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It's not too late to check out a spectacular free exhibit from Luminato finishing this weekend. Click through to see the breathtaking photography hanging in the centre of the city.

Toronto's Mille Femmes by Maraval

My problem with Luminato is that it brings a lot of great art to the city but the cost is prohibitive for my budget. Stumbling upon Pierre Maraval's Mille Femmes this past week certainly challenged my prejudice.

The pictures and descriptions of the event don't give it justice. The portraits look static and boring on paper, something between a headshot and a drivers license photo.

Toronto's Mille Femmes by Maraval

However, hung row on endless row in the vast lobby of the TD towers, they are breathtaking. It's hard to photograph the extent of this exhibit, it goes on for what seems a quarter of a mile. Imagine how long the space would have to be if the photos weren't double sided with a different face on either side.

Toronto's Mille Femmes by Maraval

The subject's name and a word that I assume they choose to describe themselves are printed on each of the 1000 portraits. Almost all the adjectives are unique and dramatically enhance the photos, bringing intrigue, mystery and/or charm to the faces.

Toronto's Mille Femmes by Maraval

The women are described as the "creative and inspiring... who embody the passion and heritage of the city. Architects, actors, dancers, designers, journalists, musicians and others have been chosen in recognition of their achievements and leadership in their field." It's hard not to notice the diversity of subjects, ranging in age, race and character. Each one brings an extra dimension to the landscape of Toronto.

Toronto's Mille Femmes by Maraval

I love free events but often times they are uninspiring or lack a certain "wow" factor. This is one free event worth checking out. I spent much more time than I have at any exhibit in a long time... still, it was much less than I wanted. Half the fun was trying to spot people I knew, either celebrities or friends. I found at least a half dozen of each.

Toronto's Mille Femmes by Maraval

The exhibit is on through the end of the weekend and is located at:

Brookfield Place
161-181 Bay Street
Toronto, ON M5J 2T3

Photos by joseph.


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