Each year at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, artists voluntarily donate a 6” x 6” unique artwork to support the exhibition’s fundraising effort, Art Squares. I chose to create an illustration inspired by Foster the People’s uplifting concert at
Park June 19, 2012. Tuesday evening’s performance,
featuring Foster the People and local openers Tokyo Police Club, went ahead
despite a tragic stage collapse that occurred before a scheduled Radiohead
concert the preceding weekend. I recall merging with the migrating crowd on a
long stretch of road toward The Meadow when the wreckage came into view. An aura
of sombreness and foreboding hovered over us all until greeted by the up-tempo
beats, captivating lyrics and impressive light show of the concert’s double
feature. Midway through Foster the People’s set, Mark Foster paid a touching
tribute to the late Scott Johnson, a casualty of Saturday’s incident. “We make
music to bring joy to people” Foster said poignantly as he went on to describe
the bonds of friendship shared between a band and its crew members while
touring. Foster the People and musical guest Kimbra continued their celebration of life in grand fashion
and proved yet again that music is integral to the healing process.
Foster the People formed in
and carry many Californian sensibilities. Accordingly, my decorative painting
features the state’s national bird, The California Quail. The quail is
widespread and appears in the mythology and legends of numerous cultures as a symbol
for a contrite spirit, communal love, victory and the hunt. I always found it
quite humorous that their call sounds as though it were exclaiming, “Run, Run Run”
or “The man is coming, the man is coming!”.
The expressive anthropomorphic flower gestures at the animated sun the band featured in their main act. The mood of the piece was made to reflect the positive vibes the band’s music exudes.