Toronto’s artists and photographers have begun to explore online galleries in which to showcase their talents, leaving behind the stuffy reservations of an elite audience. This innovation means that those with an interest in the visual arts are no longer limited to works selected by gatekeepers such as critics. They are now able to indulge in an unknown artist or in the trials and tribulations of an amateur photographer, then click to the portfolio of a well-known illustrator.
The most dynamic showcase for Toronto artists and photographers is Redbubble, an online arts community started in Australia in 2007. Works of art and photography are available for purchase as fully framed pieces or as special occasion cards reflecting local portraits and landscapes.
The uniqueness of Toronto’s arts community on Redbubble is its diversity
Father and daughter team Mastro Yiannis and Maria Medeiros are first and second generation Canadians living in Toronto. Mastro Yiannis imbues his art with the energy and mythology of his Greek origins, while Maria bridges the gap between her father’s world and contemporary Canadian artistic vision.
DebraLee Wiseberg represents Toronto photographers who bring bold imagery into their work, while Gerda Grice celebrates the city of Toronto itself. Hassan Khan is one of the GTA’s novice artists whose work promises to mature into a unique vision of the city’s streets.
Klaudy Krbata’s vision of the city demands the participation of her audience by imposing upon viewers layers of complexity and metaphor. Olga Hutsul takes complexity and metaphor to their extreme in her experimental work which can and does engage viewers for hours.
Marilyn Cornwell straddles the line between her double vision of the world and this results in detailed, provocative photographs of nature’s purity jockeying for space with urban decay.
Redbubble’s Toronto community is not restricted to these artists. They represent hundreds of Toronto and Canadian artists, photographers and writers who call Redbubble their creative home.
Collectively, Redbubble’s Canadian community represents the new pioneer ready to extend horizons and explore the opportunity of a new era. These artists and photographers are not afraid to place themselves on permanent exhibition or leave themselves open to public criticism. They are empowered by the democratization of their art forms, and they wait only for the buying public to catch up with their commitment to innovation.