November 16, 2012

Happy Pride Dennis! Video

Best REGIFT eva!
Capital D here.... Well you guys probably know I have the coolest, most talented people in my life..... I think that if I surround myself with these talented, creative and socially aware people..... Then the qualities that I admire about them the most will hopefully rub off on me and if these traits are inside me then perhaps by hanging with them more perhaps they will come closer to the surface...... Now two of these peeps, Wade and Brian, decided that they wanted to make me a special video for pride 2012..... What amazes me about this little vignette, is that it pretty much sums me up in 38 seconds which is incredible i think (or sad depending on how you look at it)... So take a look....

I have one favour to ask.... Could all of our friends please comment or vote on the correct way to spell the following word:  is it WACKJOB or WHACKJOB...... I expect to see comments on this one... I always said that the only way I would compromise anything is for LOVE... And you know what.... I  compromised the way I spell that WORD above, because now every time I sign into our idea ghetto accounts... I have to spell that word differently than I have spelled and used it since I was 18.... And I do that out of LOVE LOVE LOVE.... And who do I love?  Well it's the iG4 bois of course.... How could you not!

My close friends know that I love to recycle everything.... And not only did they create this 38s AMAZEBALL vignette of my LIFE.... But they had it playing on a mac in my loft... And that folks is the bestest, coolest INSTALLATION eva... It sits in a special place in my loft and in my HEART..... PRIDE 2012.... Thanks I think it was blast...

November 12, 2012

A spark ignited... nay, a sequin

PDot here.  I find myself rejuvenated, motivated and inspired after the first ART CLASSless in October... so much so that I dug out (and dusted off) my portfolio bag to browse some of the water colours I had done years ago... in high school.  When I was a teenager.  And struggling to come to terms with my love of peen. 

But, if you look at my source material, there was no question I was a friend of Dorothy's, a Mary, a homo.

From a photo shoot by the brilliant Steven Meisel, around the time Truth or Dare was about to be released.

Cover shot from the April 1991 Vanity Fair by Steven Meisel with Madonna paying homage to Marilyn Monroe (faaaaar better than Lindsay Lohan could ever do).

Photo from 1991 by Steven Meisel.  The body suit in my version is made of actual magazine clippings on Madonna. 

Janet's iconic Rolling Stone magazine cover (and janet album cover) shot in 1993 by the legendary Patrick Demarchelier.

Back then, I refused to really acknowledge it.  Like date-a-girl, take-her-to-prom, refusal. I painted these water colours (and others) after hours in high school, locked away in my art class (thanks to my encouraging art teacher by the name of Mr. Brown who taught me art every year of HS), free from judgemental stares - or worse - horrible name calling, just to get lost in the paint, the colour and the music I'd listen to while painting.  Don't get me wrong - I had friends and was social.  But I was most at peace with myself with a paint brush in one hand and paint in the other (or a book, but that's another story).

I'm drawn to art - always have been - and love creating.  I think it's an extension of one's being.  And it wasn't until recently - the ART CLASSless in October we posted about recently - that I thought of these paintings again, and how they made me feel when I painted them - ALIVE and FREE!  If anybody knows me now, they'll know that I'm a colourful guy and that my personality is sometimes larger than some can handle (or even understand) - and this was the safest expression of that big, colourful personality at the time, particularly living in a small town.  That's why the colours in my paintings are so exaggerated, I think.

Now, I can rock bright blue pants, a neon green watch and diamond-elle studs (biatch be on a budget) in my ears.  In daylight.  And even in my home town, when I visit.  With no shame (should be no shame in what you do).  You could say that art was the impetus I needed to become comfortable in my own skin.  And it was the rest of my iG boys, who totes get me, that ignited the spark - I mean unleashed the sequins - once again! 

