CUTMR 2011 — Mark McLean


Published :    By : David Dick-Agnew      Cat :    Comments : 0

Mark McLean may be a newcomer to Toronto’s design scene, but you’d never guess looking at his Dollar Store Triptych — three popular pieces assembled from objects commonly found in dollar stores, objects familiar enough to Canadians that the work resonated with an almost nostalgic quality.

The first panel, at a glance, had a fibrous texture a little reminiscent of an acoustic ceiling tile, but with with a more yielding appearance, and emblazoned with a hand flashing the peace sign.  Closer inspection revealed thousands of tiny plastic Army men, congealed into a single mass under a thick coat of paint.

The middle panel riffed playfully on the Canadiana so ubiquitous to touristy roadside stores, collaging flag stickers into that most Canadian of icons, the moose.

On the right, landing somewhere between fireworks and household brushes, this series of puffy vortices were impossible to miss.  Viewers were first sucked in by the unusual yet oddly familiar forms, and then confronted by an irresistible urge to touch.  The tactile quality of the work was as important as the visual, in this case, and in playing with the work, its true construction is revealed — deceptively simple, the entire structure is made of electric fan covers adorned with pull-ties in carefully arranged patterns.

See more of Mark’s work here, or read his blog here.



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