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Contemporary Art Gallery

555 Nelson Street
Vancouver, Canada
Admission always free

Today's hours
12 pm - 6 pm
24 Nov 87until19 Dec 87

Mina Totino

Mina Totino Paintings

555 Hamilton St

A painting of a person in a pink skirt, walking with their gaze low, with a large red stripe on their right. In the background, there is a faint silhouette of an upside-down toyota truck.

Mina Totino, Toyota Girl, 1987. Photographer unknown.

Through her choice of subject matter and her use of brushstrokes and colour, Mina Totino’s paintings evoke agitation and unrest. These isolated figures on ambiguous grounds do not, however, cause panic or crisis, but rather a sense of disturbed agitation.

Her treatment of the surface, especially the frenetic, crossed brushstrokes, mirror the positions of subjects caught at some point in a newsworthy narrative. The overall feeling of decay, the graffiti of simultaneous layering and peeling away addresses the effects of mediation where conflicts become merely news — front page items one day and the next day, forgotten. Such disposable images take on a new longevity when instated in paint.

As a woman artist operating in the domain of large-scale figure painting and addressing marginalized or oppressed subjects, Totino’s choice of media and content reflect her own position and take it forward in a new direction.

Totino’s paintings describe issues and subjects which are continuously sensationalized and then dismissed in the media. Her work offers us the opportunity to reassess our attitudes towards such images and their meanings.

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