150708 André Kan 2015 - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

I met Andre Kan when he was exhibiting as part of the 2014 Annex Patio Art Show. My own Horizon project was hanging further down the street, so I wasn't able to spend as much time admiring Andre's paintings as I would have liked, but anyone who knows me will understand the immediate and lasting appeal of his work.

Happily the City of Toronto has a program to improve the city with public art. StART has artists reclaiming our industrial grey traffic control boxes, and Andre has done two of them right in the downtown core. The first one is on the south side of Queen street, just west of Yonge, where it sees tremendous traffic around the Toronto Eaton Centre.


The second box is on the north side of Carlton, between Yonge and Church, at the south-west corner of the building that used to be Maple Leaf Gardens and is now a grocery store and sports complex for Ryerson University. Although it doesn't have quite the prominence of the Eaton Centre box, three other people also stopped to admire it when I was taking its photos.


But I must add a disclaimer: despite wanting to see these two boxes for some time I still wasn't properly prepared. These photos were recorded with one of my little cameras without any colour or exposure references, so they may be quite inaccurate when it comes to hue, tone, and nuance. All credit for the art belongs to the artist, Andre Kan; any fault in their representation belongs to me.

Nothing beats seeing them in person.

Both @andrekanart and @StART_Toronto are on Twitter, and andrekan_ is on Instagram.

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