Continuing with my TCAF posts, I thought I’d write about a couple shows at small galleries exhibiting in conjunction with the fest.
On Thursday, I attended the reception for kuš! komiksi‘s The Last Match at Videofag in Kensington Market. The exhibit, featuring the work of artists from all over the world, limits itself to matchbook sized canvases which beg the viewer to draw in close to examine all the tiny images. There was also a mural by Patrick Kyle, who did the cover of the latest issue of š!. Unfortunately, The Last Match had an extremely short run and is no longer at Videofag, but you can also read more about it here.
I also visited Narwhal Gallery on the weekend as I had been very much looking forward to the Toshio Saeki exhibit. The two Japanese illustrators who have been been in heavy rotation on my laptop background since the early 2000s are Tagame and Saeki – I really cannot believe my luck that TCAF has had a hand in showcasing both of them! ❤ (Maybe next year they’ll screen Wake up!! Tamala?)
The show features prints with a good range of styles. The palettes in the exhibit are more subdued than the super saturated psychedelic illustrations I am more familiar with but they are all graphically arresting as you can see above. And of course, almost all works have a strong narrative component featuring Saeki’s distinctive play with eroticism, voyeurism and supernatural horror. Further back in the gallery, there is a smaller room with b&w linework which his prints are based on. What’s great is that you can see the penwork up close, and even the use of white out in some areas to make corrections. There are also a number of Saeki prints in a portfolio in the back, as well as a small collection of books about his work. They’re all Japanese save one, but I learned more about Saeki’s creative process, including the fact that he already knows the exact Pantone colours/saturation he has in mind for his pieces.
Narwhal gallery is located a short walk from Dundas West subway station. The Saeki exhibition runs through to May 24 and even though its website doesn’t mention Sundays in its hours, it is open Sundays from 1-5pm.