Frank Perna – Frontliners and Backgrounders Aug 30 – Sept 10

August 30 – Sept. 10th 2023
Reception August 31 6:30-9:30pm
Artist Talk Sept. 2nd 2pm
Gallery 1313
1313 Queen St. West, Toronto

Frontliners and Backgrounders:
This series began as a group of unresolved abstractions that suggest exterior/interior spaces as well as landscapes. The figures were drawn literally from social media, printed in various sizes, painted in oil and collaged onto the abstractions giving them scale and potential context as indicated by the titles. They are anonymous, masked everyman/women involved in ambiguous applications (and disinfecting during the pandemic) using spray tools and spritzer wands, affecting their environment. They are self portraits, astronauts, as well as “Chauncey Gardeners”. They are also a nod to the absurdity of “Bitumen”, scarecrows left on tailing ponds from oilfields intended to frighten waterfowl away from landing on toxic oil byproducts.

Toronto artist Frank Perna has been a scenic artist in the film industry for 32 years and a member of IATSE 873 since 1999. He has worked and executed backgrounds on various T.V. and feature films including Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Strain” and academy award winner “The Shape of Water”.
Due to his passion for painting as an individual and the sometimes toxic nature of film work, Perna has balanced his time between film and using downtime to participate in group and solo shows in art  galleries. He showed his original artwork at “Off Camera” in 2008 at Pinewood Studios where he co -curated a show of 65 artists in the film industry composed of members of IATSE 873 and members of the Directors Guild of Canada in an 18,000 square foot studio.

Perna has also exhibited installation art at St Anne’s church during Nuit Blanche 2019, a 20’x20′ double video projection/double ambient soundtrack entitled “Wet Worlds”. This work is a speculative meditation installation as a hypothetical overview above Earths’ wetlands waterways and islands.

Perna will also participate in “40 Years, an Ontario College of Art Anniversary Group Show”
featuring 40 artists from 1980 -85 also at Gallery 1313, 1313 Queen St. West on Saturday, Oct 14th.

Perna is currently participating in a strike in solidarity with film writers and the Screen Actors Guild. 416 5883668

The artist looks forward to seeing you at the gallery to reveal what he’s been up to during the pandemic when not working as a scenic artist.

Wed – Sat -1-5pm, Sun. 1-4pm






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