In the newsletter: The most-read story of the week is...
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Hi, art lovers!
What were you like in high school? I suspect a lot of us wish we'd been bigger keeners as kids, because the most popular article on the site this week was this story: an interview with a 16-year-old graphic designer from Scarborough, Ont., who's absolutely killing it. Since teaching himself the craft, he's built an all-star client list. Rappers, influencers, Toronto Raptors: they've all called on Benjamin Bwamiki.
Meanwhile, I'm frittering away my post-teenage years, spending way too much time on the internet. So here's a few of the best random things I've read this week. A hilarious analysis of "garbage" corporate language. An argument against watching Love Is Blind (though I totally binged it, and I regret nothing). The case for more "niceness" in reality TV (tied to another extremely watchable Netflix series, Next in Fashion). TikTok is even creepier than you thought. It's 2020, and frogs are the new cats. And mushrooms are the new frogs.
And because we promised you eye candy
On the subject of mushrooms...check out these lil fun guys. (Art by Phyllis Ma.)
What's trippier than neon toadstools? Paintings by Du Jingze.
By some weird, inexplicable quirk of the algorithm, every time I opened Instagram this week, I'd see a painting by Sarah Slappey. I'm going to take that as a sign. You're welcome.
You've got to see this
I do think you're ready for this jelly - There's so much more than a satisfying wobble to Sharona Franklin's incredible jelly sculptures. Yes, they're gorgeous — and also, probably, delicious. (Sharona says they're all totally edible.) But they're also the Vancouver artist's (joyful!) way of sharing her experience with chronic illness and the medication she takes to manage it. "Taking these medications is a very big privilege," she says. "I'm really lucky. Let's try to celebrate that."
Made with love in Toronto - Artist Chason Yeboah was working with kids when she got the idea to make crocheted dolls of all shapes and colours and sizes. "I could see that they didn't have any proper representation of themselves," she says in this short doc. "And one day it clicked: I'm like, 'I'm going to make dolls for everybody! I'm going to make dolls for adults; I'm going to make dolls for kids; I'm going to make dolls that just look like people and the way that they look in real life.'" The project wound up teaching her a lot about love — both the way we care for others and ourselves. Watch and see.
Grimes and the freedom of being cancelled - What a difference five years makes. After 2015's Art Angels, Grimes was hailed as a major pop genius. These days, though, she's considered more of a "problematic fave" — but the Canadian artist is leaning into her new reputation, and on her latest record, Miss Anthropocene, she reinvents herself as a total supervillain. Here, Chandler Levack ponders how Grimes, and other top female recording artists of the decade, have navigated the spotlight. She writes: "There is a freedom that comes with being cancelled, one supposes. If you're convinced no one wants to hear from you, maybe that empowers you to stop caring what other people think."
Follow this artist
Jacob Intilé (@ora_et_labora) - Jacob appears on last week's episode of Paper Cuts, and folks have been loving this collage we Instagrammed. Here's one rave review from the comments thread c/o Verone Solilo: "Very very cool art. Surrealism at its best and at its most cheerful too!!"
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Until next week!
XOXO, CBC Arts