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Erin Finley

September 22, 2009

Erin Finley is a visual artist living in Toronto. For Nuit Blanche she and collaborator Andrew Kmiecik will present large-scale wall drawings and an LED-light installation at the Gladstone’s SketchPAD exhibition. Later in October, Finley will discuss intersections between public emotionality, coming of age, and the convenience of the camera-phone at the University of Toronto’s Feeling Photography conference; her research was inspired by controversies surrounding two Disney starlets who recently uploaded provocative self-portraits to the Internet, much to the displeasure of tween fans. Previously, Finley has presented critical essays on connections between art and cultural phenomena at the University of British Columbia, McGill University, the McCord Museum, Brock University, and the State University of New York. Her drawings and paintings have been exhibited in Toronto, Calgary, New York City, and San Francisco. Finley teaches in the studio division of the University of Toronto/Sheridan College Art & Art History program.

1. Lou Reed

Perhaps it’s his rebelliousness, or his dark, indelible lyrics and that distinct guitar work, but I consider Lou Reed a personal hero. Someday I hope to get my doctorate degree(d) on the dissemination of his epic 1978 song Street Hassle, an obscene, exquisite, and heart-wrenching piece with guest appearances by Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen. Reed considers it a masterpiece.

2. Pandemonium

This wonderful used CD/bookstore, located in Toronto’s Junction district, is the perfect place to pore over a wide selection of books and music, including some really obscure titles. It’s easy to find yourself there for hours simply because of the store’s unique bohemian vibe and knowledgeable staff. Recently, I couldn’t resist purchasing Playboy’s Illustrated History of Crime, Goethe’s Sorrows of Young Werther, and Rufus Wainwright’s Poses.

3. Amal

This award-wining film by Canadian director Richie Mehta is just superb. I’ve seen it numerous times and I’m always compelled by its rich, sensory portrayal of New Delhi and the humanity of the film’s characters.

4. Iggy and Ali

I have two Jack Russells named Iggy and Ali. They are my toughest critics but they also helped get me through the death of my mother a couple years ago. I completely understand why Mickey Rourke thanked his dogs in his acceptance speech at the 2009 Golden Globe Awards show.

5. Alberta

I just got back from a terrific trip to Calgary and Banff. Having lived and attended school there a couple years back, I was able to visit my old stomping grounds, namely the Bowness area and my MFA alma mater, the University of Calgary. I have fond memories of completing my thesis there under two particularly inspirational mentors: Linda Carreiro and Eric Cameron. Treks to Truck Contemporary Art and The Banff Centre were interspersed with breaks at the ever-charming Cadence Coffee on Bowness Road and walks through a sunny Glenmore Reservoir.



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