Intermission Magazine

Tony Napo

I discovered this brilliant Canadian painter Christian McLeod while watching Ron Hawkins weekly Tommy Tuesdays Facebook live stream. While Ron performs songs from his monster catalogue, a portrait of Tommy Douglas—that Christian painted—hangs behind him.

I chose this piece Lake Shore Towers because it seems to represent, quite clearly and in an accessible way, all of the components that I found drew me to his work, both in his artist mission statement and in his paintings themselves. In his artist’s statement Christian says, “Painting is my way of remembering and interpreting beauty and destruction. I begin by viewing reality as composed of layers of colour and shape, observing the way that light reflects off an object, and the tension objects generate when placed next to or on top of each other. Landscapes from a great distance become a single object… a century and a half ago, photography liberated painting from the task of representation; today, satellite imagery redefines how we perceive our landscape and environment, and thus blurs the line between abstraction and representation, between the bird’s eye view and the microscope.”

I chose this artist and this piece because I think Christian’s work gives us visual representation of the feelings that are going on inside of us right now, in the way that we are going through change—obviously—letting go of the lives that we have lived up until now while simultaneously fearing and preparing for whatever forms and colours our lives are going to adapt to during this pandemic, and what our lives may look like on the other side of it. As well, we are experiencing information and experience itself twofold at present—in the micro of our own immediate surroundings as we are confined by our self-isolation and the macro as we explore and absorb and interact with the rest of the world, primarily, virtually.

I like this piece particularly because it strikes me as terrifying and apocalyptic. But it also quite beautifully captures man’s vision and scope of the world he wanted to and did successfully build during and after the industrial revolution—a world which we no longer seem able to successfully sustain, and which is presently in danger of collapsing completely at any given moment.

Please check out more of Christian’s powerful works at www.christianmcleod.com and at @cmcmcleod on Instagram.