A veteran photojournalist on the Toronto arts and entertainment scene, Julian Bynoe is a Toronto-based cartoonist, artist and arts blogger. From 1996 to 2014, he was the arts/entertainment editor for the street publication The Outreach Connection, and has had articles featured in Realms Magazine, among others.

EDITION #60 - WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 28-OCTOBER 4, 2015

Warhol exhibit never one-sided

Andy Warhol: Revisited (Revolver Gallery)

Venue: Andy Warhol: Revisited Gallery, 77 Bloor Street West

Dates/Times: Through December 31; Tuesdays-Sundays 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Admission/Information: General $10, Seniors $8, Youth (6-17)/Students $5, Children (under 5) FREE. Call 647-347-5355 or visit: warholrevisted.com.

Gallery Review

Among the many Pop Art movement figures that loomed in the late 20th century, Andy Warhol loomed the largest and still his work, about three decades since his death, still feels as fresh and current as it ever did. Proof of this reigns supreme in the tony pop-up gallery Andy Warhol: Revisited, created by Los Angeles-based Revolver Gallery from Toronto-born entrepreneur Ron Rivlin; with the over 120 works on display – some in rotation – on how his innovative take on the power of the image and object weighs on general society, and often reflect on it too.

The familiar classics are there like the Campbell Soup cans and celebrity portraits of the rich and (in)famous like the rarely-seen commanding multiple collage portraits of American crime lord John Gotti, as commissioned by Time Magazine back in 1986 , to the basic favourites of Marilyn Monroe, Queen Elizabeth II, Tennessee Williams, Mao Zedong and so forth, but there’s also a couple of works that might surprise the average Warhol viewer.

Left-right:"Energy Power" and "Lenin"

“Lenin” with the Russian Revolutionary leader completely swimming in a sea of red has a overpowering stance in the composition; a sketchy-like outlines portrait of Truman Capote takes on a simplistic nature tinged with a sense of sadness in the face as well as the semi-stoic Ted Kennedy portrait that emulates it or the minimalist, kitschy print of a white sunset bobbing within a chromatic green-bluish backdrop made for the Hilton hotel chain back in the 1970s feels much like the era itself it was created in.

With the Michael Jackson lithograph, he takes on a different approach compared to his earlier celeb portraits of the 1960s and ‘70s by just keeping more in the real and less on overdoing the multicoloured overlays or off-tonal styles that made him a household name gives the subject and artist some artistic flair.

One commissioned print Andy Warhol did exclusively for the Hilton hotel chain back in the 1970s, "Sunset."

And take a look at the “Energy Power” print making a statement from atomic weapons of the Cold War to the questioning of its usage as a power source in the wake of nuclear disasters of the period, Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, of the outstretched hand with a nucleus card among all the black being used. Warhol was never the one to wear his politics on his sleeve openly, but this ultra-rare statement on the topic itself is truly a surprise for a man who built his career on the pursuit of celebrity.

Small as it is, Andy Warhol: Revisited gives the account on the marketable consumption of art for the public from the everyday from Brillo boxes to Chanel perfume bottles and turn it into an art form in a glitzy venue – and that is the basic point of the exhibit – is as colourful as the artist and artwork itself. Not to be missed.

And if you can’t get enough of Warhol, TIFF Lightbox (350 King Street West) will be running the cinematic side of him in a four-month major exhibit Andy Warhol: Stars of the Silver Screen, beginning October 30.

Annex vaudeville variety show puts on local flavour

Left-right: Folkster troupe The Boxcar Boys; clowns Morro and Jasp and burlesque star James & the Giant Pasty make part of the lineup for the monthly Live from the Annex variety show series.

Theatre Preview

Some of Toronto best-known acts come together for what will be the start of a series of vaudeville-style productions at the Centre for Social Innovation (720 Bathurst Street) in the Annex on the first Tuesday of each month starting October 6 of comedy, music and a tad bit of the burlesque to bring a little colour in the downtown urban district.

The first show will feature the popular award-winning female clown duo Morro and Jasp, jazz-folk troupe The Boxcar Boys and burlesque acts Red Herring – A Professional Distraction for the men and James & The Giant Pasty/Boylesque for the ladies, with award-winning performer Mary Ellen MacLean hosting the evening and house band Brunswick Stew providing the music.

All seem to be eager in starting up this startup series at the Centre’s Garage area as the Boxcar Boys will promote their latest album release Cicada Ball (Independent) for their segment of the show; even Red Herring, just coming off of a non-stop world tour and running her own monthly show at the Rivoli Reveal Me three years running plus the Toronto chapter of Naked Girls Reading, saying: “I'm pretty sure the Live from the Annex show will be amazing! I'm in love with performing with a group of variety artists.”

Her male counterpart James & The Giant Pasty, also returning from a six-week, five-city, two-festival (and one family wedding) tour across North America, hopes for the same. “I can't wait to perform back in my hometown in the Live from the Annex cabaret series,” he said, along with MacLean herself promising audiences for a evening’s worth of entertainment. “MCing an evening of vaudeville is a thrill,” she said. “Get ready for variety, spontaneity and surprises.”

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Monthly shows begin each first Tuesday of the month (October 6, November 3 and the holiday edition December 1), shows start at 8 p.m.. For tickets/information, visit: livefromtheannex.com.