The eye of the artist

The opening last night of the latest works by Michael Awad was spectacular. A dozen pieces at the Nicholas Metivier Gallery feature a range of urban sites and events from house boats in Britain to the lineup for turkeys at Honest Ed’s, all done in Awad’s inimitable cinematic style of horizontal free-frame motion. The colours in Caribbean Parade could be brush work in oils.

Some of the works in the solo exhibit called The Entire City Project 2014 are the product of a weekend of photography, plus untold hours to arrange the results on 20 square feet of framed display. But one of the pieces took 25 years. That’s how long Awad, who started his professional life as an architect, has spent trying to capture on film the eight-foot-wide interior of the Mars Diner. He finally felt he succeeded and has created a 12×96-inch work with only one row of photos, unlike his signature six-to-eight rows.

Most Torontonians are likely familiar with his four works that have hung at at Pearson Airport’s Terminal One for the last eight years. But he’s also at many other venues including the Schulich School of Business at York University and Telus House on York Street. In May, he’ll have a solo exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum.

I’d show you a photo of his work, but Awad doesn’t like people to view his art on a handheld device, not even on a computer screen. As a result, he’s not on Twitter or Facebook and recently deleted his LinkedIn account. Instead, go see them in real life.¬†The exhibition at the Nicholas Metivier Gallery, 451 King Street W. in Toronto,¬†continues through April 19.

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