Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Awkward Teenage Moment, the track pant boner.

Lyall Brownlee

Media and our Role Models

Every now and then a new commercial or television show comes out that seems to set off a barrage of articles regarding body image and the portrayal of body types in media. Generally these articles express a disapproval of the use of thin beautiful people to sell products, sell pop music or to star in popular television shows and movies.
Recently I heard a discussion on the radio praising a new show in which the lead characters are overweight. I haven't seen the show but from what I understand their weight problem is part of the plot line and they attempt to make light of these issues. Another new show I've noticed becoming quite popular is Man vs. Food, where an overweight American engages in food challenges, gorging on disgusting piles of unhealthy fare while hoards of fans cheer him on. This got me thinking about several other disturbing trends taking place on television and the internet such as food porn and obese teenage boys dancing shirtless on you tube.
Is this becoming some kind of overcompensation for years of the media trying to sell a nearly unattainable idea of beauty? Isn't making light of obesity, making people feel okay about being overweight just as bad if not worse? Approximately three quarters of the population of the US and over half the population of Canada are obese. This is not okay, being overweight and the lifestyle generally associated with it are not healthy. The related health problems and disabilities are not good for the economy and being in Canada my taxes go to the health care system which trys to manage the aftermath of the problem.
I understand that there are many factors that contribute to obesity and in some cases there are genetic and medical conditions that contribute to weight issues and this can be difficult to control, it is not my intention to make these people feel bad about themselves. But the majority of weight problems in the general population I believe can be controlled by the choices people make on how they live their lives.
The use of fit, beautiful people in marketing and pop culture is not going to go away. It is ingrained in our biological make up to be attracted to these genetically blessed humans for breeding purposes. But making it seem okay to be fat or lead an unhealthy lifestyle is not the answer.
I don't have hard abs or a perfect complexion, I have body hair and bad tattoos, but I am a healthy 175lbs for my 6'1 frame and I feel good about myself. This is maintained by excersizing almost every day, a healthy diet and refraining from unproductive activities like watching television or gaming. I'm not perfect, I drink beer and indulge in a bag of chips here and there but these are balanced out by playing sports, excersizing and a positive attitude. This is a healthy attainable lifestyle for any normal busy person but is hardly glorified in popular culture.
The real answer is for the masses to turn off the tv, put down the tabloids and spend some time in reality. Then maybe our society will stop worshiping these manufactured idols and find healthy positive role models. Successful friends, neighbors, professors, colleagues, cultural icons, artists, athletes, etc. Respectable, moral, well balanced people capable of critical thinking and living healthy, this is what everyone should strive to be.
It is a sad state of affairs, I see gangs of kids roaming downtown that want to be Paris Hilton or Eminem, hear countless stories of young women suffering from eating disorders and see overweight people trapped in a cycle of self degrading behavior. When is someone in the mass media going to make it cool to just be a smart, moral, healthy person?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Heart Wants What it Wants

This painting is currently up at the Chuck Akudu gallery in Toronto. Posters of this are available at the Cannery art center for $10.

Lyall Brownlee.

Nesting Instinct Photos

Photos from my installation, Nesting Instinct at Artspace.

Lyall Brownlee

Coping Mechanisms Photos

Photos of my show Coping Mechanisms at the Cannery art center. Still a couple weeks left to check it out in real life.

Lyall Brownlee

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Flavour Fashion

Stoked to be part of this pop up art show sponsored by Shepard Fairey's Obey clothing and Flavour fashions. One night only, tomorrow night, if you are in Peterborough swing by Flavour head office for a beer, check out some art and some Obey product.

Lyall Brownlee

Chuck Akudu Gallery

Last night dropped off work for the inaugural show at the Chuck Akudu gallery in Toronto. The opening is tomorrow and the show will run in conjunction with the Junction arts festival, I won't be at the opening but will swing by on Saturday and hope to take in the rest of the art festivities going on in the neighborhood as well.

Lyall Brownlee

The Cannery Art Center

First off, brand new space opened here in Peterborough, the Cannery art center. Upstairs is a full on gallery space and downstairs sells supplies, original art and has a move-able stage for music and performance. Owners Mike and Meghan have some great ideas and I look forward to whats in store there. I had the pleasure of opening my solo show 'Coping Mechanisms' in the gallery space and doing an installation in the storefront window, in conjunction with the center's grand opening.
The party was on Friday and was a blast, work will be up for the rest of the month so for those of you lucky enough to live in Peterborough go check it out!

Excuses, excuses...

Ah, well when I started this blog I was pretty sure I would be posting like crazy, then I got news of several shows and for the last 6 months or so all I've done is paint, social networking has had to take a back seat. But it is all paying off and after a seriously stress filled couple of weeks deadlines have been met and shows are opening.