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Curated by Abisola Oni

The curatorial vision for BEING+ explores the nexus between the experience of the individual and the objective social and cultural forces that bind this experience. Simone De Beauvoir recognizes the ambiguity of the human experience which suggests we are both subjects who act, and objects who are acted upon, constrained by our physical limits, social barriers, and the political powers of others (The Ethics of Ambiguity, pp.7-34). BEING+ similarly considers the variable states of selfhood and complicates the rigidity of subject-object relations.

BEING+ is an exhibition of six emerging artists who interrogate the social forces that influence our sense of self and relationality with others. The exhibition consists of abstract, figurative, installation, and collage artworks by Biba Esaad, Noah Lima, Miles Ingrassia, Roxana Parsa, Michelle Cieloszczyk, and Michelle Rodrigues. The artists examine the experience of being in relation to social and cultural phenomena by expressing diverse subjectivities through formal elements and subject matter.


Curator

BEING+ is curated by the inaugural Flavio Belli Curator Award winner, Abisola Oni. Abisola is an emerging curator and multidisciplinary artist based in the Greater Toronto Area. Through her visual discourse, she investigates visual and cultural criticism from a philosophical perspective. She is interested in current modes of criticism and curatorial practice and plans to pursue a postgraduate degree to explore this field. 

Abisola is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Waterloo with a major in Visual Culture and minor in Studio Practice, with emphasis on performance art. Presently, she is searching for a co-op internship in the Spring of 2022.

 


Artists

Michelle Cieloszczyk

Cieloszczyk's practice encompasses object-based works, installations, public interventions, and public art. She fabricates through mould-making, laser cutting, CNC milling, and 3D printing and works in plaster, resin, silicone, and aluminum. Her recent body of work examines the politics of policing, considering the roles and structures of authority through walled installations and castings of uniforms.

2. Carapace Pillar (2021)
Silicone, metal, hardware
78 x 25 inch
$10,600
Purchase here

Biba Esaad

Esaad’s practice is rooted in an exploration of an imagined queer future whereby embodied oppressions can be transcended through the cyborg. The cyborg aims to surpass the limitations of an alienating present, coding itself as a kind of disassembled; reassembled postmodern being. By acknowledging the body as the site at which racialized people navigate trauma and otherness, the figure of the cyborg comes to represent a site of possible being and thus, a utopian place of imagined existence.

1. The Thought is Distracting (2021)
Oil paint and pastel on wood panel, unframed
24 x 12 inch
Not for Sale

21. Shopping Cart (2021)
Oil paint and pastel on wood panel, unframed
12 x 12 inch
Not for Sale

22. Heads Off; Hats Off (2021)
Oil paint on canvas, unframed
36.5 x 48 inch
Not for Sale

23. Body in Flux (2019)
Oil paint and pastel on canvas, unframed
47.5 x 36.5 inch
Not for Sale

24. Cheated of Some Marvellous Experience (2021)
Oil paint on canvas, unframed
36.5 x 47.5 inch
Not for Sale

Miles Ingrassia

Ingrassia’s depictions of the male figure are influenced by his experience growing up in Hamilton, Ontario, as well as personal reflections on masculinity. Ingrassia paints from photographic references, both staged and from personal archives. The act of painting allows Ingrassia to disrupt these images, creating moments of tension and dissolution. His paintings reveal what traditional masculinity tends to hide – fragility, isolation, embarrassment, among other emotions and behaviours, as well as the inability to cope with these tendencies.

4. Daisy Chain (2020)
Oil on panel, unframed
48 x 35.75 inch
$1,500
Purchase here

12. Lattice Window (2020)
Oil on canvas, unframed
48 x 35.75 inch
$1,500
Purchase here

13. Bottom Rung (2021)
Oil on canvas, unframed
42.25 x 29.75 inch
 $1,200
Purchase here

18. Skin to Skin (2020)
Oil on canvas, unframed
42.25 x 29.75 inch
$1,200
Purchase here

20. Full Body (2020)
Oil on unstretched canvas, unframed
42.25 x 66.25 inch
$1,500
Purchase here

Noah Lima

Lima’s paintings emphasize the physicality of gender expression as it is interpreted by others while investigating notions of gender identity as distinct to the individual. His work is characterized by bright colours, bugs, and floral arrangements that represent masculinity, femininity, and the fluid interplay between these expressions.

