So yo, we jetted down to Hochelega to catch the filming of Monk.e’s video for the first single of his new album. The track is titled CASHDOWN and is produced by MTL’s own Fred Po, AKA – PSTV –

It was mad cold out that day as we scuttled up grey streets toward Monk.e’s crib to chill while the video was being shot. Halfway up the block we saw some mooked out characters in the alley. Dudes doing wild hand signs in bubble vests, director Carlos Guerra catching the perspective from the other side of his Canon 5D.

This was my introduction to PSTV in person, but to be honest, I was chilling with Monk.e the week before, listening to his new album when I heard the production for CASHDOWN – I immediately remarked that the beat was a really sharp hybridization of trap and EDM flavour. It’s always been my wish that conscious MCs would rap over more futuristic beats – well bang, it was made manifest. I set up an interview with PSTV for the next week, because yo – his beats are on point and I’m not one to be sleeping on the MTL underground. In the meantime I gave his set from the Belmont a spin.

It became apparent rather quickly that PSTV is more than just a hip-hop beat maker. He’s just as comfortable mixing juicy house beats as he is composing trap and trance. Everything in PSTV’s music is measured, and he uses space really well, too. To me, such a range of skills being expressed in equal strength across a wide aesthetic field is the hallmark of an up and coming artist we should keep our eyes on. Plus PSTV is straight out of the Plateau, a real MTL dude.

PSTV has all kinds of other projects on the come up as well. I’ll give you the 411 as I get it. Here’s the link to all places you can catch PSTV – holla @ your boy – ONE.

 

Fred Po

 

So here’s the thing about getting older; after spending a week at the office the idea of standing in long lines and crowded venues filled with apathetic hipsters screams exhausting, not exciting. But as much as I’m having a weekend love affair with sweatpants and Netflix these days, there are certain nights where even this old lady knows she has no excuse not to drag her ass out of the house and go experience some culture. Nuit Blanche of course is one of those nights.

As I walked to my first venue of the evening, The Montreal Museum of Fine Art, I delighted in how pretty the snowy weather made everything look and thrilled that it wasn’t the same sub-artic temperatures as last year. As I waited in the dreaded line up to get into the museum I cursed the heavens and wondered why there couldn’t be one Nuit Blanche that wasn’t affected somehow by the weather.

While I couldn’t really blame some of my companions for deciding not to wait in a snowstorm, I’m glad some of the gang made it in. We wandered around the main lobby of the museum watching body painting and listening to a DJ. My companions and I were sad we couldn’t indulge in our fantasy of running around the permanent exhibitions at night, but then not surprisingly our spirits were quickly lifted when we realized they were giving out free beers.

image_galleryThe main attraction of going to the museum was the travelling exhibit, Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and Moon. While everything in the exhibit was beautiful, my favorite part was definitely the pre-Columbian treasures. Standing in front of ancient crowns definitely brings out the Princess fantasies in a gal. The exhibit runs until June so you have plenty of time to check it out for yourself.

Our night of museum stops continued when we then headed to the Canadian Center for Architecture where there was a Pop Montreal showcase going on. This time the insane line up was too much for me so instead of checking out the music show, I wandered around enjoying the exhibits the museum had to offer. I’ll never regret that choice because while I was wandering around the museum I discovered the Karaoke room, where they were performing the last song of the night Shake Senora.  It was there where I experienced my very first spontaneous conga line, which snaked around the museum. It never ceases to amaze me how you can make the most careful plans in life and then out of nowhere you  have the most random and enjoyable experience instead.

While long line ups also prevented me from getting on the Ferris Wheel at the Quartier des Spectacles, we managed to find other fun like Arts Souterrain and standing on the main stage of Place des Arts. It was not my first time on that stage; I have stood on that stage as a child when my mother organized events there and then when I graduated university, but for me there’s still something magical about it. Standing on that large stage looking out at the crowd really makes me wish I could belt out some opera notes or be a piano progeny. If only…

 


For all those Plateau folks out there who so obnoxiously declare that nothing cool ever happens outside of their neighbourhood, I say you better watch out. I love the hustle and bustle of The Main as much as the next person, but with the opening of Gallery Boutique Arts dans le Coin, right next to NDG staple Shaika, things are starting to develop on Sherbrooke West. And for this west end girl who has spent more then her fair share of time on the orange line heading east, I say its about darn time.

This past Thursday I made my way to the Gallery Boutik to check out “The Lowbrow Theory” Vernissage. While there was no specific theme for the show, it  was easy to understand why the curators brought the 12 artists on display together; the work was a combination of surrealistic, illustration,  pop and street art, and it flowed together perfectly. To enhance your viewing pleasure the event had a DJ and gal in a Princess Lea bikini serving drinks… now who could possibly resist that?

I’ve greatly enjoyed expanding my arts coverage here at Forget the Box, and I do believe this is my first time devoting a post to a vernissage. It’s made me think about how I can ramble on for a thousand words about film or theatre but I find it much harder to analyse a piece of art. My date for evening summed it up best when I asked him why he liked a certain piece the best (painted by FTB friend Jody Hargreaves) and he shrugged and replied. “I don’t know… I just do.”  A film or a play has two hours to  win you over, but with a piece of art its all about the initial impact. You can wax on poetically about the use of colour which all the paintings (especially Hargreaves), used to excellent effect, but in the end like fashion I feel it comes down to that immediate feeling you get when you first lay eyes on it. Thankfully for me the night was full of positive gut feelings.

