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Nice To Tweet You: An interview with Gary Taxali

September 21st, 2011

‘Nice To Tweet You’ is a regular series that connects our Twitter followers with artists, curators, speakers and experts. Tweet your questions to @agoToronto using the #NTTY hashtag and the best will be put forward to whoever’s in the hot seat. Answering your questions this week is iconic Toronto artist Gary Taxali, who joins us at the AGO on September 21 from 6pm to sign copies of his new books, Mono Taxali and I Love You, OK.

© I Love You, OK? by Gary Taxali, published by teNeues, www.teneues.com. Photo © 2011 Gary Taxali. All rights reserved. www.garytaxali.com, www.taxali.com, www.taxalionline.com/blog/

Gary Taxali will be joining us later on this evening at ShopAGO to meet with fans and sign copies of his two new publications, Mono Taxali and I Love You, OK? Taxali is an award winning artist, illustrator and toy designer who has exhibited in North America and Europe and appeared in countless publications.

Random Taxali fact: He was nominated for a Grammy in 2009 for his work on Aimee Mann’s album, @#%&*! Smilers,

All last week you’ve been busy tweeting us your questions for Gary. We picked a couple (and snuck in one of our own) to put to him. Read on to find out what he had to say…

@AlanaArmstrong Gary, what are you doing when you’re procrastinating?

I don’t know what procrastinating means!  I only say that because I always have so many projects, shows, etc that I am working on so procrastination is a luxury I cannot afford.  I also think that the more one works on something, the more ideas are bound to surface.  Therefore, my issue is more a shortage of time and what ideas shall I pick from a bottomless well that are worthy of exploring.  I imagine that all working artists go through this.

@MiriamFitting Is there a show in the future?

I have a solo show slated for next spring. It opens on April 26th at The Outsiders Gallery in London, UK.  (It’s also known as Lazarides Greek St)

@AGOToronto You have been called both a fine artist and an illustrator. Do you have a preference for how you are described, or do you find labels like these to be prescriptive?   

I don’t like to get hung up on labels but in terms of being an accurate descriptor for my vocation, most of time is spent working on gallery shows so “fine artist” would be an accurate term.  That said, I am in love with illustration and if the project is something that I would enjoy doing, I’ll certainly take it.

Many times, there are crossover projects like the time I did a Converse ad and they essentially asked me to do whatever I wanted and would print it no matter what.  Since my name and short bio was on the ad, it was more of a fine art application under the guise of illustration.  A very ideal situation, really!

To find out more about the interview please contact Holly Knowlman via email, Twitter or call 416 979 6660 (ext 426)

Nice To Tweet You, Gary Taxali

September 8th, 2011

‘Nice To Tweet You’ is a regular series that connects our Twitter followers with artists, curators, speakers and experts. Tweet your questions to @agoToronto using the #NTTY hashtag and the best will be put forward to whoever’s in the hot seat. Taking questions this week is iconic Toronto artist Gary Taxali, who joins us at the AGO on September 21 from 6pm to sign copies of his new books, Mono Taxali and I Love You, OK.

© I Love You, OK? by Gary Taxali, published by teNeues, www.teneues.com. Photo © 2011 Gary Taxali. All rights reserved. www.garytaxali.com, www.taxali.com, www.taxalionline.com/blog/
“Gary Taxali visually blends now with then. His style, inspired by vintage comics and advertising art, is repurposed with the goal of communicating the ironies and comical essence of popular culture. His work is at once alluring and endearing. Despite the vintage look, he is neither maudlin nor nostalgic. His imagery is rich in satiric verve.”
– Steven Heller

What would you like to ask Gary Taxali? Maybe you have a question about his striking images, which explore the space between illustration and fine art and have been shown in galleries and museums throughout North America and Europe. Or perhaps you’d like to find out about his vinyl toy company, Chump Toys. You might have some burning questions about his friendship with Lady Gaga, his recent collaboration with Polaroid or his two new books, Mono Taxali and I Love You, Ok?

You might also like to ask him about badminton. (We hear he really likes badminton.)

Those wishing to take part can tweet @AGOToronto with their questions using the hashtag #NTTY (nice to tweet you) from now until Wednesday, September 14 at 9pm. The top questions will then be selected and put to Taxali. Excerpts from the full interview will be shared via @AGOToronto and a complete version will be published on the AGO Art Matters Blog.

From garytaxali.com: 

Gary Taxali is an award-winning illustrator whose work has appeared in many major magazines. He has exhibited in many galleries and museums throughout North America and Europe including The Jonathan LeVine Gallery. In 2005, he launched his first vinyl toy, The Toy Monkey, which included a special edition along with a silkscreen print commissioned by The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. This led Gary to create his own toy company, Chump Toys, which recently saw the release of his OH NO and OH OH vinyl figures. Aside from his gallery shows and illustration work, Gary also devotes a portion of his time teaching and lecturing at various arts organizations and schools such as OCAD University (Toronto, Canada), The Art Director’s Club of Houston (Houston, USA), Dankmarks Designskole (Copenhagen, Denmark) and Istituto Europeo Di Design (Rome, Italy) . He is a Founding Member of IPA (The Illustrators’ Partnership of America) and sits on the Advisory Board of 3×3: The Magazine of Contemporary Illustration. Gary has also juried many student and professional competitions including The Society of Illustrators, The National Magazine Awards, The Dallas Society of Visual Communications and 3×3: The Magazine of Contemporary Illustration. Gary created the cover art and inside illustrations for Aimee Mann’s latest album @#%&*! Smilers, which won a 2009 Grammy Award Nomination for Best Package Design.He just released his first children’s book entitled This Is Silly, published by Scholastic Press. He lives and works in Toronto, Canada.

To find out more about the interview please contact Holly Knowlman via email, Twitter or call 416 979 6660 (ext 426)