Case Study: Christo’s $350million Sculpture in the Desert

Christo, known for his massive installation projects such as the “Surrounded Islands”, “Wrapped Kunsthalle”, and “Umbrellas”, is now closer than ever to realizing what will almost certainly be the largest and most permanent project of his career.  “The Mastaba”, a flat-topped pyramid made of 400,000 multi-coloured oil barrels, will be installed in the desert 100 miles south of Abu Dhabi.  At an estimated cost of nearly $340,000,000, The Mastaba will be taller than taller than the Great Pyramid in Egypt and become the world’s largest permanent man-made structure.

There is an argument to be made that this project is going to be one of the most important and awesome cultural expressions of the 21st century, perhaps a defining moment of the entire modern era.  But the flip side of that same argument would suggest that, at a time when billions of people are starving and the oil industry inspires wars and environmental degradation on a colossal scale, this is an quixotically ridiculous and utterly wasteful idea bordering on international criminality and insanity.

Continue reading

Recap: Tour: Art Toronto 2012

The Ministry of Artistic Affairs held their third annual guided tour of Art Toronto, offering members the opportunity to experience the fair through the eyes of experts in the contemporary art market and art theory. With stops at the booths of important galleries and engaging discussions about the significance of various pieces, it proved to be an insightful experience for both dedicated collectors and general art enthusiasts alike.

Read on for more photos from the fair.

Continue reading

The Ministry: Studio: Anders Oinonen and Susy Oliveira

We have just listed a new event to our calendar.

Join The Ministry for an intimate studio visit with two of Toronto’s most exciting emerging visual artists, Anders Oinonen and Susy Oliveira. These artists have generously invited members in to their home studio to discuss their imagery and approach to creating art.

Anders Oinonen’s facial constructions are both precisely crafted and mysterious. Working with oils on canvas, Oinonen creates images that are ambiguous and can be read as either figurative or as abstract landscapes. A MFA graduate from Waterloo, Oinonen has exhibited his works in galleries and museums across North America. His work can be found in collections such as the Musee d’art contemporain de Montreal and the Canada Council Art Bank. Oinonen is represented in Toronto by COOPER COLE.

Susy Oliveira creates sculptures, paintings and installations that examine human’s preoccupation with controlling and re-producing elements of nature through artificial fabrication. Often using digital images that attempt to capture or reproduce elements of nature, the artist repurposes the images to give new life and form to artificial versions of natural and organic material. As humans continue to manipulate and impose unnatural systems onto otherwise natural elements of the world for personal pleasure and consumption, Oliveira’s work underscores our perpetuated distance from a world that is undisturbed by our existence.

To see a full list of upcoming events please visit our events page.

Recap: Collector Visit: The Collection of Alison and Alan Schwartz

On May 9th, members of the Ministry were invited into the home of avid art enthusiasts Alison and Alan Schwartz, for a private tour of their extensive art collection. The tour was led by Alan Schwartz, who has served on the boards of the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The members were treated to insightful commentary of each piece in the collection, which included work in a variety of mediums and by contemporary art legends like Cindy Sherman, Richard Serra, and Andreas Gursky.

See more photos from the evening after the jump.

Continue reading

Recap: Studio: Steve Driscoll

On Thursday, March 15 members of the Ministry were invited into the studio of Toronto-based painter Steve Driscoll for a private tour of his working space and an opportunity to hear him talk about his work, inspirations and artistic process. Driscoll is represented by Angell Gallery in Toronto.

See more photos from the event after the jump.

Continue reading