November 4, 2012

Painting is the new black

 Oct. 20, 2012
Idea Ghetto HQ
Once upon a night, 7 novice painters stepped into unit 117 of 365 Dundas St. E not realizing that their lives would be altered like never before.  This must be how Neil Armstrong felt when he stepped foot on the moon.  That one small step would change his life for ever and that is indeed what happened to these 7 painters.
7 painters and their ever talented mentor Mr. James Fowler made it a tight squeeze in the tiny Idea Ghetto (iG) headquarters.  Drop cloths were put down and the thick concrete window shelves were used as a place to mount our canvasses and would obviate the need for easels (to save on space and budget).
Lighting is always important.  We wanted to create an atmosphere so the iG boys didn't want it too bright but we also didn't want it dark since we would have to be able to discern colour.
Ok, mood is set! 3...2...1.... start painting... wait, our mentor had a brilliant idea! Act I.  All paintings and ideas must be ABSTRACT. As initiates, we didn't want to get caught up in rendering images, figures etc., so just emote what you feel on the 16" x 20 canvas.  We were told to pick a SEASON... now that you have in your mind... you have 40 minutes to complete your first canvas.
40 minutes is a perfect amount of time to finish your first piece.  It's just the right amount of time to get the idea out of you and onto the canvas.  At the end of that 40 minutes you are also starting to get comfortable with the paint, the canvas, the idea and the process.  Oh wait 40 minutes is not enough, we think; not sure we're going in the right direction or we're starting to second guess ourselves. 
Enter ghetto stage left, none other than our fearless mentor Mr. James Fowler.  Never have we found someone who just instills the right amount of encouragement, and displaces our complete sense of panic and we realize it is the right direction and of course this was what we were going for.  I think this was the true 'magic' of the evening.  Having our own Tim Gunn... errr I mean, James Fowler "make it work" moment!
Phew, now that's done we have time for a breather or do we?  CRITIQUE (or cold read) time!  This was perhaps the most enlightened part of the evening for us.  Each initiate had to put their painting on the EASEL for everyone to comment on.  Collectively we tried to determine the season each painter had used as a MUSE and also comment on what we saw in the painting.  Since this was not a class, this turned out to be really FUN!  Everyone was very constructive and as we went through each painting our confidence strengthened!  After everybody offered their critique, the artist disclosed the season used as muse and explained the motivation behind it.  Was great to see subjectivity in art in action! 

ACT II.  Our theme was FASHION.  Everyone freaked out! This is too difficult, we can't do this, we though.  FASHION!  Our fearless mentor was determined about this one.  We got one hour.  Here we go.  Oh we're getting into this.  This isn't so bad after all.

We followed the same construct as the first painting: paint, cold read and artist discussion.... Was another insightful experience. But enough pontificating on the evening. If you ever want to treat your friends to a really fun night, then here's what iG does:  Most of our friends think with the left part of their brain.  When they come to iG headquarters, they are forced to use both sides, with a heavy emphasis on the RIGHT.... but perhaps being forced to use the brain is enough!  Thanks to James Fowler, artiste (hey gurl!) and mentor extraordinaire!  A big thanks to Rick "SOX in the CITY" Kopfensteiner for videotaping the whole experience and interviewing all of the initiates (coming soon...). And to the best "paint pals" anyone could want:  Alain Arseneault, Ali Asfour, Shawn "let's have a KEY KEY" Garrett, and the iG boys, Bam Bam, Wade and PDot! With friends like you, who needs JUNIOR KINDERGARTEN!  Standing INN OVATION!!!
And the paintings are hanging in the iG (Capital D's) loft!!

October 29, 2012

Poetry, Spoken Word, Slam Poetry or Just Music....

Poetry, Spoken Word, Slam Poetry or Just Music....

So I love music and one of my IG4 litter mates, BamBam is a great little poet and I love his poetry. He would never say he's a poet because he doesn't really read it himself, but he would say he likes words and he likes to play with words and he does. Not sure why he or anyone doesn't read poetry, perhaps they find inaccessible...  So I am always trying to find ways to make BamBam's words more accessble and we have talked about doing a video but we haven't gotten around to doing one... Did I mention I LOVE music? Well here's how I want to try and make his poetry more accessible... now this is just an example of how I think poetry could be put to music. Here is a great track of music that uses a bit of spoken word and then goes into singing by a great vocalist called Divinity in a collaboration with Charles Webster:

Charles Webster Feat. Diviniti - Learning To Love Me (Original) See how the spoken word gets you into the track in a soulful kind of way...I love this track! but here is another spin on the same track that just came out...

The Zepherin Saint Floorwork in this new remix its all spoken word. Listen to this on the way to work it relaxes me... I LOVE LOVE LOVE it... So people may not like the music and they may not like the style, but don't you think you could listen to poetry like this?
... Now what I have to do is find some musicians that want to do something similar to this. With BamBam's words and their music... hmmm, could amazing! But we need some help, who's up for it!?


