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Velvet Renaissance

Montreal's new monthly art series kicks off with paintings exploring consumerist fervor

by Mike Giles in Culture on 19 March 2010

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Transforming the Velvet Speakeasy in Montreal's Old Port into a candlelit temple of worship embellished with gold walls and paintings, Kevin Ledo's mash-ups of religious imagery and fashion photography (previously covered here when it premiered in 2008) launches the first in a series of events christened "Velvet Renaissance." Featuring work from the local artist's series "The Guiding Light," Ledo draws parallels between luxury fashion institutions and the symbolic worship of Medieval religious authorities with works bearing such tongue-in-cheek titles as "The Grace of Saint Calvin Klein," "The Fall of Saint Prada" and "Saint Alberta Ferretti of Milan."

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Yesterday's opening night turned the space into a multi-sensory experience with DJ Milton Clark lending eerie ambiance to Ledo's works.

A monthly event, Velvet Renaissance invites a selected artist to showcase their craft using the Velvet Speakeasy as a canvas. The title of the event implies an underlying theme arts that echo that of the Italian Renaissance.

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Not just limited to fine art, the line-up will also include graphic and fashion designers, as well as tattoo and audio artists. Following Ledo's show, local designer Jean-François Proulx will unveil the "Velvet Book," a quarterly publication and calendar, as well as the new Velvet graphic identity. The exhibit runs through 18 April 2010.

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