All posts tagged: Dan Bergeron

In Hazel’s Eye : Fauxreel & Specter on Toronto Mural Under a Bridge

In Hazel’s Eye : Fauxreel & Specter on Toronto Mural Under a Bridge

Canadian Street Artist Fauxreel and Brooklyn’s Specter collaborated recently on a commissioned mural under a bridge to commemorate the 2015 Pan Am Games that are hosting world athletes right now in Toronto.


Faux Reel and Specter. “In Hazel’s Eye” Collaboration in Toronto for the Pan Am Games 2015 (photo © Dan Bergeron)

An unwinding corkscrew of fluorescent magenta hues springs across the ceiling to capture the energy of the games and, says Fauxreel, to depict the energy of a 1954 hurricane (Hazel) that caused severe damage to homes, businesses, and wildlife here along the Humber River. In their own depiction of graphical data that is often used to illustrate weather-related events, the two superimposed the out-of-control graphic on the somewhat surreal natural scene.


Faux Reel and Specter. “In Hazel’s Eye” Collaboration in Toronto for the Pan Am Games 2015 (photo © Dan Bergeron)

The mural is one of many spread along something called the Pan Am Path, an art component to the games. A social/community activist and observer, Fauxreel looks at the cataclysmic natural event and sees something positive. “As a result of this storm the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority for The Living City (TRCA) was born and spaces along the Humber, like Cruickshank Park where the mural is located, were redeveloped to the benefit of all Torontonians.”


Faux Reel and Specter. “In Hazel’s Eye” Collaboration in Toronto for the Pan Am Games 2015 (photo © Dan Bergeron)


Faux Reel and Specter. “In Hazel’s Eye” Collaboration in Toronto for the Pan Am Games 2015 (photo © Dan Bergeron)


Faux Reel and Specter. “In Hazel’s Eye” Collaboration in Toronto for the Pan Am Games 2015 (photo © Dan Bergeron)


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Fauxreel Immortalizes Local Tai Chi Practitioners in Toronto

Fauxreel Immortalizes Local Tai Chi Practitioners in Toronto

“It’s nice to install photo-based portraits that have permanency,” Toronto based Street Artist Fauxreel, otherwise known as Dan Bergeron, tells us. In his new series of works in the public sphere you’ll agree that it isn’t strictly Street Art since it is an approved and organized installation, but even so it retains the markings of a D.I.Y. conceptualized series that follows the vision of one artist. The subjects here are residents from the area who come to Grange Park in the morning to do Tai Chi exercises and possibly to glance upward at the Ontario College of Art and Design’s Sharp Centre that hovers above like a black and white checkered Memphis-Milano tabletop on multi-colored stilts. These new series of works were commissioned as part of StreetART Toronto.


Dan Begeron AKA Faux Reel. Grange Park. Toronto, Canada. August 2014. (photo © Dan Bergeron)

This isn’t Fauxreel’s first project with the residents of this area. BSA first covered him in 2008 when we first met him after seeing his work on New York streets (see Regent of the People for Real). Bergeron’s work with the community is given a more durable quality this time than his earlier large wheatpastes and wood cut silhouettes of people on the street, mounted as they are on tiles but similar to his earlier works, they focus on populations within the community.


Dan Begeron AKA Faux Reel. Grange Park. Toronto, Canada. August 2014. (photo © Dan Bergeron)

The human forms and various poses are grounding from a human point of view. They also appear to hover above the ground in a spirit-like manner as if astute talismen and erudite taliswomen for the neighborhood. Ironically, the models are posed in front of facades that have been hit up with various aerosol tags, yet the neighborhood they are hung in is as clean as Disney World.


Dan Begeron AKA Faux Reel. Grange Park. Toronto, Canada. August 2014. (photo © Dan Bergeron)

While clearly this is public art, it retains some of the influences we have experienced with the sudden and immediate interaction one can have with photographic unilateral installations done by freethinkers and rebels on the Street Art scene. Let’s see how long these pieces run before being defaced or added to by those more traditional practitioners. Who knows? – maybe they will remain untouched.


