ArtStars*: Robert Gober
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ArtStars*: Robert Gober

ArtStars* is the TMZ of the Toronto art scene, in the good way, making easily digestible videos about the not-so-easily-digestible. Torontoist brings you one new ArtStars* episode (more or less) every week—with the warning that we don’t necessarily approve of their bad behaviour.

There’s nothing like a controlled press trip to inspire sandwich stealing and swag selling at BMV Books.
For the first ArtStars* Field Trip, where we take the Hound to a quasi-abroad show, we washed up at the Burchfield-Penney Art Center in Buffalo. We were not allowed to roam from the long-winded gallery tour and lunch, never mind check out the wings, fat guys, and Target stores in western New York—the Albright-Knox Art Gallery is literally across the street. And we couldn’t go. When we asked the PR chicks to unshackle us, they whispered back: “We just don’t have time.”
We were there to see Robert Gober, who is what you would call a typical ArtStar*—he lives in New York City, has graced the pages of Artforum, and has shown at the Venice Biennale. Gober was visiting to curate “Heat Waves in a Swamp: The Paintings of Charles Burchfield,” which runs until May 23 and travels next to the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. But we couldn’t help but wonder how exactly this David Bowie ArtStar* managed to match up beside what feels like…Kenny G. Charles Burchfield is a depression-era artist who was friends with Norman Rockwell. He made watercolours. But here at this eighty-work show, Gober points out all the phallic symbols in Burchfield’s National Geographic world, and shows that he was rumoured to have dabbled in psychotropic drugs.
And we managed to escape, as well. On yet another trip to the washrooms, we wandered into local artist Patrick Robideau’s show down the hall in the Burchfield-Penney Art Center’s Useum, where you can crawl through a mock natural history museum like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel.
And that’s what field trips are all about—after selling the exhibition catalogue for $15.