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The wow factor.
September 19, 2013 6:32 PM   Subscribe

In the aftermath of one of the strangest political scandals ever to plague the mayor of a major North American city, Rob Ford oversees the unveiling of a high-profile portrait of himself by a sitting councilor, made at the request of Ford's mother. The artist describes the piece as complex, but a lot remains unsaid regarding the weight Ford's personality carries into the realm of portrait.
posted by 256 (61 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Needs more explanation of our crack-smoking mayor's current political situation. In summary, Season 6 of The Wire. And so far the cops are either playing the long game or covering his ass.
posted by anthill at 6:36 PM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Ford Show is still going on?! I'll get the popcorn.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:37 PM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Ford's just doing some sort of long Andy Kaufman type performance thing, right? No one could really be as oblivious as he seems.
posted by octothorpe at 6:55 PM on September 19, 2013


HOW IS THIS GUY STILL OCCUPYING THE BIG CHAIR?!
posted by fatbird at 6:58 PM on September 19, 2013


The RoFo story is far far from done. When the whole thing is told is will be one of the great Grand Guignol stories of North American politics.

I will admit to a big soft spot for Rob. I've always said his story will end in handcuffs, a gurney, or handcuffed to a gurney. As I understand it, the first of those options is currently looking most likely.
posted by sweet mister at 7:01 PM on September 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


The RoFo story is far far from done. When the whole thing is told is will be one of the great Grand Guignol stories of North American politics.

Surely "Governor-Generalship"
posted by Bwithh at 7:05 PM on September 19, 2013


Hate Rob Ford as a Mayor. Like the portrait.

If he weren't conspiring with our idiot Premier to waste $1 billion on a Scarborough subway I could summon some good-natured comment in this thread. As it is, not so much.
posted by Dasein at 7:12 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I follow Rob Ford like I've never followed any politician who governs thousands of miles from where I live. What a fascinating situation...
posted by rollbiz at 7:13 PM on September 19, 2013


I've always said his story will end in handcuffs, a gurney, or handcuffed to a gurney.

Or maybe the prime minister's office?
posted by cacofonie at 7:13 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Has Gary Crawford never heard of the rule of thirds? The center-weighted composition on this portrait is atrocious. He'd be laughed out of Photography 101.

oh

sorry

"Rob Ford bad! Fire bad!"
posted by komara at 7:18 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Surely "Governor-Generalship"

Are you kidding? The guy is clearly destined for the Senate!
posted by chapps at 7:20 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


In a related story, Gawker's John Cook (who broke the crack video story) was in Toronto tonight for a Canadian Journalism Foundation talk. There's a live-tweet rundown on the @jsource Twitter feed.

Pullquote: "Cook says the video was well lit, very clear and it was Rob Ford."
posted by gompa at 7:26 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here is artist-councillor Gary Crawford's art webpage: http://www.garycrawford.ca, for those interested.

I kinda like the portrait. The background evokes the thought "crazy shit" perfectly.
posted by Bokmakierie at 7:31 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's not a bad portrait. He appears to be sheepishly walking away from a firestorm of exploding Lucky Charms.
posted by Flashman at 7:35 PM on September 19, 2013 [14 favorites]


The center-weighted composition on this portrait is atrocious

I don't know. Centre-weighted is a pretty great physical description of Rob Ford.
posted by Dasein at 7:36 PM on September 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


Rob Ford oversees the unveiling of a high-profile portrait of himself by a sitting councilor, made at the request of Ford's mother.

okay, I get it now. the man's a conceptual genius, right up there with Marcel Duchamp
posted by philip-random at 7:40 PM on September 19, 2013


> The Ford Show is still going on?! I'll get the popcorn.

You bet! It never ends! In today's episode we learned that Dave Price, Ford's "director of operations and logistics," freaked out at a GO station and allegedly swore at staff and broke a door.

> And so far the cops are either playing the long game or covering his ass.

As much as I'd like to believe in the "handcuffs" ending, I'd bet on "covering his ass."
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:40 PM on September 19, 2013


So, his mom paid for a portrait to hang in her own home and there was a public unveiling at city hall? Is that correct? (How many of my tax dollars were spent on this event?)
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:41 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


"I want you to make it look like a unicorn spunked all over me."

"Can do, Rob."
posted by fatbird at 7:41 PM on September 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


"This is not an opportunity for you to ask questions,” Petrujkic said. “This is an unveiling.”

