Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Montreal Gazette on art - for free


Today the Gazette has not one, but two articles on art, and niether one is locked down! I am quite glad, as it makes commenting about what they write so much easier.

Henry Lehmann is their main reviewer; I hope that this turns into a full-time gig for Natasha Aimee Hall, the second writer today. Woo-Hoo!

The first one today is Mr. Lehmann's review of the Musée des Beaux Arts blockbuster show. If you don't want to read the article, I can tell you that Mr. Lehmann is a big fan. He trips over himself trying to come up with more and new ways to use extremely positive adjectives, finishing up with "Suffice it to say at this point that this show is a must-see, for amateur and scholar alike." His article gets B+

The second article is written by Natasha Aimee Hall. Sorta cool concept - writing about art on the walls of bars and cafes. She goes for the easy route and only mentions Blizzarts, Le Divan Orange, Casa del Popolo, The Green Room, and Pharmacie Esperanza. And it is a nice start. She misses (or didn't have space for, of didn't know about Subway - think about that for a second, the largest fast food company in the world shows art on their walls here in Montréal (3640 Saint Laurent) Prato (3891 Saint Laurent) Cafe Pi (4127 Saint Laurent) Les Bobards (4328 Saint Laurent) The Alfred Daillaire Funeral Home - my favorite non-traditional place to see art (4231 Saint Laurent) Georges Laoun Opticians (4012 Saint Denis) the various Second Cup stores that are in this city, Le Swimming (3643 Saint Laurent).

Some of the facts that she got wrong - Blizzarts was not one of the first bars to show art on Boulevard Saint Laurent. While I only started drinking on Boulevard Saint Laurent around 1985 (and I assume that Ms. Hall started drinking around here in 1998) and I can name countless bars (now long gone) that exhibited art, I also realize that even before I was able to drink - heck! before I was born, there must've been bars exhibiting art on Saint Laurent.

Second wrong fact she got wrong - in Sefi Amir's exhibit there was a guy.

And while I know and like Billy Mavreas, both as an artist and as friend, I'd suggest something a little more substantial than "Just ask" as advice on how to get a show in a bar or cafe. Feel free to ask me, too.

Third fact she gets wrong - prices can and do go way higher than $350.

Fourth First weird thing in her article - how and why in an article about art in bars and cafes does a memorabilia collection get included?

And then finally, as she says there is great art out there, I just wish she could have reported about it better. Her article gets a C- saved from a failing grade by being a good idea. Feel free to write to her editor Mark Tremblay and tell him you want more and better.

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