Dan Begeron AKA Faux Reel. Grange Park. Toronto, Canada. August 2014. (photo © Dan Bergeron)


Dan Begeron AKA Faux Reel. Grange Park. Toronto, Canada. August 2014. (photo © Dan Bergeron)


Dan Begeron AKA Faux Reel. Grange Park. Toronto, Canada. August 2014. (photo © Dan Bergeron)


Dan Begeron AKA Faux Reel. Grange Park. Toronto, Canada. August 2014. (photo © Dan Bergeron)


Dan Begeron AKA Faux Reel. Grange Park. Toronto, Canada. August 2014. (photo © Dan Bergeron)


Dan Begeron AKA Faux Reel. Grange Park. Toronto, Canada. August 2014. (photo © Dan Bergeron)


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
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BSA at LA MOCA for “Street Art Stories” Presentation and Panel

HuffPost Arts and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) hosted a presentation and panel discussion presented by Brooklyn Street Art founders Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo this past Saturday at the Ahmanson Auditorium with 150 guests. Five days after the closing of the record breaking “Art in the Streets” show at LA MOCA, which was seen by over 200,000 visitors, BSA charted some new ground going forward in the ever evolving graffiti and street art movement.


Panelists having a lively discussion at “Street Art Stories” hosted by HuffPost Arts and LA MOCA at Ahmanson Auditorium at MOCA Grand in downtown Los Angeles. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

The panelists, who included HuffPost Arts Editor Kimberly Brooks and Street Art phenom Shepard Fairey, watched a presentation by Harrington and Rojo about a new storytelling direction that artists are bringing to the streets of New York and other cities around the world. With examples of relative newcomers not seen by many in the audience, they pointed to precursors from the last 40 years to this storytelling practice and questioned how its sudden growth may be evolving what we have been calling “Street Art” for the last decade.


Steven P. Harrington talks about community murals and memorial walls to illustrate antecedents to the new movement of storytellers who engage passersby on a greater level than in the recent past.  Shown is a community mural by New York’s Tats Cru shot by and © of Martha Cooper.  (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

After a conversation with panelists Brooks, Fairey, Marsea Goldberg, Ken Harman, and Ethel Seno that covered topics like the paucity of females in the street art scene, the influence of the Internet on “getting up”, and the significance of personal engagement in the work of many of today’s new street artists, Harrington and Rojo opened the discussion up the auditorium. Here topics ranged from LA’s evolving approach to Street Art to include public and permanent art, the influence of money on street artists, and how a show like “Art in the Streets” effectively influences the next generations’ perception of street art.


BSA’s Steven P. Harrington gestures toward the screen while panelists look on in the front row. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

The packed event was interesting enough to bring many audience members down to the stage after the show to continue the conversation and meet the panelists and LA MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch, who took great interest in the presentation, talked with a number of people before taking off. Fairey, with his wife Amanda at his side and a healing black eye from his recent trip to Copenhagen (see his account for HuffPost Arts here) gamely took on questions from many and posed for pictures after the event and at the reception which HuffPost hosted afterward.


During the presentation, Brooklyn Street Art talked about the use of Street Art as a way of addressing a variety of social and political issues, including this example of Shepard Fairey and the topic of peace. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


BSA co-founder and Director of Photography Jaime Rojo introduces the panelists. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


(photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


(photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Brooklyn Street Art Co-founders Jaime Rojo and Steven P. Harrington converse with esteemed panelists at “Street Art Stories”, hosted by HuffPost Arts and LA MOCA.


