Art at breakneck speed

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For Lucas Gordon, who grew up in Creemore and is now in his fourth year at the Ontario College of Art and Design, the biggest problem with his latest artistic passion is finding the right canvas.

In the lead up to this weekend’s Creemore Festival of the Arts, he found a perfect one at Ray’s Place, the local student resource centre that happened to have a wall that needed painting and is always eager to support the aspirations of young people.

So on Monday morning, armed with drop cloths, painter’s tape and a cardboard box full of spray paint, Gordon showed up at Ray’s Place with a vague idea of what he wanted to do. He donned an industrial-strength breathing mask and some surgical gloves, and over the next 10 hours or so he let the paint do the talking.

What emerged at the end of the day was a fantastical vision, of a boy floating in space, suspended in the cosmos by large, colourful blobs of an unidentified substance.

Words don’t do it justice, obviously, so thankfully people will have a chance to view the work in person, this Saturday and Sunday during the Festival of the Arts. Gordon will have more of his work on display as well, confined to prints and computer screens this time but still showing inspiration from the world of street art and graffiti.

Forty years since a destitute New York saw the first “tags” of the hip hop movement, graffiti has matured, with international artists like Banksy, Aryz and Os Gemeos creating large-scale and, more and more frequently, legal creations all over the world. The latter two, Aryz and Os Gemeos, who create massive murals with spray paint, are specific inspirations for Gordon.

Also inspiring is the speed at which spray paint can be applied, with shading and gradients that take hours in more conventional styles possible with a slight tilt of the spray can.

“I get restless,” says Gordon, who churns out art on a daily basis. “So this is great for me… you can create something in a really short time frame.”

A literal demonstration of that time frame can be seen in a time lapse video that Gordon created on Monday, showing the creation of the mural from start to finish and set to an appropriate punk rock soundtrack. The video will be on display at Ray`s Place over the weekend, and can also be seen below.

Ray’s Place is located on the north side of Caroline Street, just a few steps west of Mill Street.

Ray’s Place Mural from MediaFriendsy on Vimeo.

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