Volume 95, Issue 63

Thursday, January 24, 2002
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London Underground

London's most famous Office

Form Moby Dick to Harlequin romance

The world of alternative cinema

Art outside the clique

Boneyard Man: still searching for wider acceptance

Lizards, Trixie and original fashion

Art outside the clique

By Matt Pearson
Gazette Staff

For Brian Sartor, there's a whole new art movement in town and it need not be welcomed by the city's established art clique in order to be a success.

Sartor and half a dozen other artists make up the collective that work out of Modern Graffiti, a second-floor gallery and studio space above GT's bar on Richmond Street.

Contrary to its moniker, Modern Graffiti is not really a place for street art. The artists here are not out after dark, scribbling their tags all over the city, nor are they busy wallpapering the downtown with giant, grey murals.

At Modern Graffiti, the artists – both trained and self-taught – work in a number of different mediums, including paint, lithography, metal works, wood carvings and photography.

What's most unique about Modern Graffiti is the concept – a gallery set inside the studio, allowing visitors to see not only the finished works, but also the process.

The relaxed nature of the studio-gallery also makes visitors feel more comfortable with the art that surrounds them. "It's a different kind of art show [at Modern Graffiti]. We wanted to take a step back and have something a little more relaxed so people don't feel as threatened," Sartor said.

"You go to an art show and you see the art on the walls, but you don't really know how it got to that point. People can see all of the things that go into creating the art," he said. "And we have a ping-pong tournament."

Paint by Numbers: Though London once had a bustling visual art scene, only a few notable galleries remain. The Forest City Gallery (795 Dundas St., 434-5875) is an artist-run centre that also features the unique window space, Ground Zero. Galleries @ the Galleria (Galleria Mall) and The Arts Project (205 Dundas St., 642-2767) are also worth a visit.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001