Contemporary Art | Andrew Valko, R.C.A.

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Let's Spend the Night Together 2017

Technique: acrylic on panel

Dimensions: 10 x 14 in.


Drive-in theatres are icons of nostalgia, gathering places in which the optimism America fast food, car and film culture has long since been drained and left as vacant lots of unfulfilled promises. What interested me when I started this series was not the nostalgia aspect, but the realization that these theatres were one of the first tools used for disseminating visual information, mostly manufactured Hollywood myths and popular culture, to remote communities where the audiences in awe were transported away from daily life into fantasy world. A predecessor to television, solar dish, and ultimately the Internet, that fulfill the same task today, the drive-in becomes a current subject. In the paintings, just like the often false myths generated by American popular culture, the juxtaposition of reality and fantasy (on the screen) creates new possibilities for ambiguous narrative that blurs the line between what is fantasy and what is reality, which can itself be seen as a response to the social reality of present day life.

About the Artist

Born 1957 in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Came to Canada in 1968. Received his Diploma in Graphic Design and Applied Arts from the Red River Community College in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Also had the opportunity to study printmaking with Toshi Yoshida at Yoshida Hanga Academy in Tokyo, Japan. The artist's exhibition credits include numerous solo exhibitions in the following galleries:

Galerie Franklin Silverstone, Montreal, Quebec;

Nancy Poole's Studio, Toronto, Ontario;

Cardigan-Milne Gallery and Thomas Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba;

Assiniboia Gallery and Susan Whitney Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan;

Newzones Gallery, Calgary, Alberta;

Monte Clark Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia;

Douglas Udell Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta;

Gallery 1C03, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Manitoba;

Rosemont Art Gallery, Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre, Regina, Saskatchewan;

The Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Brandon, Manitoba;

Douglas Udell Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia and Mayberry Fine Art, Toronto, Ontario.

He has also participated in many group shows, both nationally and internationally. In addition, the artist has been represented at numerous prestigious international art fairs. Andrew is a recipient of numerous awards and commissions. These include being elected to The Royal Canadian Academy of The Arts, receiving Manitoba Arts Council grants, the commission from Canada Post Corporation to illustrate four Pan American Games stamps and the 125th Anniversary of the RCMP commemorative stamp; as well as, a design for a fifty-cent piece for the Royal Canadian Mint. His work is represented in an array of corporate and private collections around the world, and he has made commissioned art for well-regarded public institutions.

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