Affordable Art Round-Up, featuring Peaches

Peaches Grillz (2010): cast replica of the performer’s teeth plated in one of three styles (gunmetal, silver or gold), with matching chain. Edition of 150 in custom box accompanied by signed and numbered certificate. Images courtesy the artist and Art Metropole, Toronto.Peaches Grillz (2010): cast replica of the performer’s teeth plated in one of three styles (gunmetal, silver or gold), with matching chain. Edition of 150 in custom box accompanied by signed and numbered certificate. Images courtesy the artist and Art Metropole, Toronto.

Peaches Bites Back

Canadian-born, but now Berlin-based Merrill Beth Nisker, better known to electro-rock fans as Peaches, burst onto the scene in 2000 with the disc The Teaches of Peaches and the thumping dance track Fuck the Pain Away. She hasn’t looked back since. Her gender-bending persona and theatrical stage shows were embraced by the visual art world right from the start: “What I do is seen as very conceptual and goes beyond music,” she says. Recently, Peaches added “visual artist” to her list of accomplishments, which already includes singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and actress, with the release of a limited-edition artist multiple produced in collaboration with Art Metropole. Peaches took a quick break from her current tour to answer a few questions about her Peaches Grillz with Magenta editor Bill Clarke (BC).

BILL CLARKE: Have you made art objects before, or is this edition with Art Metropole your first project of this kind?

PEACHES: I did make an installation object that was shown at the 2007 Montreal Biennale, and was again shown as part of a group show in Korea this year. It is a large cave that is hairy on the outside, while the inside is composed of things people threw at me while I was on stage performing such as bras, dildos, underwear with phone numbers written on them, and home-made t-shirts. But, this is my first multiple project.

BC: Where did the idea for the Peaches Grillz come from? Did you have a couple of other ideas before settling on this one?

PEACHES: Almost everything I do creatively involves my mouth…my voice as the central focus, of course. You can hear what comes out and see it from a distance while I am performing, but I wanted to honour the place that has allowed me to express myself. I guess it would be more accurate to cast my throat or mouth cavity but the teeth look cooler and it's in the style of rappers. But, what’s different about my grillz is they come with a granny chain.

BC: Which I thought was a funny and clever touch, because on your most recent disk [last year’s I Feel Cream] a couple of songs touch on the idea of aging. What was it like making the cast of your teeth?

PEACHES: If you close your eyes, its like you are at the dentist. But, when you open your eyes, it’s somehow subversive because you are doing this with friends in your own environment.

PeachesPeachesBC: Your current concert tour, Peaches Christ Superstar, takes the form of a rock opera. What can we expect from a rock opera orchestrated by Peaches?

PEACHES: Actually, I performed two operas this year. The first is Peaches Christ Superstar. In it, I sing the entire rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, myself, with Chilly Gonzales accompanying me on the piano. I sing every part: Mary, Jesus, Judas, the apostles and my favorite, Pontius Pilate. This is the show that I’ll be performing in Toronto this December.

Last week in Berlin, I finished the first run of my original electro-rock opera called Peaches Does Herself. I took 24 of my songs from my last four albums and arranged them into an intricate tale that starts off as a biography but quickly becomes a fantastical tale of greed, love and tragedy. It allowed me to express my concerns about gender, beauty, age and self-love, and to revel in the myths and misconceptions about me as Peaches. I wrote the concept, and directed and starred in it, and there was a cast and crew of 40 people from all over the world!

BC: You've recently made another foray into film with the indie production Ivory Towers, which also stars Tiga and Chilly Gonzales. How did you come to be cast in that and did you enjoy the experience?

PEACHES: Chilly and I are very close and have been for many years. He saw me in this role right away. In the film, I represent both of us and what it would have been like if we didn’t follow our dreams. I really enjoyed acting for someone who I felt so comfortable with even though we had never acted together. The cast and crew were all Canadian and it was filmed mostly in Toronto. So, it has this real Canadian feel to it, which was great to be a part of.

Peaches brings Peaches Christ Superstar to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto on December 21. A launch party for the Peaches Grillz is planned at Art Metropole on December 23.