ANNOUNCEMENT - The Ghetto boys do Art Class Detention! 

ART CLASS DETENTION is a kind of a self help group for struggling people who use art (BUT ARE DEFINITELY and I MEAN DEFINITELY NOT ARTISTS) to create stuff in an environment where people give advice or suggestions or just spot you when your holding a glue gun. 
We don't go all JACKSON POLLACK on each other but, what we do is chat and giggle and hang out sort of a safe house for creative types!
Wanna join? Just bring an art project. It can be something to paint, Draw, or paper mache... or just come to hang out...we'll be there making a mess and memories.
1st event will be November 10th, 2012!
Twitter people have a look for us @ideaghetto 

May 18, 2012

Idea Ghetto Goes to the White House!

James Fowler, painter extraordinaire was gracious enough to take the iGhetto boys on a tour of his work space at the White House Studios (in Kensington Market). There are several artists working out of this space, each with their own 5x5 "Studio “space. Can you imagine the collaborative energy in the room when a few of them are jamming on projects and ideas? Wow. 
Each artists space has such a unique space. It was such a great experience. Not to mention inspiring.

April 4, 2012

I'm not the poet dammit...

over the past couple of weeks i have been reading too many research proposals about cancer, its effect on the population, treatments, the economic impact of treatment, the toll of treatment, the plight that is cancer...etc.its making it so i can hardly sleep....its weird how cancer has become very personal for me than just these research proposals i read....those statistics are starting to become my peer group....scary....i'm not really afraid of death..i mean i don't want to die ...perhaps its because i think i've lived my life to the fullest...i've treated people fairly well i hope...of course i don't want to die...cause i really want to see "KIM"S CONVENIENCE" at the soulpepper theatre in a couple of weeks...but i am not sure that i would want to go to WAR WITH CANCER...its a battle that i don't want to engage in....first off its kind of like the CONSERVATIVE dictatorial.....keeps what its doing so secret.....and then throws stuff at ya.....and of course we throw it chemotherapy so we can OCCUPY OUR what would i do if i were faced with some of these treatments...that make you sick, tired, look skelet al.  .....what would i do...i don't know...but this thing keeps rolling around in my head...






i mean no disrespect to anyone...its the way my mind thinks about complex problems..i have to put them into some cute little pattern so i can deal with them....this is how i got through LIFE...whenever i was faced with something traumatic i alway have to frame it into something else so i can deal with please no one take offense....although i have no pics with me and the giant COLON we had at MARS for increasing awareness to colorectal cancer is me at the entrance of MARS..taken by Javi Urano, a wonderful friend visiting from SPAIN...

one more thing.... a giant colon came to visit us at MaRS...and i wanted someone to take a picture of me with there should be a picture was for all of us not to fear....colorectal screening...brilliant idea....and i am so sad because i had so many ideas for cards...

ghetto idea 1: a picture of ME in a HAMSTER suit standing in front of GIANT COLON...caption....WHO"S COLON AM I?

ghetto idea 2:  a pic of ME with the GIANT COLON...caption....i wanted to go to COLOGNE!

ghetti idea 3: a pic of me with boxing gloves punching the POLYPS in the GIANT COLON...caption...fighting cancer....

March 17, 2012

Ode to the Casette Tape

I've always been fascinated with cassette tapes. I'd watch them spin in my cassette deck for hours, always with music playing on them, listening to the cool music I had recorded. I loved the glimmer of lights on my cassette deck and was enthralled by the way the tape made its way to the other side/spool. Obliviously this was great entertainment (low budget = parents happy). I was consumed by the tape moving and the lights changing on the deck, LIGHT. CASSETTE TAPE. MOVEMENT… sooooo, as I grew older I kept that fascination with the cassette tape and loved the MAXELL commercials with the GUY sitting in the arm chair listening to his recorded music and feeling SUFFICIENT. I like feeling sufficient that feeling when you're content have what you need the feeling I love! So this got me to thinking that I might want to do a project with cassette tapes. OH NO! I said it, the word ART PROJECT and this is where it usually ends! But no, not this time. I am taking control. I HEART cassette tapes, So I’m thinking Something with light and cassette tapes. It would be like MY yoga. Something to look at that relaxes me...
One of my biggest problems is; I think TOO my ASS. I wanted to do this whole wall in cassette tapes, lit from behind, but I wanted to still be able to move the tape from one spool to the other....what was I going to do; how was I going to stick to the wall, blah, blah, blah. I decided to PROTOTYPE it (start small) and then let it EVOLVE....and hell, you all know how I like EVOLUTION! So at "ART CLASS DETENTION" our once a month art group I started the little project that could. I got a piece of Plexiglas when I was in BC visiting my friend Robert. I started my project and here is where I’m was a real interesting night.

