renee stephens


Thoughts on Mayor Rob Ford


I do not identify myself as a citizen of Toronto because I am not one, I do not live there. Although, I spend about 4 days a week in Toronto for school. I take the subways and streetcars, I walk the streets, and I participate in events in the city. I am actively involved in the city of Toronto.

The Mayor has really screwed up. The man is an alcoholic, even though he insists that he isn’t, he is. He has other people buy him his liquor in secret, and there are plenty of images of him in public extremely drunk. This isn’t the first time that these sort of ‘allegations’ have been accusing the mayor of substance abuse. The difference now is that its crack cocaine, and alcohol.

This is bad for Toronto. Yes, he does good things for the city. Although we must think of the message that this is sending to people of the Greater Toronto Area and frankly, the world. This isn’t just on CP24 in Ontario, this is on CNN and other world news channels. It’s embarrassing to the people of Toronto that we are the laughing stock of the world with an alleged ‘crackhead’ Mayor. I mean, when you smoke crack and you are such a public lawful figure in society it’s not like you can just “move on”, which is what the Mayor wants to do. People who get arrested for crack possession can’t get off by saying, “listen let’s just move on”. That isn’t the way the law works. The Mayor is being extremely selfish, childish, and is showing serious signs of being a substance abuser.

I just think it would be best for him to at least take a leave of absence and stop being so stubborn about this entire situation. If he takes some time off he can relax, perhaps get some help for his substance problem, and he could come back stronger than ever. Really, that is all council is asking of him.

He’s acting like a fool, and making a fool out of the city of Toronto.


Francis Bacon Painting Beats Edvard Munch's Record

Francis Bacon’s 1969 painting titled ‘Three Studies of Lucien Freud’ has sold at auction for a whopping $142,000,000. This tops the previous highest selling artwork of $120 million, a painting titled ‘Scream’ by Edvard Munch. Unbelievable!

Shrink Wrapped Sculptures in Saskatoon

Shrink-wrapped sculptures in Saskatoon are causing confusion as to their purpose. Are they there to protect the sculptures from the winter? No. They are apart of an art project. Read more from the link. (click the photo)

*Story and image from Global News

Fine Art Degree? Not So Bad After All

Fine Art Degree? Not So Bad After All

Fine art degrees seem to be not so bad after all after a study shows that they are not only the happiest but the unemployment rate of fine arts majors is dramatically decreasing. 

(click on link for the article via. The Wall Street Journal)


The World Hurts My Head

I can’t tell if society keeps on getting more and more insane, or if life is always this hectic and crazy and I’m just becoming an adult and realizing all of this. 


I am turning 20 in 21 days. I was born in 1993. I am the first generation to be raised with technology. I am more aware of what is going on in the world than the previous almost-twenty-year-olds. Why? Well, the answer is the internet, mass communication thanks to the further development of telephones, television, etc. These things keep me not only distracted from my homework, my real  life, and the outside world; But they keep me connected to the world, the online world. In .007 seconds I can Google anything I can imagine and find out everything about it. Not only that, I can do this from the comfort of my home on my computer, on the run using my cellphone, in class using my tablet, or anywhere that has an internet connection and a search bar. 

These sort of things can be argued to keep us young people distracted from what’s really going on in the world. Yet, it does the opposite. I know what is going on all around the world. It makes me realize that my essay on appropriation in art is completely irrelevant to my life. Why? Because there are plenty of other things that I could concern my time with. And when I say plenty, I mean millions. 

Think about the world. No really, think about all you know about it. A lot? Nothing at all? Well, there are something like 7 billion people on this planet (I wish I was exaggerating). This amount of people cannot possibly survive based on the sustainability of this planet. Thus, we create man-made energy, food, and things that destroy our human bodies and our planet. Now think about all the different types of people in this world. Some people are bad, some people are good (whatever that even means). Some of these people are raping, murdering, stealing from others. Others are swimming, suffering, buying, and loving. Some people don’t have the internet and will never read this. Most people are poor and a few people are rich. There are so many different kinds of people in this world it seriously boggles my mind to know that people can be so ignorant of what is happening in the world. 

There are so many unthinkable wars going on; unthinkable scientific discoveries going on; unthinkable diseases killing people; unthinkable drought and starving people; unthinkable amounts of money being spent on unthinkable amount of material objects… and do people care? No, not as much as they should. But why should they? Everyone has their own life, right? Everyone can do what they want, right? Well when the world goes into a state of war over something so simple as clean drinking water, or natural gas, or nuclear energy, see who cares then. Because people should start to know about what is going on in the world. The internet is used in so many crazy ways, if only we would educate ourselves on what’s important. People! 

Top 10 Most Shocking Performance Artworks!

Top 10 Most Shocking Performance Artworks!

The Guardian shows us their take on the Top 10 Most Shocking Performance Artworks ever! Quite a few interesting and frightful ones, and frankly just as many testicles as I expected.


(click on the title to access the link)

Paxman VS Brand (Interview)

Russell Brand for President!
Unbelievably true words spoken from the Essex comedian about economic change and a government revolution.

Banksy’s Identity

It has occurred to me that I admire street-artist Banksy’s choice to be unidentified. I too, wish this upon myself some days. The silence, solitude, and calm it would feel to be unknown. We all wish we had that choice, don’t we? To just slip out of society and remain unknown. The fresh feeling of having no worries, no nagging bosses, no school work to attend to. To just vanish from society for a while under a cloak of invisibility. Wouldn’t that be nice?

However, the longer I think about it, the more I feel bad for Banksy. He must not envy the secretive life as much as I would like it from time to time. For instance, he is in New York right now where the police force have made it clear that he is a wanted man for graffiti and defacing property charges. That is the moment when secret identity becomes your only choice. I’m sure he would love to say, “HEY, it’s me! I am the face behind this wonderful street art,” but he can’t. If he does, he must face the consequences of living that alternative lifestyle. The longer that he remains unknown, the more and more felonies the police chalk up waiting for him to turn in his identity. The idea of a unknown identity becomes his only way to produce artwork that is meaningful to him. It is for the art, not the man behind it. I admire that message.

People often debate about art and how it has turned into this capitalist role of production and what-not. Artists arguably make art to sell it now, not simply to make it. Artists like Banksy are interesting because he still does sell some of his artwork. However, most of his pieces that make serious statements cannot be bought or sold. They’re considered graffiti, and chances are they will be removed or painted over, or eventually destroyed in some way.

So the next time you think about why you would possibly want to slip under societies radar because you’re stressed or overloaded with responsibiltiy, think of people like Banksy who don’t have a choice. In order to do the thing he loves, he must remain underground and off the map. Talk about a stressful life.

Jean-Michel Basquiat//Massive Attack

Jean-Michel Basquiat//Massive Attack

Jean-Michel Basquiat


A quick look at Jean-Michel Basquiat, and those he inspired.

(link above)