Originally published on Torontoist on July 8, 2008.
Toronto Star, May 25, 1978.
Art buyers can basically be divided into two categories: those who appreciate the thought and craftsmanship that go into the works and those who need something to offset their living room couch. While Toronto’s rich art scene caters to both groups, sometimes all the offset-the-couch buyer wants is a simple decorative painting that won’t empty their bank account. For them, as well as connoisseurs of the tacky, there is the starving artist sale option.
To convey the desperation of the artists behind these works, today’s model displays an unkempt beard and a well-worn button-down shirt offset by a pendant and floating pallet. You might be tempted to call his portrait “Bob Ross: The Years of Struggle.” The real artists behind these works might actually be starving, depending on the severity of the owners of the assembly lines that may have been a source.
Despite the artist’s enticement to buy his art, this ad doesn’t grab your attention the way its television equivalents have, where generic shoreline scenes and portraits of smoking dogs playing poker are sold with a nuance and subtlety reserved for monster truck rallies.