Monday, June 10, 2013

Doors Open Toronto May 2013

Doors Open Toronto 2013


This year on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th of May , the weather in Toronto was perfect , right in the middle of the gardens  bloom .

                                                   "Asymptote" Series by Bianka Guna ©Bianka Guna 2013
We had many visitors and a festive atmosphere in The Distillery District Toronto during the Doors Open 2013 event.

While my studio was open , I decided to show the last series of my work" Asymptote" Series, acrylic on stretched canvas , a variety of pieces that I painted for the past 10 months.

The idea behind these came to me while I was experimenting with various paints and acrylic mediums.

I played the game of shiny versus matte, metallic paints versus traditional, dark values against neon accents.
I also kept a minimal number of shapes, giving the mica flakes the stage, all flashy and glitzy.

The sizes of the pieces varied from small ( 10"x10") to medium (30"x40") and big ( 50"x90"). The images were built in single or diptychs, triptychs and poliptychs.

The colour palette was set on dark blues and mossy green backgrounds , deep purples and rich burgundies.

They were created by glazing layers of transparent Golden Fluid paint, some took 15-20 layers .

Most of the visitors reacted well  in front of them, very positive notes were written in my guest book and many students, artist friends family members and patrons came through.
                           Visitors of my Studio in The Distillery District Toronto ©Bianka Guna 2013

I met new clients , new students and newspaper  writers who wrote positive articles about my work in the past.All in all a great experience that I am going to definitely repeat next year !

Thank you all for your support, my faithful supporters, I cannot do it without you !

            "Asymptote 100" Acrylic on Canvas by Bianka Guna ©Bianka Guna 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The 10% at TAP 2013

The 10% at The Artists’s Project 2013

Every year I visit The Toronto Artist’s Project Exhibit downtown  Toronto and last week the show had a few good surprises in stock for me.

 Here are the 10% artists that shone through in 2013 :

1.       Drawing

Leandro Garcia Piementel

        Katie Kehoe                   


2.       Painting


Anya Droug




Warren Hoyano



Ann Marie Higgins

Leanne Lang 

Rachel Vanderzwet

Peter Colbert 

Ivan Alifan     






Digital (tablet)



3.       Glass and Ceramics

Lauren Blakey

Steven Tippin


4.       Photography


Ian Busher



5.       Installation


Andrea Kott



6.       Sculpture

Matthew Gardiner (paper sculpture)



7.       Textile


The visit was even more pleasant because I did it with artists friends, thank you Tanya and Marcos, for a great afternoon with the arts  !






Thursday, January 31, 2013

Opening for "Out of Bounds" Non Objective Group Exhibition at Etobicoke Civic Centre Art Gallery

Opening for "Out of Bounds" a Non- Objective Exhibition Jan 27th 2013 Etobicoke Civic  Centre Art Gallery


After months of preparations ( painting, visiting with curators, photographing, e- mailing, phone calls making, shlepping ...) the big day came: The  Grand Opening for " Out of Bounds"  the first exclusively non- objective group exhibition at the Etobicoke Art Centre , Sunday January 27th 2013, 2-4 pm.

The artists group is impressive, on top of it,the Canadian abstract matron , Lila Lewis Irving , a powerhouse of an artist and my beloved art teacher, the one who recommended my work to the gallery curator Thelma Amos for this show. I am stepping on cloud ten, not just to be in the show but to be with her by my side, how generous is she??

The high artillery of Ontario abstraction is including also Vallery Mokrytzki a painter for more than 60 years, Zora Buchanan a painter for more than 50 years and Susan Collacott painting for more than 40 years .

Painting for less than 35 years puts me in the "second " wave of this show, with artists  Inna Puchala , Bill Philipovich and Julita Wolanska. I share good company, all of them great non- objective painters.

I am all smiles and told my husband to look at my face, that this is the image of pure happiness, he laughs. I am thankful for all he is doing to help me being here, supporting my love for art and believing in me. He is going to wait patiently for three hours , inside the gallery and outside ,with his cigar, as usual.

My mom stoic support is with me too, she took good care of me , then of my kids and when needed she took care of my home, while I was away learning , painting, traveling with my shows,... taking the art world by storm. Love clouds are blurring my eyes when   I am thinking  of her  in these moments.

A long list of supporters are in my mind today, my beautiful daughter who taught me to use photo shop a few years ago, who made invites for me for the past 15 years and corrected every statement or CV , as English is my third mother language, after Romanian and Hebrew . And deep  engraved in my mind  is my son who came to my shows and brought me "corporate "clients from his work.

Then here they are all coming to my mind : the wonderful teachers, artists friends, my art students, curators and art writers, art groups volunteers and supporters , art directors and coordinators from different periods of time , from different countries and on almost all the continents.

