Banksy, and art’s uneasy alliance with capitalism

The gift shop at the Toronto exhibit offers a swath of overpriced items. What would the ultra left-wing artist think of that?

Banksy, and art’s uneasy alliance with capitalismThere’s always been an understood link between art and capitalism. Even artists who reject the very nature of capitalism will still be part of this process, whether they like it or not. This includes the popular, controversial and mysterious graffiti artist known as Banksy. A product of Bristol, England’s underground scene, this person’s name and…

Out of the roiling heat of Montreal, into the heart of artistic genius

And a full dose of air-conditioned museum comfort certainly doesn't hurt the appreciation of Picasso

Out of the roiling heat of Montreal, into the heart of artistic genius[smartslider3 slider=40] Last week, thousands of Montrealers began to experience what I expect will gradually become a new phenomenon in global art gallery visitation – viewing art to get out of the heat. The heat wave (CBC news referred to it as “a heat event”) really descended on the city on the previous weekend, with…

Giverny and Monet’s Gardens

Stop in Giverny at least for a few hours to wander among Monet's gardens and you'll feel like you've entered one of his paintings

Giverny and Monet’s Gardens[smartslider3 slider=30] If you love Impressionist paintings, why not plan a visit to Giverny, in France, and see Monet’s garden, flowers, pond and bridges for yourself? It’s been said the Impressionist art movement acquired its name from one of Monet’s paintings called “Impression, Sunrise.” Giverny was Monet's home during the last half of his life.…

A museum opts for happy hippy love bugs instead of honesty

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts exhibit mythologizes the 1960s by ignoring the dark ugliness masked by all those drug-addled smiles

A museum opts for happy hippy love bugs instead of honestyThe Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is a major institution in Canada’s only real city, which is why its summer Revolution exhibit is such a serious letdown. Devotees of the museum expect far better than Revolution’s intellectually lazy merchandising of 1960s mythology. Based around the eponymous Beatles song, Revolution purports to be a fresh exploration…

Bring back the beloved passenger train

The Canadian Museum of Rail Travel in Cranbrook, B.C. offers a powerful glimpse into what life must have been like during the glory days of rail travel

Bring back the beloved passenger trainMy recent tour of the remarkable Canadian Museum of Rail Travel in Cranbrook, B.C., got me wondering why all of Canada cannot once again have a viable rail passenger service. The museum contains a collection of dozens of rail cars from the past 100+ years in various states of repair. Collectively, they deliver a powerful…

Oklahoma museum celebrates Pawnee Bill

The West lives on at Oklahoma's Pawnee Bill Ranch and Museum

Oklahoma museum celebrates Pawnee BillKevin Webb, 32, cracks his bullwhip. It snaps like gunshot, and stirs up the morning dew so fine it resembles gun smoke. Little wonder: the braided leather whip travels 1,200 kilometres an hour. “I beat the livin’ daylights out o’ myself learnin’ how to crack the whip,” Webb says with a gosh-shucks smile and sweet-as-sarsaparilla…