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Thursday, November 1, 2012

An extraordinary Toronto artist - John Clapp

An excursion to get groceries at Loblaws on a very hot Labour Day Weekend about two years ago was the first time I encountered John Clapp. A man sitting on the pavement with two very colorful artworks is not something I usually saw outside the local supermarket, so he attracted my notice. The art was remarkable. Mixed media, with an brilliant combination of color, depicting mesozoic-inspired fantastical creations, the works were paradoxically primitivistic yet sophisticated.

We spoke for a while and the artist turned out to be as exceptional as the art. John had studied history, religious history and Biblical Hebrew at the University of Toronto, had won awards at art shows, and had lived as a homeless person. He was intelligent, engaging and as any good artist should be, quite eccentric.

After having attended an art exhibit recently filled with very expensive works that reflected nowhere near the talent John has, I decided to seek him out to see if he had any new works.

Here are some of them - they are mixed media with raised figures, each a meticulous mini-sculpture incorporated into the amalgam of colors on the canvas.

Prometheus' Gate

Darwin's Vision Quest


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