It Happened Here: 2006 OCAD Graduate Show

It Happened Here was the title of the 2006 Ontario College of Art and Design Graduate show. The thesis program at OCAD really drove in the importance of having a clear focus and presenting a cohesive body of work. I don’t think I was quite ready for this. After making three paintings that turned out just as I wanted them, I started experimenting again. I made two that tried to incorporate some techniques from my older paintings, but those techniques really didn’t need to be there. In retrospect, I was just showing off. I was telling the audience, “Hey, I know some fancy glazing techniques, too! Look! Please ignore how out-of-place the technique might be…”

The Urban Landscapes series has been my primary focus ever since this show. It’s hard to explain through words, but painting this way just feels right.

Urban Landscape 1, 44″ x 56″ (approx), acrylic on canvas, 2006.

Urban Landscape 2, 44″ x 54″ (approx), acrylic on canvas, 2006.

Urban Landscape 3, 42″ x 52″, acrylic on canvas, 2006.

Urban Landscape 4, 44″ x 54″ (approx), acrylic on canvas, 2006.

Urban Landscape 5, 44″ x 55″ (approx), acrylic on canvas, 2006. SOLD

Urban Landscapes:

2006 Artist Statement


I see my recent art as a dialogue between my knowledge of art history and my experience with the images being made today. The images of today often fit into the digital aesthetic. They remind me of a buzz, of being completely overwhelmed by the amount of stimuli coming at me.

I enjoy looking at a lot of the art that came out of the Modern era. Abstract Expressionism in particular is a favourite of mine. I go into galleries and museums to spend time with several pieces that I really like.

I also enjoy looking at images that come out of our era. Subway ads, billboards, posters, magazine layouts, internet pop ups, photo blogs, screen shots from streaming videos, and digital camera preview screens. Images from these new mediums are far more prevalent in my life than what I see inside a gallery. I briefly glance at these images when I am passing by, and I notice that they often share a certain aesthetic, something not seen in the works of the past. I find this new aesthetic to be very interesting.

It is my goal to understand and capture this new aesthetic in my paintings. I brush, scrape, and squeeze acrylic onto the canvas, using what I see around me to inform my decisions as I build my paintings.


Kyle Clements