an investigative photo documentary

Exclusive 17-page photo essay from our investigative journalist team in collaboration with award-winning photojournalist Nick Kozak. Location: Toronto, Canada Copyright Wondereur 2019.

MEET with artist Jeff Tutt curated by Canadian painter Monica Tap.

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IMAGES AND SENSATIONS STICK TO YOU FROM THE ENVIRONMENT YOU INHABIT.
G
Like when you walk through a meadow and burrs come home with you on your pants.
C
THERE’S SOMETHING POWERFUL ABOUT USING WHAT’S AT HAND TO TELL A STORY.
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I could use a rich oil paint and build up a really succulent purple colour that would be really seductive. But it wouldn’t have the plastic quality of this paint that we see around us all the time.
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THESE COLOURS AND TEXTURES ARE LESS FOREIGN SOMEHOW.
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With all the speed and ephemera of all the information that travels around us, to make an object that does not change is almost a necessary thing.
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ART CAN BE THIS COMPLETELY USELESS THING THAT BECOMES THIS SOUVENIR, THIS RELIC.
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In the Natural History, Pliny the Elder tells the Greek myth of the origins of painting: a young Corinthian maid traces with a simple line on the wall the shadow of her lover projected by lamplight, the night before he departs on a long journey. This is the first painting.
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PAINTING BEGINS WITH THIS DESIRE AND LOSS.
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I see painting as a simple gesture: one line that is profound in a way that may be difficult to imagine in our age of complex algorithms.
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I have my own shadow machine. I turn drawings into stencils, then transfer them onto the canvas.
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I’VE TRIED EVERY POSSIBLE LIGHT SOURCE BUT CANDLES MAKE THE BEST SHADOWS. THEY’RE ALWAYS THE RICHEST, CLEAREST LINE.
15
A painting has to make a quick first impression but it’s not all it gives. I call it ‘gift and reveal.’ It’s fast and slow. So it gives, and then it slowly keeps on giving, and becomes clearer.
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THAT’S PART OF THE CHALLENGE FOR ME: TO DO ALL THAT WITH AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE.
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Although I’m making abstract paintings, I like to tweak them so people will recognize an image or a shape, but leave enough space for it to change, for uncertainty. Sometimes I’m very overt about it, and other times not so much.
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I LIKE TO KEEP IT TO MYSELF. I’LL TELL PEOPLE IT’S FLOWERS... IT’S ABOUT FLOWERS.