September 17th saw the opening of another fantastic Toronto-based show at 639 Queen W. We were fortunate to have a great number of new art appreciators and current fans of the gallery and store turn out to celebrate OBJECTIFY, with proceeds from the evening’s refreshments going to SKETCH, a local organization helping bring the arts to street-involved youth.

OBJECTIFY was cooked up by the likes of Hogtown’s own Dave Murray and recent transplant from La Belle Provence, Kirsten McCrea. Whilst their works are contrasting in style and execution, their end goals are the same; to provide a foreign, unflinching alternate retrospective view on people and things from our collective past.

Mining the history of women’s fashion magazines and vintage pornography, Kirsten McCrea’s mixed-media collage paintings re-contextualize their subjects by changing key details, providing a glimpse into an alternate world populated by hairy women, impossible positions, crude excretions, and overwhelming adornments.

According to McCrea, her work “seeks to cultivate and reclaim hair as both camouflage and ornament. Hair is a signifier of power. Think of the myth of Samson losing his locks, the civil rights movement and rise of the afro, the punk scene and mohawks, or the liminal werewolf, transforming with each sprouting follicle into something terrifyingly strong. Women are nearly universally taught to either cover their hair, shave it, burn it off, tear it out, or otherwise tame it.”

Dave version of OBJECTIFY explores pop culture that came and went in the decade before Dave was born. With this narrative, he’s attempted to define a potential version of himself, or someone like him. His work presented here is a series of portraits, defining and objectifying the different facets of a hypothetical nostalgia – one felt by Murray, but belonging to no one.

To see all the work from OBJECTIFY, check out our gallery page here.

* Photo Credits – All photos by Geoff Thomlinson & Dawn Laing

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