Friday, December 29, 2006


Neat New Bag!
Made of recycled truck tarpaulins, bicycle inner tubes, car seat belts, and used airbags, this little courier bag is waterproof and stylish! All FREITAG bags are designed and produced in Zurich (click on the link and have a look at the flagship shop - the store is made out of stacked shipping containers). If you desire, you can have a say in the design yourself and choose the chunk of tarpaulin from which your bag is cut. Mine was bought pre-made and selected by Jeremy (a fine choice of complimentary blue and yellow lettering on white).

Monday, December 18, 2006

Can you spot the difference?

Joe Fafard's The Pasture, a public sculpture garden in Toronto's downtown financial core, is grazing ground for bronze cattle and picnicking office clerks alike. Fafard is an internationally renowned Canadian sculptor, and a recipient of prestigious awards including the Order of Canada (officer) in 1981 and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Allied Arts Award in 1987. His works have been exhibited across Canada, and are part of major collections including both The National Gallery of Canada as well as The Montreal Museum of Fine Art. Just a few short city blocks north of Fafard's mock rural haven is a second set of sculpted cattle. The Sheraton Le Biftheque steakhouse boasts a handsome herd of colourful cows, a precursor to the tacky Toronto public works painted moose campaign, circa 2000 (backed of course by former mayor Mel "Bad Boy" Lastman). Larger-than-life-decorated-animal public works displays have been a global-affliction since 1998; Chicago's "Cows on Parade" (originally presented in Zurich, Switzerland) inspired Toronto's "Moose in the City", Preston's "Baa-rilliant Public Art Exhibition", and Surrey's "Spirit Bears in the City" to name but a few. Why are the Biftheque sculptures magnet to tasteless tourist snaps while Fafard's works are awarded critical acclaim? One herd is granted Public Art status while the other exists chiefly within the advertising realm, albeit the kitschy landmark variety. Perhaps it is award enough for the anonymous sculptor of the Biftheque bovines to know that likely millions of photos of the works exist. Why, I fumbled across this one by sheer accident:

"Don't forget - everyone knows someone who loves Le Biftheque..."