Strength Through Numbers: Laura Kikauka closing at MKG127
It's not every gallerist in town that would have the chutzpah to allow an artist to transform their space into a heartfelt tribute to rummage-sale art, but that's exactly what's been going on at MKG127 this month. Walk past the windows on Ossington Avenue and you'll see Laura Kikauka's dizzyingly intense show, "Strength Through Embarassment," covering almost every inch of the gallery's walls. Tiled side-by each, Kikauka festoons the gallery with thrift-shop art finds -- lovingly amateurish landscapes, wildlife, still-life paintings -- and adds her own embellishments, in the form of hand-painted song lyrics (my favourite: A painfully orange-hued winter scene of an angular river, wending its way through a wonky landscape bears the phrase "Every junkie is like the setting sun," from Neil Young's majestically understated "The Needle and the Damage Done.") All is not so grim -- a cute thatched-roof cottage is encircled by Randy Bachman's eternal "We love to work at nothing all day;" an awkwardly rendered stork perches on one leg with a phrase from the Talking Heads' "Pyscho Killer" -- but there's a potent unity here in the agglomeration of unpracticed hands given singular voices not their own. One might even call it a canny confluence of popular cultures. You think? Only until Saturday, so move quickly. MKG127, 127 Ossington Avenue, www.mkg127.com.
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