 I feel gratitude for  to all the private and corporate clients who purchased my works, and made it possible for me to buy more materials and rent a studio, the many groups of friends and supporters who continued to grow in numbers and who are constantly coming to my show openings , snow or rain or hot weather.

All these wonderful people who crossed paths with me, who  are art lovers, and are my backbone and my rock, I need all of them, and some are here today:)

 I am looking around and I am smiling happily as the works on the walls are wonderful, the food is great, the name tags burst with beautiful fresh roses, the catalogues and invites are  in good taste and Thelma Amos , Denise Dickin, and Peter Code from the Etobicoke Art Gallery  Gallery took good care of everything to perfection.
                                  "Asymptote 112" by Bianka Guna ,Acrylic on Two Canvases(Diptych), 30"x60"

Rare days like these are a reminder ,that life is worth living, art struggles are worth fighting and from time to time the stars are all aligned !!!! Thank you Universe!!!!!




Thursday, January 24, 2013

Beware of The "Too Normal" Pitfall

Beware of The "Too Normal " Pitfall


As the years are passing, the more we paint the more we try to be " careless" and let our  gut dictate what we  paint. After that  at the reevaluation point ,we  deliberately let some " ugly" parts in the picture, trying to avoid the "pretty, too normal" pitfall.

Sol Lewitt said it best:

" Try to do some BAD work - the worst you can think  of and see what happens but mainly relax and let everything go to hell- you are not responsible for the world- you are only responsible for your work - so DO IT " ( Letter from Sol  Lewitt to Eva Hesse)


It is not easy, especially for people of good taste , like artists, who can be put off by small details other people cannot even notice. It is even harder for persons with equal left and right brain impulses, like some of us . We are big suckers for order and pretty.

But alas when we change your approach, or try different techniques or  a new way experimenting with different materials, our works are looking unrefined, even "ugly" at first , but we  have to give them time to grow on us.


We simply cannot continue on a path of creating all " easy", " beautiful" things just because we  can, or because people like them and eventually buy them. It is suffocating to do the same old tricks, getting applause but really getting nowhere close to original , serious art.

Many artists fall into the mistake of reminding crafters, artisans, creators  of lesser work, just to please the mob and make a buck or two.

 We should not take the easy path, and my advice to my students is to be aware of the “too normal” pitfall.

Powerful, utterly original artwork has to have a bit of ugly and has to disturb, and that in order  to balance an outstanding  colour palette choice, a wonderful resolved  design and revolutionary  textures.

Good Luck!!
Nebulae” by Bianka Guna Acrylic on Canvas (30”x40”) ©Bianka Guna 2013

Monday, October 29, 2012

TIAF 2012

TIAF 2012


A kid in a candy store every time I am visiting Toronto International art Fair (TIAF),
 I am always happy to peruse  this hugely popular  show, and this year  between Oct 25-29, 2012 was the same .

I have to say that the Asian infusion was  weak, the small pieces of Y Kussama , some calligraphy , mechanical and aerial installations,  video installation ...did not do it for me.


The abstract expressionist movement was well represented (Kline,  Motherwell, Frankenthaler, Bush, Riopelle, Molinari,Cahen, Ferron, Burdois...) , the representational too( Hokney,McCarthy, Kanevsky, Close,...), so what is to complain about? Not much ,except maybe for the fact that "thick paying for showing "galleries ,should push the envelope further, by  taking risks and educating the buyers with "new blood" artists, and not concentrating on making a buck today, neglecting the tomorrow.


Emerging artists should be promoted more, and galleries should take more risks vis- a- vis thick budgets. A nice mix is always welcomed.
                                          A gorgeous piece   from the estate of  Oscar Kahen
                                                  at Garanville Gallery from Vancouver, Canada

Here are the galleries that impressed this year with "new blood" works of emerging artists :

1.Parisian Laundry from Montreal, Canada

2. Newbacher Shor Contemporary from  Toronto , Canada

 3. Galerie Dominique Bouffard  from Montreal, Canada

 4.Monte Clark Gallery from Vancouver, Canada

5. Gallery J Cacciola , New York, USA

6.Projects Gallery from Philadelphia/ Miami, USA

                       A wonderful William Ronald at Area Gallery from Hamilton, Canada

And here is the heavy artillery of old , respected galleries who always show well established beautiful abstract art:

1.Nikola Rukaj Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2.Miriam Schiell Fine Art from Toronto, Canada

3.Galerie BAC from Montreal, Canada

4.Granville Fine Art from Vancouver, Canada

 5. John Martin Gallery from London, UK

6. Galley Graff , from Montreal, Canada

 7. Messum Fine Art , from London, UK

8. Galleries Claude Laffite , from Montreal , Canada


All in all, four hours of enchantment, for only $20 I will say a very small price for happiness , this show was a must see !!



