The Toronto International Art Fair is just plain weird. People pay $16 to look at art in a dimly lit basement in the bowels of the Metro Convention Centre. Everybody looks a bit sallow, and time seems to stand still as you troll through the endless booths of $10,000 masterpieces. At 5 pm each day, Canadian Art editor Richard Rhodes gives a short talk and introduces an artist and his work, and, having missed both Alain Paiement’s amazing overhead photographs and Allyson Mitchell’s fuzzy wonders, we arrived on the day Mr. Rhodes was presenting John Dickson’s Smoking City, a cardboard rendering of a North American metropolis, made up of buildings from cities all over the continent. Periodically, this jerrymandered metropolis would fill up with smoke, and the cardboard constructions would take on a new and frightening appearance. At the very least, we discovered that 9-11 art is not our thing. And that drinks in the convention centre are too expensive.
Other than that the only thing we can say with certainty is that pears are the new pomegranates. We saw no less than three booths displaying different pear-themed art works, perfect for your grandma’s kitchen.
And that stunning Irving Penn photos of frozen vegetables don’t come cheap! Not that we expected them to.