Photos by Rebecca Leach

Marilyn Crying by Russell Young, 2008

Old Self by Evan Penny. Photo by Rebecca Leach.

Brad Pitt by Chuck Close

The Art Toronto Fair, now in its 12th year, is a four-day art exhibition and sale, featuring over 1000 artists from 109 leading and emerging galleries, it’s a chance to see some of the art world’s top new and noteworthy artists. Art Toronto is the largest and most celebrated indoor visual art event in Canada. From artworks by renowned masters to young emerging artist, there is something that will stimulate you visually.

The Art Game by Toronto-based Cree artist Kent Monkman, curated by Steven Loft is one of the highlights of the Art Fair.  In “the Art Game”, Kent Monkman brings a fresh perspective into the life of an artist –from the maze that artists must travel to display and sell their work, to a ‘sideshow’ populated by the major players in today’s art market; artists, gallerists, curators and collectors.

Another highlight of the Art Fair is the work by Greg Haberny, a highly political artist, who uses unconventional means to bring into perspective the social realities in which we live.


Crude Fries by Greg Haberney

Another notable artist at the Art Fair is the young Canadian visual Artist Amy Shackleton.

Elaine Fleck from The Elaine Fleck Gallery & Amy Shackleton

At only 25, Amy Shackleton has exhibited paintings in New York, London, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary.  Shackleton’s work was recently selected for purchase by the Colart Collection in Montreal. She was a finalist in the 2010 Signature Art Awards at Degree Art Gallery in London and nominated for the 2010 and 2011 Palm Art Awards in Germany.  Amy Shackleton paints post-industrial worlds that form healthy, sustainable visions of the future. Shackleton recognizes the need for collaboration between urban and rural environments and uses various techniques/media to juxtapose urban expansion and scientific progress with the ecological reality of our shrinking resources.

As seen in this video, Amy Shackleton works entirely  without a paintbrush. Watch the artist work at 800x speed, creating a new urban landscape painting, “Terraced City.”

Italy (Rome, Naples, Capri & The Amalfi Coast, served as an inspiration for her latest piece  titled “PIAZZA NATURALE” 90′ X 60′.

PIAZZA NATURALE by Amy Shackleton 2011

The themes at the Art Fair are as rich and varied as the artist themselves. Each piece touches upon every subject imaginable: urban realities, the Canadian landscape, public & private spaces & consumerism as it is in the case of Mexican born artist Andres Basurto currently on display at the Lyons Wier Gallery in NYC.

Mexican artist Andres Basurto standing next to his piece Skull.

Skull created using shards from recycled beer bottles, Andres Basurto - Photo by Rebecca Leach

Basurto uses  shards from glass bottles that at one time held wine and beer, giving life to “specific shapes that evoke the human skull and skeleton as a container of the soul.”

In the case of Mexican Artist Claudia Alvarez, she focuses on investigating themes of childhood, where she “utilises characteristics of children to embody psychological and sociological structures of human behaviour”. More importantly,  human conduct, ethics, culture and a belief system are part of her artistic statement seen through the innocent eyes of children. 

This year, the Art Fair introduces “Open Space” , a juried selection of large – scale sculpture and installation art from Art Toronto’s participating galleries. A dedicated space on site has been created  to allow galleries the opportunity to exhibit work that may otherwise be too large for a traditional fair booth.  This on site exhibit features  15 engaging works exclusively for Art Toronto, that explores new ways of considering sculpture and mix media and challenge traditional notions of three-dimensional art work.

Our photographer Rebecca Leach

The Art Fair runs until Oct. 31st at the Metro Convention Centre