Of all the work on display that night, the pieces I found myself drawn to were the illustrations and prints. Dewey Guyen for instance, was one artist whose dark work reminded me of the “American Splendor” graphic novel series. While I don’t know if I would ever purchase his artwork, Guyen’s pieces are so intriguing that I found myself examining them the most all night. There’s got to be something said about art that creates such an intense reaction in you that you just can’t look away.  If I was a wealthy art collector instead of a poor blogger, I happily would have purchased all the work of Earth Crusher  whose simple yet engaging prints would look great hanging on any wall.

I wish I could have stayed longer on Thursday, but thankfully with The Gallery Boutik just around the corner from me now I’ll hopefully have plenty more chances to stop by and ponder the question of what it means to analyse a piece of art. If you want to check out The Lowbrow Theory show for your self the vernissage runs until November 15th.

* photos by Emily Campbell

 

Well not really, because the new exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts labelled ONCE UPON A TIME… IMPRESSIONNISM, contrary to the title, is not just another well-known impressionist hullabaloo designed to attract large crowds looking for pretty pictures of Paris and Parisians, there are a few academic and modern pieces in there also.

The pieces on display are from Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown Massachusetts, and were privately collected by Robert Sterling Clark heir to Singer sewing machine fortune. Mr Clark had a good eye, and certainly had the means to acquire such collection. However, as many a time prior, a private collection fails to display the strength of a movement, no matter how high in volume are the pieces.

In most cases the paintings are mundane examples, and there is only Degas’ Little Dancer to represent the sculpture medium, and yet that particular work might not be an original as the Little Dancer has many copies all over the world in many museums and collections, so one is forced to gauge the worth of this exhibition by paintings.

Try as I may, I can only single out three paintings worth mentioning, and all three are substandard works by the artists who painted them, nevertheless due to the importance of the artists and the significance of their other work within art history, I am compelled to proceed with descriptions that are at best conditional.

The Bath by Berthe Morisot painted in 1885-86 is a later exhibited work, yet one of the more important impressionist works on display due to the fact that Morisot had been exhibiting with the Impressionists from the start. “Societe anonyme des artistes peintres, sculpteurs, graveurs, etc” which is now known as the First Impressionist Exhibition included nine pieces by Morisot which were oils, watercolours, and pastels. Morisot sought to tell a story through her art be they comments on the progression of artistic styles or social norms imposed on women in particular, portraying them in private quarters which was not done by other artists with such empathy.

The social conventions existing in 19th century frowned upon women undertaking professions deemed unsuitable like oil painting; however Morisot through perseverance and dedication managed to pursue her choice in the arts amidst a wave of discouragement. Being a professional artist was seen as a masculine profession, and some women were ridiculed and labelled as “not true women” for pursuing such activities, in some cases masculine adjectives were given to women artists and writers.

A popular caricature at the time showed the horrified spectators at an all women exhibition in 1880s sighing disgusted, whilst in the background proper, suitable women were being escorted by their male companions. It was regarded as necessary for women of certain class with well to do upbringing to be escorted out by men or chaperones. The Ecole des Beaux Arts, the sate art school did not accept female students until 1897 and only then because of much appeals and numerous petitions put forward by women artists.

In 1867, when copying a Rubens with her friend Rosalie Riesener, Morisot came to meet Edouard Manet. Manet was an older painter of a somewhat wild reputation, especially after his much scorned entry to 1865 Salon “Olympia”. Manet, like Morisot, came from an upper middle class background and soon befriended Morisot and her family.

This brings us to the second piece in the exhibition which is worth seeing: Moss Roses in a Vase by Manet painted in 1882. Manet painted almost exclusively flowers toward the end of his life, and these small paintings can be seen as an old man not being able to undertake monumental work, or as I see them Manet’s realization of his own mortality.

Cut flowers have a short life span, they wither and die, and so does man. What Manet seems to be doing is trying to give us art that defies death and mortality. He seems to want us see his life in those flowers, and as a keepsake we are left with his creativity and ideas.

Final piece you should see, being an offensive culprit of the misogynistic, racist art of the 19th century is: The Slave Market painted in 1866 by Jean-Léon Gérôme. This painting embodies the qualities that gave rise to feminism in art, and the reason why Modernism set to destroy academic painting. It approaches art with such ignorant, male dominated manner that I really cannot see anyone not be offended by it in this day and age.

First of all it is a nude, but nothing like Manet’s Olympia. This nude is a slave, painted bare for your lustful gaze, and if you had any doubts about that do not worry because she is not confronting you at all, she is lost in trance, almost drunkenly looking at her new master checking her teeth like a horse.

You have the best seat in the house, because you get a sneak peek at her for free, and you don’t even have to buy anything so your conscience is clean. And those men selling her and buying her are all from another, distant, exotic land. Of course they are savages you tell your wife, but you praise the artist for his immaculate brushstrokes. If there was ever any uncertainty that the majority of academic paintings from those periods were done for the male gaze, this work with one gesture proves the sceptics wrong.

