The Local Gallery
The Local Gallery is open with flexible hours and by appointment. Masks are mandatory.
The Local Gallery is an art gallery in Little Italy exclusively displaying work from Toronto artists.
The modern gallery is from The Local Collective, a Toronto ad agency behind a few local campaigns, and the showcased pieces are curated by art director Pepe Bratanov.
Bratanov and the other partners opened the gallery to support local talent with the hope that Toronto will begin to take after Montreal when it comes to its saturated art scene.
Six up-and-coming artists in the city are currently featured on the white gallery walls including Bratanov, himself, who's the artist behind Peppy Colours. Most of the sport pieces, as well as prints, are works by Bratanov.
The pieces toggle between street and pop art with most of them relating to either music, video games, social media, television or film.
Bratanov's piece in the front window will be instantly appreciable to anyone who's binged the Netflix show Squid Game. Cameras were drilled in as eyes and an iPad used to be set up to show passersby their reactions in real time.
The adjacent window carries a 24-inch Darth Vader-like sculpture. Though it looks a bit like jello, it's actually solid resin and goes for $8,500 making it the most expensive piece in the gallery.
The prints in the front all go for under $1,000 while the larger paintings toward the back are priced anywhere between $1,150 to $3,800.
A walk through the gallery makes for an entertaining experience with none of the pieces taking themselves too seriously. Inspired by emojis with sexual innuendos are the six framed peaches by Peppy Colours.
A two-lane strip of "Send" stickers leads across the floor to the other side of the room where six frames hold various images of an eggplant.
What's aptly called the Good Vibes series used to consist of four paintings created with vibrators instead of paintbrushes. Only two of the abstract paintings are left.
Artist Jeffery Laine's colourful paintings are meant to depict how people communicate on the internet with mushrooms to emphasize how it can cause us to naturally grow together.
Indigenous artist Ziggo incorporates LED lights into his work to emulate the neon that pours out of plenty of Toronto storefronts. The black and pink piece featuring a neon lightning bolt was done with dye and resin.
Right next to that are Morgan Booth's blue, white and red oil canvases.
The trio of incredibly detailed and intricate paintings is by artist Adam Lancia, who happens to be visually impaired. The farthest one of Italian actress Sophia Loren fits in especially well considering the surrounding neighbourhood.
The serialist painting duplicating a Nerds Candy box is props to artist Brent Andrew Doty. Look up-close to spot images of the most infamous "nerds" throughout history and pop culture like Bill Gates and C-3PO.
There's also a gift shop section, which carries what Bratanov calls their collectibles. One-of-a-kind items including baseball hats, boxing gloves, push pins, and wallets and card holders from upcycled basketball panels can be found on the shelves.
All of the gift items, including several different basketballs with artful prints, are thought up by their agency and brought to life by Bratanov or other local artists.
The rolling pieces of luggage featuring colourful, comic-like profanities is what they call "emotional baggage" and were originally created for an art gallery in Mississauga.