Contemporary American Painter and the Founding Arts Editor of the Huffington Post, Kimberly Brooks next to street artist Shepard Fairey at “Street Art Stories” Panel at LA MOCA. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


(photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Shepard Fairey, Marsea Goldberg, Ken Harman, and Ethel Seno. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Marsea Goldberg, Director of New Image Art Gallery in West Hollywood, who since 1994 has launched or mobilized the careers of artists such as Shepard Fairey, Ed Templeton, Neckface, Faile, the Date Farmers, Judith Supine, and Bäst just to name a few. Next to Ms. Goldberg is Ken Harman, Managing Online Editor at Hi-Fructose Magazine, the owner and curator at Spoke Art Gallery in San Francisco, and the creator and editor of the the “Art of Obama” website. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Ethel Seno, Curatorial Coordinator for the MOCA exhibition “Art in the Streets” at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA and the Editor of the book “Trespass: A History of Uncommissioned Urban Art” published by Taschen. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Shepard Fairey at “Street Art Stories” Panel at LA MOCA. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


(photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Street art photographer Jaime Rojo of Brooklyn Street Art. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Edward Goldman, LA art critic, Huffpost blogger, and host of KCRW’s “Art Talk” for 20 years, poses a question on the effect of a big museum show like “Art in the Streets” on the new generation of would be street artists. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Seno and Harman (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


The Ahmanson Auditorium for “Street Art Stories” at LA MOCA (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Thank you to Kimberly Brooks and our great panel. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Director of LA MOCA and co-curator of “Art in the Streets”, Jeffrey Deitch, talks with Shepard Fairey after the presentation and panel (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)






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Show And Tell Gallery Presents: Dan Bergeron AKA Faux Reel “Faces Of The City” (Toronto)

Faux Reel

Dan Bergeron "Beth" (Mixed Media On Wood, 56.5" x 59.5", 2010) Image Courtesy of the Gallery
Dan Bergeron “Beth” (Mixed Media On Wood, 56.5″ x 59.5″, 2010) Image Courtesy of the Gallery

Upcoming: Dan Bergeron – Faces of the City

Show & Tell Gallery is pleased to welcome Dan Bergeron (also known as fauxreel) to his first solo exhibition with the gallery. Bergeron is best known for his subversive and thought-provoking public street installations.

His most recent body of work, Faces of the City, juxtaposes the abrasive charm of the distressed surfaces of modern cities with the intimate familiarity of the human face. As the walls and surfaces of the city define its physical character and spatial identity, the faces of its inhabitants provide the city with its personality, disposition and magnetism. His fusion of the two explores the idea that beauty truly lies in the scars, wrinkles and blemishes of places we live and people we meet.

Faces of the City will feature original photo-based, mixed media assemblages as well as a selection of editioned photo prints featuring the artist’s street installations.

Bergeron’s work has been displayed in institutions such as the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Royal Ontario Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art. His public installations can be found in alleys, boroughs, arrondissements, and on high streets in Toronto, New York, Paris and London.

Dan Bergeron
Faces of the City
Sept 10th – Oct 3rd, 2010
Dan Bergeron
Artist talk
Sept 11th, 2010
4 – 6pm

1161 Dundas St. West
Toronto, ON
M6J 1X3

+ 647.347.3316

Wed – Sat: 1pm -8pm
Sun: 1pm – 7pm
Mon & Tue: By Appointment Only

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Regent of the People for Real

Regent of the People for Real

Fauxreel Puts Up Ambitious 11 Piece Project

Oh My Gods, is That Thing Real? (photo Dan Bergeron)

Oh My Gods, is That Thing Real? (photo Dan Bergeron)

Well known these days as a Brooklyn street artist, Fauxreel is frequently pasting his singular figures in an unexpected context, catching your attention as you pass the construction site, or abandoned doorway.  Part sociology, part dry eyed tribute, his eclectic collection of black and white portraits have a weight and a presence that may make you do a double-take; or stop and ask them what they are saying.

Lately they’ve been saying a lot, and Dan Bergeron, the artist known as Fauxreel, has been up to his elbows in buckets of sticky wheatpaste and the concept of community, as it applies to Toronto neighbors in a place called Regent Park.

Working directly with people who live there, his latest project has strengthened ties, encouraged voices, and is bringing a great deal of  attention to the displacement that can occur when the wheels of progress roll into town.  Our interview reveals an artist committed to building bridges and pushing his own creative boundaries.

(photo Dan Bergeron)

(photo Dan Bergeron)

Brooklyn Street Art: What’s the first thing someone needs to know about Regent Park if they come to Toronto?