3. Sport Bugs (2021)
Watercolour, gouache, watercolour pencil, charcoal and white gel on watercolour paper, framed
30 x 22 inch
$450
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14. Field of Packers (2021)
Watercolour, gouache, watercolour pencil, charcoal and white gel on watercolour paper, framed
11 x 30 inch
$450
Purchase here

15. Flower Binder (2021)
Watercolour, gouache, watercolour pencil, charcoal and white gel on watercolour paper, framed
22 x 15 inch
$450
Purchase here

16. Bosom Swarm (2021)
Watercolour, gouache, watercolour pencil, charcoal and white gel on watercolour paper, framed
11 x 30 inch
$450
Purchase here

17. Sock Packer Vase (2021)
Watercolour, gouache, watercolour pencil and charcoal on watercolour paper, framed
14 x 11 inch
$150
Purchase here

19. Tie Bug (2021)
Watercolour, gouache, watercolour pencil, charcoal and white gel on watercolour paper, framed
14 x 11 inch
$150
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Roxana Parsa

Parsa creates dream-like group compositions that fortify notions of memory and family ties, as well as single figure portraits that evoke solemn reflection and relationality with the surrounding environment. Her paintings are rooted in her identity as the daughter of Iranian immigrants, and are inspired by family photographs, home videos, and films.

6. The Dinner Party (2021)
Acrylic on canvas board, unframed
9.75 x 13.75 inch
$200
Purchase here

25. Woman at a Table (2021)
Oil on canvas board, unframed
15.75 x 19.75 inch
Sold
Purchase here

26. The Gathering (2021)
Acrylic on canvas board, unframed
9 x 11.75 inch
$200
Purchase here

27. Woman at Night (2021)
Acrylic on canvas board, unframed
9 x 11.75 inch
$200
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Michelle Rodrigues

Influenced by printmaking sensibilities, as well as art therapy approaches, Rodrigues’ collages are created through a process of construction, destruction, and chance. Her collages are personal, introspective glimpses into themes such as nostalgia, belonging, love, and the societal and cultural notions of what it means to be a woman. Rodrigues’ work visualizes a synthesis between the roles assigned to us as women and how we respond to these forces as empowered beings.

5. Friends with Benefits (2020)
Magazine paper and spray paint on wood panel, unframed
48 x 36 inch
$1,950
Purchase here

7. Promising Young Women (2021)
Magazine paper and spray paint on wood panel, unframed
48 x 36 inch
$1,800
Purchase here

8. I Want You Most (2020)
Magazine paper on illustration board, framed
10 x 8 inch,
$300
Purchase here

9. Easy as Cake (2020)
Magazine paper and spray paint on wood panel, unframed
48 x 36 inch
$1,950
Purchase here

10. Face It (2020)
Magazine paper and spray paint on wood panel, unframed
48 x 36 inch
$1,950
Purchase here

11. I Can't Help Myself (2020)
Magazine paper on illustration board, framed
10 x 8 inch
$300
Purchase here


Acknowledgments

The Flavio Belli Curator Award is a mentorship program that gives a student an opportunity to advance their professional development, learn about important issues in the field, share ideas, and develop a working association with a senior gallery curator and other arts professionals. Our sincerest thanks to the Lindy Green Family Charitable Foundation for their vision in recognizing Flavio Belli's contributions to the arts and celebrating the 60th Anniversary with with this special award. We are grateful to Propeller Gallery and their support of Emerging Artists by Emerging Curator Awards that gave us the opportunity to find a synergy between these two wonderful opportunities.

TOAF would like to acknowledge the support of the Government of Canada, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Government of Ontario, Business for the Arts, the City of Toronto and Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, a program of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation. Special thanks to the 60th Anniversary Lead Patron, the Koffler Family Foundation.

      

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