Monday, October 1, 2012

Summer Ends

Summer Ends


There is a feel of accomplishment at  the end of every summer: trees bearing  juicy fruits, the heavy  seeds from flowers  falling on the ground, tanned kids going back to a new year of school, silver feathered birds preparing their youngsters for the long flies , and artists coming  back from their holidays , with new ideas and new works in toes for galleries and fall vernisages.

Looking around at well rested people who just came back from exotic ,rejuvenating vacations I am guessing  where about did they get  their honey tan , which beaches  were they sunbathing on.

My day light is getting shorter in the studio, evenings are fast grabbing the skies, and the storage area gets thicker with new works. The same as La Fontaine's hard working ants, the giddy squirrels and other hibernating creatures, who are filling their places with food for winter times, I have my own treasures tucked in , in the vaults of my studio, my new works , bursting with energy and waiting to be shared with the art world.
                           "Drama Queen " 2012 Series by Bianka Guna at Nuit Blanche Sep 29 ,2012
My "Drama Queen" water colour series  painted between June and  August 2012  and the "Asymptote" acrylic series painted from September to  October 2012 months, are all aligned and ready to be seen on pristine white walls in galleries.

 Nuit Blanche  2012 was a great opportunity to showcase "Drama Queen" series and the first public reaction was encouraging. Everybody told me the title suits the bold colour choices, and they wished they used the title themselves .
     Bianka Guna's  Studio at Nuit Blanche 2012 ,  The Distillery Historic District ,Toronto        

One has to love a fruitful and beautiful passing summer  , as many good memories are floating in the realms of our minds !!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Media Echoes Our "Abstract Expression" Show in Vaughan

Media Echoes Our Abstract Expression Show

I am happy to see that the media is covering our show in Vaughan.

First we had an article in The Liberal of Vaughan  , last week and now the second article just got published yesterday in Jewish Tribune.

We are going to be also featured in a short movie on Rogers TV Cable Chanel 63, after filming on premises of City Hall of Vaughan, on24 of August 2012.

Here is the second article by Suri Epstein.


Arts and Culture /Aug 14th 2012

By  Suri Epstein

VAUGHAN – The Symbolic Language of Abstract Expressionism :Reflections on  Jewish Heritage is quite a mouthful, but it does a good job of featuring the work of three Toronto artists who explore their relationships with Judaism in their paintings.

                         "Kaleidoscopic Days” by Bianka Guna , Acrylic on Canvas , 40”x 60”

Bianka Guna’s paintings, bursting with primary colours and bold forms, are the work of an artist who grew up behind the Iron Curtain.

“I was raised in Communist Romania; the daughter of a Holocaust-survivor mother,” she said. “We were not allowed to go to any synagogue or be religious. For me, being a Jew is more about surviving and telling the story of the past to the future.”

Guna spent many years in Israel after emigrating from Romania and this is where she draws much of her artistic inspiration.

“All my art is related to my experiences in Israel,” she said. The influences of Israeli music, culture and Mediterranean all crystallize in her paintings.

“It’s really obvious that there are no rabbis dancing in my paintings,” she said with a laugh. “I think we carry our traditions and roots where we’re coming from.”

Guna painted the series in the show, Kaleidoscopic Days, to the music of Israeli jazz singing sensation Noa. She describes this series as “pieces of feelings about music, about the colours, about the forms and the shape.”

Rachel Ovadia’s paintings, Creations I and II, Blessings, and Meditation reflect a spiritual journey into the secrets of the soul.

“My entire creativity is based on a principle of a Kabalistic philosophy,” she said. “What I’m trying to achieve is a purity of spirit, thought and desire.”

Meditation is a peaceful image done in a palette of blues.

“It's about a moment of silence and one’s ability to gather one’s purity of spirits,” she said.

Ovadia is particularly fascinated by Hebrew letters. “My background is linguistic,” she said. “The Hebrew language is utterly unique; each letter is not only linguistic but also has a numerical message.”

Traces of those letters can be found on the cool tones of Ovadia’s paintings.

“Those letters are very interesting in the sense they provide us with not only a linguistic meaning, but deals with the consciousness of the universe and its profundity of meaning.”

The paintings of artist Rina Gottesman are rich in warm tones and include her writings that she weaves into the images on the canvas.

“I make them ambiguous on purpose,” she said. “I want to engage the viewer. Not giving it true form gives everyone the opportunities to put their own feeling and experiences into it.”

Setting Sun and Desert Moon, as well as Did You Know take their inspiration from the magnificence of Israel’s topography and the vitality of Jerusalem – “even though you look at the picture and may not recognize the Magen David,” Gottesman said. “It informs me and it’s my soul.”

The show continues until Sept. 7, 2012. For more information, contact Sharon Gaum-Kuchar, Arts Coordinator,