adam beck toronto

Statue in downtown Toronto just got a bizarre makeover

Late Wednesday night, under the cover of darkness, Toronto's Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art installed a new public art project by the acclaimed Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi near Queen and University.

It's right on top of Sir Adam Beck — you know, that big grey guy on the median.

Called "Life's Little Worries of Sir Adam Beck," the work is described as "an intervention into the historic monument to Sir Adam Beck in downtown Toronto."

It took more than two years to plan for and prepare the original Nishi commission, which bears the honour of being the internationally renowned installation artist's first piece in Canada.

It's also the first venture into public art for Prefix, a nearly 20-year-old gallery and publishing house based just down the street from Mr. Beck. — who, it should be noted, has been a base for independent art in the past.

"For his Canadian premiere, Nishi delicately balances a stack of objects chosen for their relevance to contemporary life in Toronto upon the head of the Adam Beck Memorial," reads the organization's website

"Through his visually stunning and delightfully humorous intervention, Nishi revivifies our relationship with this often-overlooked monument. In the process, he newly engages us with history, commemoration and community."

The installation will remain as it is until Saturday, September 29, when it will be featured as an independent Nuit Blanche project for 2018. It's accessible 24/7, thanks to the installation of lights, and is available for viewing at no cost.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


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