Fauxreel: Regent Park is Canada’s oldest social housing project, being built in the 1940’s. It is made up of an ethnically diverse range of residents, with over 50 % of the people living there under the age of 18. Although it’s located in downtown Toronto, you most likely won’t pass through Regent Park unless you’re visiting friends and family who live there. Currently, the buildings in Regent Park are being torn down and redeveloped in smaller sections – and rightfully so as they are in ill repair – to make way for newer dwellings; much taller and mixed use, meaning lower income-geared and market rates. As the mix is changing both physically and socially, many people wonder if the same sense of community will remain after the redevelopment occurs.

Ashley keeping it real. (Photo by Dan Bergeron)

Ashley keeping it real. (Photo by Dan Bergeron)

Brooklyn Street Art: Many cities, including Brooklyn, have seen a rapid increase in the pace of gentrification in the last 10 years as real estate developers mow down neglected areas and build instant neighborhoods for a moneyed class.  How has Toronto been affected?

Fauxreel: Similar to Brooklyn, Toronto is in the midst of numerous housing and commercial property developments in and around the city’s core. As our society is shifting from living in suburbs, as our parent’s generation chose, to living in the city again, we’re finding the demographics of those living in the city are changing. In Toronto this has forced some people to move to different neighborhoods that are less expensive and further away from the downtown if they weren’t homeowners, or to pay a similar rent for less space.

Obviously this makes it harder for artists to find large industrial spaces for affordable rents, and it also forces out some mom and pop operations from neighborhoods because their business cannot afford the increased leases. On the other side of the coin, many people made a killing on selling their properties in the city and have more money than they ever dreamed of to build retirement properties outside of the city.

For me, what’s been most annoying or tragic is the loss of buildings, business and public spaces that I grew up frequenting and identifying with. When this happens, not only has a part of the city’s history been removed, but also part of your personal history as well.

The big mistake the city of Toronto has made during this period of growth however, is that they don’t have a design committee that oversees all of these new developments. There is no group working within the city to ensure that the architectural styles of the newer buildings reflect what already exists in that particular neighborhood. This has made for a mish-mash of buildings that form no relationship with one another and make for an uninviting landscape for the people that live and work in these environments.

Looking at Cody in progress. (photo Dan Bergeron)

Looking at Cody in progress. (photo Dan Bergeron)

Brooklyn Street Art: Is that what the Luminato Festival is about?

Fauxreel: The Luminato festival is about promoting arts and culture within Toronto for Torontonians, as well as attracting visitors to the city and showcasing Toronto as an international destination. The idea for the festival was born out of the SARS epidemic and the bad tourism rap the city received internationally due to the negative press. Fortunately for me, I was asked to be involved in one of the projects within Luminato that allowed me to deal directly with a key social issue affecting a large number of Toronto’s residents.

Brooklyn Street Art: When low-income people are displaced, where do they go?

Fauxreel: For the Regent Park redevelopment project, the residents who occupy these buildings that are being demolished are given units to live in, in one of the other Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) buildings around the city. Often this means moving to another end of the city, away from friends, church groups, changing schools and possibly further away from your job.

Valda can see you 10 blocks away so you better watch yourself.

Valda can see you 10 blocks away so you better watch yourself.

Brooklyn Street Art: Your new project features gigantic black and white paste-ups.  Who are these people?

Fauxreel: The people that I pasted on the buildings are some of the residents of Regent Park. I wanted to choose a cross section of people based on race, ethnicity and age to provide an evenly balanced and accurate depiction of the people that live within Regent Park, although that’s very hard to do with only eleven installations.

Tyrone’s got something on his mind. (Photo by Joseph McLarty)

Tyrone’s got something on his mind. (Photo by Joseph McLarty)

Brooklyn Street Art: How did you pick your subjects?  Was it hard to find willing participants?

For the most part, I hung out in Regent Park and picked people based on a gut feeling. Some of the participants came to me by way of an alliance that I made with Regent Park Focus Youth Media Centre who initially acted as a liaison between the community and me. At first people were apprehensive with what I wanted to do and what my motivations were in completing the project. But once I pasted the first image up, most people understood the scope of the project and were more than willing to participate, so much so that I have a waiting list of people who are ready to go up on the walls.

