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The top 5 Toronto artists to watch in 2014

Posted by Aubrey Jax / December 31, 2013

Toronto artists to watch in 2014The top Toronto artists to watch in 2014 work with painting, sculpture, photography, and digital imaging to give our retinas the kind of stimulation that just might keep us from spontaneously combusting or praying for an alien takeover to save us from our mind numbing daily routine. While Toronto has a thriving visual arts scene - especially for a place where rent is a billion dollars and you can't throw a tablet pen without hitting some fancy condo (smash?) - here are five artists who have caught our eye, and who will be challenging and defining the arts here in Toronto and beyond next year. Make sure you check out their shows - and follow them on Tumblr.

Jimmy Limit
Sculptor/photographer (in that order, chronologically) Jimmy Limit stimulates with bright colours and absurd forms. His photos look like commercial stock photos, until you get a bit closer and realize the objects photos like "2 Litre Mountain Dew on its side with level" are made to melt your brain. Jimmy Limit is represented by Clint Roenisch Gallery and has a solo show coming up there, but you can see him this month at Rodman Hall for Recent Advancements, curated by Marcie Bronson.

Petra Collins
Petra Collins kept busy in 2013. Part of Tavi Gevinson's Rookie Mag team, she curated and showed in "Period Piece: The Gynolandscape" with Sonja Ahlers. Aside from her work with Rookie and Vice, her photos of Toronto band Trust appeared in Vogue Italia. Then there was that controversial (really, people?) menstruating American Apparel t-shirt. Did I mention this artist just turned 21? You can read about why Instagram deleted Collins' account for a selfie she uploaded there on The Huffington Post, and follow Collins' new Instagram here.

Rafael Ochoa
Rafael Ochoa's digital paintings mess around with classical imagery - think antique still lives and epic paintings in guilded frames rendered into The Sims universe, though obviously, especially when compared to the terrible art selection The Sims had, these read more like futuristic masterworks. Ochoa employs multiple digital-imaging software programs for each piece. The images were made for a world beyond Tumblr, and you can see them this winter when Ochoa shows at Angell Gallery in February as part of Simulators, opening Febuary 21st.

Vanessa Maltese
In Vanessa's Maltese's understated paintings and sculptures, lines, patterns, colours, and architectural elements (this describes a lot of art, but bear with me) make for rare abstracts that are compelling to spend time with - just see it for yourself. Winner of the 2012 RBC Canadian Painting competition ($25,000!), Maltese is part of Micah Lexier's More Than Two and in 2014 she'll show twice at Cooper Cole: her solo show runs from April 10 - May 10, and her work is currently part of Endless Vacation, on until January 18. Read an interview with her here.

Mitsuo Kimura
Mitsuo Kimura was one the stand out artists we saw at the Le Gallery stall at Art Toronto in 2013. The Japanese artist has lived in Toronto for about four years, and participated in the Sanko mural at Queen and Claremon. If you're a fan of psychedelic Toronto illustrator Alex Mackenzie, prepare to feast your eyes. Kimura's ultra detailed psychedelic paintings might just start the first rumblings of a seizure - and then you'll want more, naturally. Read an interview with Kimura in Juxtapoz here and check some work from his 2012 solo show. Then keep tabs on Le, visit Toronto's galleries as much as you can, and watch the skies. Que X-Files theme, and I'm out.



Jason Steidman / December 31, 2013 at 08:15 am
Two others who should be checked out:

AleKs Bartosik -
Catto Houghton -
alan / December 31, 2013 at 10:10 am
i'm surprised and disappointed that from all of toronto, you've chosen only 20 or top 25 would be more realistic...
Aubrey replying to a comment from alan / December 31, 2013 at 10:43 am
Alan, we would need at least 200 to mention them all. Feel free to add links in the comments.
Artem / December 31, 2013 at 02:51 pm
Also check out Natasha Kudashkina
She paints on everything!
Artem replying to a comment from Artem / December 31, 2013 at 03:55 pm
What Nastasha Kudashkina does is not art. It's something you hire for your party. but it is not art.
Nicky Jameson / December 31, 2013 at 04:06 pm
I do not know whether it was only to feature artists who have exhibited in shows or via galleries or who are already famous, however I too am surprised and disappointed to see you only mention five artists. No wonder Toronto artists remain almost unheard of.There are so many more talented artists out there, certainly more than five to watch.
Here are a few photographers I think worthy of mention (there are many many others, this list is far from exhaustive)
Katrin R
Greg Stacey
Gordon Maxwell
Subjective Art Photography
Ben Roffelsen
Also many Toronto Artists,and their work can be found at the following link. I hope that some will visit their sites and check them out.
Dunstan Morey / December 31, 2013 at 04:51 pm
Top of my list for 2014:
Elva Hook
Matt / December 31, 2013 at 07:49 pm
Great selection of artists! I realize everyone has favorites, and I will take the time to bring your attention to mine. Dudeman has been around for a while and I really believe he may BlogTO-hold name by the end of 2014. And NO, I am NOT him, nor his agent, nor his parent....
RuGrat replying to a comment from Matt / December 31, 2013 at 07:57 pm
saw Dudeman art at that ping-pong bar down on King St. a little while ago. he (presume it is a he) is talented. very bright and modern.

as to the earlier comment by Artem, Natasha Kudashkina IS an artist and a damn good one.
Derek replying to a comment from Nicky Jameson / January 2, 2014 at 02:20 am
The idea was very much to highlight artists already affiliated with galleries who were set to show work in 2014. It was not, I should point out, to draw attention to emerging artists yet to display their work in commercial galleries. As for the number five, we felt that this was a fair scope given our editorial makeup (we're not a visual arts blog) and that it underscores the confidence we have in the future success of those on the list (something sure to erode as it grows).

Interestingly, a number of the photographers you mention have been extensively featured on our site in the photo of the day section, where we like to give our very talented local shooters some well deserved attention. Check it out and feel your disappoinment wash away.
VK / January 4, 2014 at 10:11 am
Saw this guy's prints in Montreal. Very detailed work. I guess it's a new take on Warhol:
JB / January 5, 2014 at 09:02 pm
Laura Warburton is an amazing Toronto abstract artist. Her work has sold across Canada, the United States (all the way to Hawaii), the UK and has appeared on HBO's series 'Hung'. A definite must-look.
Queen St. W, 1995/2012 / January 29, 2014 at 08:01 am
huh ?
Andrew Peycha / February 28, 2014 at 03:00 pm
Top of my list (Shameless Promotions)
Subhasish Saha / March 8, 2014 at 03:02 am
I really enjoyed this blog because in the current century painting idea totally different, mainly Arts and Crafts design gives a new platform in the home painting.

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