first off...crazy glue worked the best for sticking half the cassette tape case to the Plexiglas.. so I didn't need the glue gun (HUFFER fondue set so to speak)

I wanted to stick the case and not the cassette to the Plexiglas so that i could still remove the cassette for future project ideas. As I started adding the cases I got more excited....

but then I ran out of cassette tapes. So I just decided I would go and start putting up against some light sources and here is what I got....

I was so excited! So now I am STALLED until I find more cassette tapes...but at ART CLASS DETENTION. My ingenious friend Pierre gave me some cool suggestions that I will talk about when I get more cassettes... I guess the moral of this story is go to ART CLASS DETENTION! It will help you turn your art project idea into the REAL DEAL! Although I am not finished...
I am well on my way....
D out.

February 9, 2012

Art Battle 20

On January 31, the Idea Ghetto boys had planned to finally make it to out to the much-hyped 'Art Battle', the fierce race against time to create an original piece of artwork in the hopes of winning the adoration of a voting audience. We heard about it through recommendation from the brilliant James Fowler, who has been featured in past Art Battles himself.

Well, with an unforeseen work schedule conflict for Capital D, and Bam-Bam running late out of his night class, it was up to Wadé to experience (and document!) this great monthly event!
This evening took place at the Great Hall in Queen West, and as I entered the door to pay admission, I was asked if I was joining tonight as a patron, or an 'artist'. Puzzled, I answered 'patron' and entered the battle field.

The premise of Art Battle is simple, yet daunting. Eight canvases are formed in a circle in the centre of the room, with four of them 'reserved' by artists ahead of time. As the evening began, the other four spots were filled by names drawn out of a hat from self-proclaimed 'artists' who showed up at the door that evening.

The contest has three rounds of competition. The first round had all eight artists complete a piece of artwork, using only one medium (acrylic paint) their choice of tools, and 20 minutes to complete! As spectators, we milled about the circle of easels and it was fascinating to see the range of ideas and skill on each canvas!

At the end of the 20-minute round, each spectator used a numbering system on their tickets to vote for the piece they liked most. The two winning artists with the most votes went on to the second round, and all the pieces are displayed at the front of the room, as a silent auction with all proceeds going to charity.

My vote for Mathew Fierke's painting of a nondescript gentleman's portrait did not move onto the second round, but Jacqueline Poirier's barren wooden landscape did win her a place, as did Carlos Delgado's painting with an interesting 'fish-eye' view of a boy sitting on a dock under a clear blue sky.

As the second round began, Bam-Bam arrived, after finally getting out of class! Now the voting became more interesting for me! As we viewed and discussed each piece together, there were similarities we both agreed upon, yet when it came to voting our choices never matched! Case in point: I was drawn to the skill and technique from Kate Taylor, who joined in the second round, with her palette knife and monochromatic blue abstract treatment. B was more attracted to the morbid and darker portraiture piece from Olga Abeleva. Though our votes differed, both women were voted to move onto the final round!

Four easels were removed as the competition intensified. Carlos, Jacqueline, Olga and Kate began once more to produce another piece in less then twenty minutes. It striked me interesting how the four didn't veer from their personal techniques in creating their second piece. Carlos created a second piece from the same scene, but from the view point of the birds that were flying overhead from his first painting. Jacqueline created another stark landscape, Kate created another monochromatic abstract, this time in another colour, and Olga stunned us again with a creepy, yet beautiful female portrait. I should probably note that once again, I voted for Kate's abstract, and B voted for Olga!

In the end, it was Olga's moody portrait that won the final round, and Art Battle 20. This was such a brilliant night to experience in Toronto. Lots of positive energy in that space with the impulsive creation of art. It even made me wonder what it would be like to enter a future Art Battle, but next time as an artist! Who knows? Practice by holding mini Art Battles at the Ghetto??

If you want to attend a future Art Battle, check out and sign up for their mailing list to hear when the next one will take place. Sign up! Go to it! It's fun!