CAPREIT and First Capital Realty recently worked with
The Patch Project
seeking out an artist to feature on the hoarding surrounding their new development
. The Patch Project is a public art consultancy that aims to improve the urban experience for local communities. They work with artists to transform underutilized spaces into beautiful displays of art and use the proceeds to help fund youth programs in various communities, with the help of their sister group -The STEPS Initiative. Through the Patch Project, CAPREIT and First Capital found Andre Kan; a Toronto based artist whose focus is abstract painting. His series displayed on the hoarding is called "Viewpoints" and investigates architectural interpretations that respond to our ever advancing society. Andre's work is currently on display at 1100 King St. West and after completing the project, we had a brief interview with Andre on his experiences and his 'Viewpoints' series.
How did you get into the industry, and did you always want to be an artist?
Yes, I've always wanted to be an artist at a young age!
As an only child, I think art was always a good way to preoccupy my time but it wasn't until I was older that I actually wanted to pursue a career in it. I later went to OCAD University for their drawing and painting program and graduated in 2014 with my BFA.
How did you get involved with the Patch Project?
I started working with The Patch Project last year in 2016 and was very excited they had selected me as one of their artists on their roster. There's a whole application process but pretty much they only pick a handful of artists every so often.
I thought it was a good opportunity to expose my work to the public and more importantly could reach to people beyond the gallery walls (which is the usual setting my artworks in).
What was your inspiration behind your work on the hoarding?
The hoarding installation were based on two paintings I did last year, "Flux" and "Shutterfly"- which were these bright, colorful, architectural paintings that depicted urban construction, perspective, and sporadic energy.
I later thought the name "Viewpoints" was appropriate for the hoarding installation, since these two pairings were just in my solo exhibition titled "Levels" this past April at Project Gallery in Toronto and thought I'd continue with singular titles that shared commonalities.
What materials do you use and why?
Most of the time, it's just acrylic and ink.
But lately I've switched over to aerosol (spray paint) primarily because of its immediacy, and how fast it dries. A lot of my work is pretty time consuming, but to me I need the art to feel immediate and in the moment enough. Otherwise I'd just use traditional oil paints.
How do you feel seeing your work across King St?
Good! I'm very excited to see it on King St. I just finished a mural with Bell Box Murals Project literally a block west from the hoarding installation so it's nice to have these two pairings in Liberty Village. I'm hoping for more of these in the future since I've been dipping my fingers more in public art making lately.