Simon Letourneau Artist Book
*Since our brick and mortar is currently closed due to COVID-19, we've had to close the Likely General Gallery as well. These artists have worked so hard to prepare for these exhibitions. Much time and energy has been placed into creating beautiful exhibitions for our community so, to remedy, we're offering this online gallery of all exhibitions that were programmed to be in our physical space at this time. If you're interested in a piece, please click through to purchase. Free, safe, zero-contact delivery in Toronto. If you are interested in purchasing but are not from Toronto, please contact us for shipping rates. All work is framed and ready to hang unless otherwise noted. Thank you so much for supporting our artists and gallery at this time*
My fascination with the urban landscape goes back to my childhood. As a young boy in my home town of Bordeaux, France, I was sent out every evening, starting at around the age of 5 or 6, to go buy a baguette for dinner. It was only a block away from my house, but apart from school, it was the first time I was able to experience the outside world as a somewhat independent human being. At the time, a block seemed like a vast amount of space to explore, and I still have very vivid visual memories, snapshots of details, like my dad’s dark blue Renault 4L parked on the street, a very specific crack in the asphalt , the rusty blue cast iron fence 6 houses down where that huge dog would bark at me every time I walked by, the oily strip of sidewalk outside of the car mechanics on the corner, the patterned curtain hung in front of a house front door to protect the paint from the harsh summer sun ( a very old fashioned and regional trait), or that house facade that was entirely covered in vines with two windows for eyes and a front door for a mouth. As I grew older, my parents would then also send me to buy cigarettes, which extended my walk by another block, and later, to the convenience store or the pharmacy, and later still, when I got into skateboarding, I was then able to roam and discover a vaster territory and a different filter to look at things through. I am always pushing myself to pay attention, and try and look at the real world of inanimate objects with a fresh and curious eye, and practice the action of looking as a psychedelic and transcendental experience. In that regard, the birth of my first baby son, 15 months ago, the most psychedelic and transcendental of all experiences, reinforced the acuity of that feeling and has driven me to try and imagine what would catch his eye.
All the photographs were taken strolling around the neighbourhood of Roncesvalles in Toronto, and more specifically in the few blocks surrounding where I live. The presence of cars as some sort of relics that were seemingly parked one last time, never to be moved or driven again, like archeological landmarks punctuating my walks, isn’t a coincidence, as only the pedestrian will have the time and ability to look at the world around them, while the driver’s gaze is bound to focus on the road and their users, stuck within the frame of some sort of dreadful tunnel vision that the pointless craving for hurriedness will never free them from.
Although circumstantial - because the series was shot and completed prior to the events - One can not be oblivious to the fact that the recent developments of the Covid-19 virus spread and the self-isolation measures recently taken around the world, and restricting people’s freedom to move around and gather, shine a different light on these pictures and make this body of work resonate in a darker manner.
Simon Letourneau, March 2020.
- 8”x 8” artist book
- 28 pages
- 28 color plates
- 1st Edition
- 10 copies
- hand numbered and signed