SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021
GHOST TOWN - twenty twenty in twenty paintings
COVID-19 remains a very grave risk to the artist’s wife and would require significant modification to his work, making location shoots impossible. His new series titled GHOST TOWN began with a simple text from his wife Jane which read “hey your art is coming to life”. Included was a link to a news story of how people in Toronto were now seeing foxes due to the province going into lockdown.
As Toronto literally became a ghost town the artist Brandon Steen was inspired by that plucky family of foxes that set up den under the boardwalk at Q Beach just beyond the Leuty Lifeguard Station. Thus, beginning Brandon’s exploration of a concept to capture the emptiness of the city with the help of whom to the artist became an important icon of the pandemic’s early days, the fox. The concept
he would arrive at would be an ambitious one consisting of twenty paintings, done on birch panels that would measure 20” x 20“ for the year 2020.
Brandon would review his external hard drives, punch up addresses with Google street view for locations and have the great fortune from his friends in providing the remaining locations. Nearly half of the paintings in this series are all thanks to his mates Ian Pettigrew of Hamilton, ON, Julie Barnard of Brooklyn, NYC, Kevin Steele of Saskatoon, SK, Michael Kohn and Jeremy Hopkin of Toronto, ON giving their permission to use their photos as source material, a gesture that the artist and his wife Jane are forever grateful for.