Mubusara gets ready for her closeup.

Mubusara gets ready for her closeup.

Brooklyn Street Art: In a media-soaked environment, the monstrous scale and the character of these must really jolt people out of their distracted selves for a minute.  What do you want to say to them?

Fauxreel: My hope is that through pasting the images up, people will take the time to visit Regent Park and realize that it’s not a bad place and that the people that live there are just like you and me. Everyone in the world has similar problems and for the most part we are all the same, which is why I chose to make the subjects try to appear with no pose, no smile and to look as natural as possible. That way there is no preconceived notions on behalf of the viewer in regards to what the subject is thinking or how they feel. I think this allows the viewer to see more of themselves in the subject then they normally would when people pose or put specific looks on their faces, because it’s almost as if you are looking at yourself in the mirror. People are beautiful because of who they naturally are and for the most part I like to focus my gaze on people who are not usually portrayed in the media so that the playing field is leveled out a little bit more.

Joan re-enacts the pose while Dan puts on the finishing paste.

Joan re-enacts the pose while Dan puts on the finishing paste.

Brooklyn Street Art: Okay, so you didn’t just climb a ladder and smack these on with a glue-stick?

Fauxreel: No. Although the idea in itself is simple – pasting paper on a wall – the time it takes to shoot, create, cut out, prepare for pasting and actually install these large, wallpaper-like images is actually quite intense and time consuming. I figured that it takes about 20 hours in total to complete one of these pieces from start to finish, which probably isn’t all that bad all things considered.

Brooklyn Street Art: This is summer intern season; were there any available?

Fauxreel: I guess it is summer intern season, however that’s never my philosophy when hiring assistants. When you’re working you should be getting paid. I’m not going to say that in all of my future endeavors I won’t have the need for the use of interns, but so far I’ve worked in such a way where the crews are smaller and the work is more intense. I would rather pay someone because then we form an agreement and the person is likely to want to be there more and work harder. Monetary incentive is a definite aphrodisiac, especially when you’re going to get dirty and sweaty for the next 12 hours.

Brooklyn Street Art: What makes this project different from what you’ve done before?

Fauxreel: The scale and the focused purpose. I’ve done projects before that I felt were important and where I felt that I challenged myself and grew as an artist, however this is the first project where I felt that the challenge that I put forth to myself in completing the project – technically, physically and mentally – was on equal footing with the affect that the project had on both the viewers and the participants.

Brooklyn Street Art: If you step back and look at your path over the last few years, where have you been going?

Fauxreel: I’ve been going exactly where I want to be going. I’m working on projects and on individual pieces that I think are not only aesthetically pleasing to the viewer, but that have some social and political commentary in them to provoke the viewer to discuss further, but not so overly socially or politically obtuse that they isolate the viewer.

Brooklyn Street Art: Would you say that this is street art with a social mission?

Fauxreel: I wouldn’t say that my work has a social mission because I don’t want to get all holier than thou. I will say though, especially like an artist like Swoon who has had a huge impact on me, I try to do work that is thoughtful in it’s preparation and presentation and that makes the audience think about something greater than what the art is on its own.

Brooklyn Street Art: How did the girl in the (shalwar kameez) head scarf react when she saw herself for the first time?

Fauxreel: The girl wearing the shalwar kameez is named Fathima Fahmy. She was very giving of herself and trusting of me. She was the first resident that was pasted up and one the reasons that the project was so successful. I owe her a great deal and I hope that I’ve done her justice in how I’ve portrayed her. When she first saw herself up, she gave me a call to thank me and told me how excited she was, which definitely made it worth it to put her up.

Fathima represents. (photo Dan Bergeron)

Fathima represents. (photo Dan Bergeron)

Brooklyn Street Art: Will you be snapping pictures as these images and buildings are being destroyed?

Fauxreel: Absolutely. Most likely I’ll do some time lapses of the buildings as they go down, which I’m sure will be quite striking. I’m looking forward to it for very selfish reasons.

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To find out more about Fauxreel

special thanks to Joseph McLarty
his website

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