importance mingle with their lesser counterparts, but all have, no doubt, captured some part of our collective consciousness. The artist’s research dates back to her birth year, 1975.