Eric Glavin: Rio De Janeiro 2 (2010): Unlimited edition print. Courtesy of Birch Libralato, Toronto. Price: $175Eric Glavin: Rio De Janeiro 2 (2010): Unlimited edition print. Courtesy of Birch Libralato, Toronto. Price: $175Eric Glavin: Men & Monuments

Toronto-based Eric Glavin’s series of unlimited edition prints, I’m New Here, are a new direction for the artist, who is best-known for his precise, hard-edged prints and paintings of modernist architecture. Images of landmarks and distinctive buildings from cities such as Rio De Janeiro, Mumbai and Hong Kong still play a role; however, the cityscapes are juxtaposed with male figures, including kick-boxers, action movie stars like Bruce Lee and the groundbreaking jazz saxophonist John Coltrane. The collages combine Dada with a self-published ‘zine or fly poster aesthetic, which was enhanced by the prints being mounted with paste directly onto the walls of Glavin’s gallery, Birch Libralato, with wallpaper paste for their first exhibition this fall. (The prints can be produced on paper, as well, of course.) The images convey a world raging with testosterone, from the posturing of the athletes to the phallic skyscrapers, in which women – only a handful populate the collages – are relegated to the periphery and cast in the role of observers.


Dax Morrison: 43°55’12.94”N 79°30’40.41”W (2010): Boxed, labelled and signed lucite cylinder. Courtesy of Art Metropole, Toronto. Price: $300.Dax Morrison: 43°55’12.94”N 79°30’40.41”W (2010): Boxed, labelled and signed lucite cylinder. Courtesy of Art Metropole, Toronto. Price: $300.Dax Morrison: Shards of Serra

American artist Richard Serra is arguably one of the most important sculptors of the second half of the 20th Century. Just north of Toronto, in King City, is an early Serra sculpture, Shift (1970-72), a set of concrete structures that cuts across a field. Originally commissioned by a Toronto art collector, this early earthwork has been in the news over the last several years as its fate is debated by the King City council, Ontario Heritage and Hickory Hills Investments, a development company that currently owns the land on which the work sits. In September of this year, news reports indicated that the developer has entered into negotiations with the Art Gallery of Ontario to hand responsibility for the preservation of the work to the gallery. Such negotiations could take years, however, which seems to have prompted Toronto artist Dax Morrison to take the preservation of Shift into his own hands. On visits out to the site (the title of Morrison's multiple refers to the sculpture’s location), Morrison has salvaged pieces of concrete that have fallen from Serra’s piece and encased them in Lucite. Note: the artist did not chip away at the work to obtain his fragments! Until Shift comes under the protection of the AGO or some other organization, we can assume that Morrison’s multiple can continue to be produced indefinitely, allowing collectors to have a Serra paperweight of their very own.


Roula Partheniou: Monument: coaster, bottle cap, gum & match (2010). Fimo, mat board, graphite on pine, foam, acrylic paint. Varied edition of eight. Price: $175. Courtesy of MKG127, Toronto.Roula Partheniou: Monument: coaster, bottle cap, gum & match (2010). Fimo, mat board, graphite on pine, foam, acrylic paint. Varied edition of eight. Price: $175. Courtesy of MKG127, Toronto.Roula Partheniou: Mini Monuments

 
In her recent exhibition at MKG127, Toronto-based painter and sculptor Roula Partheniou created an utterly charming set of objects that combined elements of Minimalism and Pop. Table-top sized sculptures replicated stacked rolls of masking tape, elongated cigarettes, or rolls of paper towel to such a degree that viewers had to do double-takes. The simulated cardboard boxes managed to reference Donald Judd’s sculptures and Andy Warhol’s Brillo boxes at the same time, while the small sculpture of a tennis ball kept in place by what looked like a Cheeto cheese snack would, blown up in size, feel like an Oldenburg. Monument, the multiple made for the show, consists of what looks like a cardboard drink coaster, a bottle cap, and gum with a match stuck into it. It looks like the sort of object that friends together at a bar would make with the detritus found on the floor or stuck to the underside of a table. In other words, a monument to good times shared with fun people.


FASTWÜRMS: Eye of the Storm (2010): Inkjet print, tissues. Courtesy of Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto. Price: $100.FASTWÜRMS: Eye of the Storm (2010): Inkjet print, tissues. Courtesy of Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto. Price: $100.FASTWÜRMS: Psychedelic sneeze box

Just in time for cold and flu season, the prolific Toronto- and Creemore, Ontario-based duo of Kim Kozzi and Dai Skuse, who go by the name FASTWÜRMS, have come up with a far cooler alternative to the crocheted tissue-box cover. This unlimited edition tissue box is constructed of a detail of the artists’ painting Eye of the Storm (2010), which is a prime example of their distinctly mystic style of abstract painting. It is sure to look even more hallucinatory when viewed through watery, itchy eyes.