 

ONCE UPON A TIME… IMPRESSIONNISM will be at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts until January 20, 2013.

For those of you who don’t know, Papirmasse is locally run art collective run by Kirsten McCrea. The goal of the collective is to bring unique and affordable art to the masses. Papirmasse is also heavily involved in the Montreal art community as we have showcased with their appearances at Puces POP and Montreal Nuit Blanche.

Papirmasse’s mission being to bring cheap art to everyone operates a subscription service that for 5$/month delivers a new and unique piece of art by a local artist directly to your door. The program has feature great artists such as: JP King, Jeff Kulak, Chloé Beaulac, Matt Hovey, Alan Ganev, David Orfé, Kirsten McCrea as well as many others. Their latest project (and the plan for the summer) is a special “Post Cards” issue. Papirmasse is calling for submissions from you! Below is the official call out from the Papirmasse website, take a look and send in your postcard!

What did you do on your Summer Vacation? POST CARD Art Contest!

Deadline: postmarked July 31 2011

Papirmasse is putting out a postcard issue to celebrate the summer! We want your laziest, tawdriest, sexiest, slummingest, most adventurous summer stories and images. Did you climb a mountain? Throw up at a wedding reception? Win a national election? Whatever the case may be real or fictional we want to see it.

You can submit either a short story (max. 300 words) or a visual image. Read on for details!

How to submit:

This is a postcard issue, and we want you to submit by mailing us a postcard!

Artists: mail us a 5.25 x 7.25 inch postcard that visually addresses the theme of what you did on your summer vacation. Don’t worry about making it too literal we like a little imagination. On the back please include your full name, website (if you have one), mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number.

Writers: send us a story on a 5.25 x 7.25 inch postcard, max 300 words. It can be either typed or handwritten, and all forms of writing are accepted. On the back please include your full name, website (if you have one), mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number.

Please note that the final print size will be 5×7 inches.

Send entries to:

CANADA

Papirmasse
372 Ste Catherine Ouest, Suite 408
Montreal, Quebec H3B 1A2

UNITED STATES

Papirmasse
c/o Kasini House
PO Box 1025
Burlington, Vermont 05402

We will select the top 10 submissions and print them as our September issue!

And now for the good stuff:

Prizes!

All selected contributors will receive a free postcard pack and will have their art distributed to hundreds of people all over the world.

1st Place will also get a free subscription to Papirmasse and a 2009 folio!

2nd Place will also get a free subscription to Papirmasse

3rd Place will get a free 2009 folio

Mail art your heart out and tell us how you spent your summer!

Deadline: postmarked July 31 2011

For more information please contact Kirsten McCrea at kirsten@papirmasse.com

Please note that entries will not be returned and that by submitting you grant Papirmasse the right to reproduce your work in physical and digital format. All reproductions will be credited to the artist via the name submitted on the application.

“An intoxicating performance which explores through readings the fictional portrayals of the city of Montreal by some of our most well-known and provocative writers.” – bluemetropolis.org

The Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival is in full swing until Sunday May 1.  With an incredible amount of events featuring world-renowned and locally-grown authors, it’s an overwhelming task trying to plan your weekend’s schedule. A sure way to hear an assortment of excerpts from a variety of Montreal writers all at once in a single location, is to attend Imagine Montreal this Friday, April 29 at the Holiday Inn Centreville.

Put on by Rover Arts and the English Language Arts Network, Imagine Montreal incorporates ten Montreal actors and the band Sweet Mother Logic, as they present dramatic readings of passages from novels and stories by 24 Montreal writers who are part of this year’s Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival. Created and directed by Rover Arts publisher Montrealer Marianne Ackerman, these staged readings intertwine with each other to create a fictional narrative of Montreal as a city reborn. The official press release states, “Taking off from the Referendum of 1995, Imagine Montreal follows the evolution of Montreal from a downtrodden, conflict-weary city to a lively meeting place of cultures, ages, attitudes.”

What to expect from Imagine Montreal? Just to give you a taste, it begins with passages from John Brooke’s Last Days of Montreal, presenting the city’s grim and gritty state during the aftermath of the Referendum. Passages from Claude Lalumière’s This is the Ice Age and Louis Rastelli’s A Fine Ending “capture the crazy days of our downtown apocalypse, in retrospect, a darn good party.” The narrative progresses, weaving its way through strangers’ lives and connecting them together, until “eventually the town enjoys a break-out” in David Homel’s Midway, Gail Scott’s The Obituary and founder and artistic director of the Blue Metropolis Literary Festival, Linda Leith’s The Desert Lake.

The first embodiment of Imagine Montreal took place this past November at the Bain St-Michel to positive reviews. This Friday will see a different concept, a revised script and a new cast of local actors. Stick around for the after party to kick-start your literary-fuelled weekend!

Show starts at 8 pm in the Dahlia Room at Holiday Inn Centreville (Metro Place d’Armes).

For tickets call 514-790-1245 or visit bluemetropolis.org.