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Michèle Pearson Clarke, Visual artist, and current Photo Laureate of Toronto

What is it like collecting while working in the art world? How does that impact the way that you collect?

The personal and professional lines are always very blurry in our field, but it really just adds richness and complexity - sometimes you buy because of the work and sometimes you buy because of the person, and sometimes it's both.


Are there certain threads that run throughout your collection, or is there a way that you describe it to people?

Not really. It's all just work that I loved on sight.

What is one sentence that connects the artwork you selected?

Expansive in colour, intimate in feeling, and perfect for this ongoing exhausting life.


Is there a photographer that is on your radar? 

Um, how can I name just one?? In my role as Photo Laureate, I act as an advocate and ambassador for Toronto photographers and so I'm always looking at work and learning about who's doing what in the city. So, let me name two. I'll say Kyle Jeffers who was just recognized by the British Journal of Photography in their annual Ones to Watch talent issue and is a hometown boy, and also Tom Hsu, who is from Vancouver and is one of the ten photographers I included in "We Buy Gold," an exhibition I curated and that's on at Gallery TPW until Nov 6.

What are you working on?

I'm working on a new four-channel video installation, as well as an ongoing series of self-portraits shot on medium-format film. Both projects have to do with queerness and masculinity and both will be on view in my upcoming solo exhibition, "Muscle Memory," at the Art Gallery of Hamilton next February. Please come!

Collection

Kriss Munsya, Dreams Tonite, 2020 (Mónica Reyes Gallery)

Amartey Golding, Red, white and Pink flowers, 2018 (Art Mûr)

Nabil Azab, Untitled, 2020 (Afternoon Projects)

Todd Hido, #4124-c, from the series House Hunting, 2005 (Aperture Foundation)

Jon Sasaki, Microbes Swabbed From A Palette Used By Franklin Carmichael, 2020 (Clint Roenisch)