Glamourizing the grotesque

What do people do with their stored junk? Throw it away, donate it to a thrift store or organize a garage sale?

Or create an art exhibit.

Artist Liz Magor decided to make something extraordinary out of the ordinary and she’s sharing it with Scarborough residents. Magor’s art work is being displayed at the Doris McCarthy Gallery until Oct. 25.

The exhibit includes candy, cigarettes, jackets, logs, liquor bottles, rats and deer heads that were processed to become plastic-like. This random display asks viewers to look for the meaning of common objects.

“To me [Magor’s art] is a bit shocking and innovative because this is not traditional art,” says Bryan Nguyen, a fan of Magor’s work.  “It’s impressive and abstract. But for artwork like this, everyone’s going to have their own opinion on what’s going on.”

Her drive to explore everyday objects comes from the simple question “what’s behind what I see,” says Magor. “We’re constantly judging based on appearances because we don’t have time to analyze, but art forces us to slow down and think about what we see.”

For instance, polymerized raccoon and deer heads may be gruesome to most but Magor attempts to make these objects aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The animals in pastel colours are placed beside daily objects such as silver trays and bright candy.  They’re also lit up with soft white light to resemble items displayed in a high-end boutique.

“Normally, we think something like [rodents] is really boring and awful,” Magor says. “So, I wonder if there’re conditions that will make something like this look attractive.”

She adds she tries to put a spin on objects by assembling her exhibit like a classy store that attracts costumers through allure.

Maggor’s work has been exhibited across Canada since the 1970s.