Art and loss

Learned of another artist gone too soon today: tattoo artist Stan Wong, who died this past summer.

The last tattoo artist I worked with is not around anymore and that shop moved, I think, and I remembered that my brother Sean had mentioned that Stan was working at Way Cool Tattoos in Oakville. I looked up that shop on-line about a year ago to see if he was still there – and he was. But when I looked again today, there was a note from the shop, saying they’d lost their friend and co-worker.

I first met Stan back when I frequented Abstract Arts tattoo shop on Queen St. West in Toronto – and the previous artist I’d worked with there had moved on from that shop, so I started working with him. I didn’t really know Stan – my only experience of him was during the time we spent when he inked a few of my tattoos, but he was a good guy and an amazing artist. The first piece he did for me was on New Year’s Eve Day 1999 – the Circle of Brigit on the right side of my lower back. Later, he did a single wing for me on my left shoulder blade – and I was chuffed that he liked my hand-drawn design. Even later, he did a gorgeous Sacred Heart, in full colour, on my left bicep – and customized it so the flame rising from the top of the heart cupped the green Celtic cross I had above it.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that, even though I didn’t really know Stan, having someone ink you is a pretty intimate thing (unlike getting your photograph taken or a painting or drawing done of you). They’re etching colour into your skin – and there are health and safety issues involved here – and that’s art getting very personal. And, to varying degrees, it involves pain and blood – actual and emotional. A lot like an intense acting gig, I guess, but without the autoclave.

So, to artists gone too soon like Stan and Lindsay: Those of us who knew you and worked with you, even just a little bit, will miss you – and we thank you for sharing your artistry.

Oscar nominations

So not a lot of surprises in today’s announcement of Oscar nominations, but a few glaring omissions and baffling oddities:

  • No sign of Barney’s Version, except for a Makeup nomination (makeup?!) – why no Best Actor nom for Paul Giamatti? why no Best Picture nom?
  • Toy Story 3 gets two best movie nominations: Best Picture and Best Animated Feature (could they not have made room for Barney’s Version in the former category?)
  • Toy Story 3 gets a Writing (Adapted Screenplay) nomination – again, why not Barney’s Version?
  • No makeup nom for Black Swan (which would have made more sense than Barney’s Version).

I will admit my own personal bias and say that I liked Barney’s Version a lot. But WTF, Academy?!

For a full list of nominations, see the Academy website: http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/83/nominees.html

Surreality show @ Alumnae Theatre

Hey – In light of the more sobering news of the past week, I decided to hold off on posting about Alumnae’s Stoppard one-act shows (After Magritte and The Real Inspector Hound) opening till this morning.

See the Surreality show post on the Alumnae blog: www.alumnaetheatre.wordpress.com

Also check out the opening night review from the Mooney on Theatre website: http://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2011/01/review-the-real-inspector-hound-after-magritte-alumnae-theatre/