Unveiling is exactly the reason for asking the questions.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:42 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


As Ford began to walk out of the room, a reporter asked him about an investigation into the behaviour of one of his senior aides. Ford’s press secretary, Sunny Petrujkic, cut off the question, threatened to ask the reporter to leave, and then approached him for a scolding.
“This is not an opportunity for you to ask questions,” Petrujkic said. “This is an unveiling.”

He invited he media and was angered that they asked him questions. Wow factor.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 7:43 PM on September 19, 2013


Meth lab explosion? Closing shot of Breaking Bad?
posted by No Robots at 7:44 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, and we also learned that "it’s no one’s business" what happens with the people in his office.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:44 PM on September 19, 2013


That's not the Ford happening I thought I would see on the Blue today. Behold, The Summer of Ford. The Mayor's version of the summer that was.

Also, Our gravy-hating mayor is paying 130,000 taxpayer dollars a year to his former football coach to essentially act as a Fixer. Well apparently he has anger management issues and took off a door at a transit station. Not his first incident. He's been suspended without pay twice already (including once for uttering homophobic slurs at a reporter).
posted by dry white toast at 7:45 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Rob Ford Saga is so goddamn ridiculous that I wouldn't be surprised if it comes out that the portrait was done off a still from the video of him high as a kite, and the background isn't abstract, it's how Rob remembered the moment.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:45 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Damn. Card Cheat beat me to it. Still check out the video.
posted by dry white toast at 7:46 PM on September 19, 2013


fatbird: ""I want you to make it look like a unicorn spunked all over me."

"Can do, Rob."
"

Will not Google "unicorn spunk." Will not Google "unicorn spunk."
posted by Apropos of Something at 7:52 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


I honestly thought it was going to be some Patrick Nagel-y poster of a sportscar.

" it's how I feel inside"
posted by The Whelk at 8:06 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is actually a depiction of his endgame, Ford walking into the distance as Toronto burns behind him.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:18 PM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


komara: "Has Gary Crawford never heard of the rule of thirds? The center-weighted composition on this portrait is atrocious. He'd be laughed out of Photography 101."

I think a person could make the claim that placing Ford's head in the center of the portrait was an artistic choice. After visiting the artist's website, I'm inclined to say that the choice may have been made subconsciously by the artist rather than being deliberate. But with this category of "outsider" art, or unintentionally kitschy folk art, Thomas Kincaid territory, it's not that interesting to talk about what's wrong with the technique. This is the kind of art that's mostly awful but occasionally profound. Like this portrait of Ford, which is artistically unrefined but awesome in its unrestrained expression.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:23 PM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


...sheepishly walking away from a firestorm of exploding Lucky Charms.

Actually now that I look at again it's more like Ford is lying on the kitchen floor on a bed of Lucky Charms, like American Beauty and the rose petals.
posted by Flashman at 8:32 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


As the designated Calgarian posting to a Rob Ford thread, I'd just like to offer our continuing condolences. I would also like to mention that Mayor Nenshi is currently so popular after his handling of the flood (91% approval rating in Calgary) that the most common pop culture figure he is compared to is literally Superman. [1][2][3][4][5]
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 8:43 PM on September 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


I really want a mefite to go to FordFest tomorrow and livetweet the whole thing. Pleeeeeeeeeease!!
posted by chapps at 8:55 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Kinda just looks like some kids egged him in his driveway. The sequel is of him calling 911.
posted by Beardman at 9:10 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I like it. Stylistically, it reminds me of that by now widely revered mysterious modern classic, Sunday On the Pot With George. Perhaps a companion piece? Are we one step closer now to unraveling one of recent history's greatest artistic enigmas?
posted by byanyothername at 9:30 PM on September 19, 2013


It's like the art hotel chains order by the yard for rooms and hallways but with a huge shiny white guy in the middle.
posted by The Whelk at 9:31 PM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't see the pointillist.
posted by anothermug at 9:40 PM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


HOW IS THIS GUY STILL OCCUPYING THE BIG CHAIR?!

If you are not being rhetorical, the answer is "because he was elected." There is no provision for removing a sitting mayor from office for anything less that a felony conviction, as I understand it, and the ruling on the conflict of interest case that did remove him from office was overturned on appeal. For better or worse he seems to be mayor until next fall, at least.

He has been talking for the last year or so about all his plans for his second term, which is a fairly cunning strategy for a guy who must realize that his popularity has shrunk to his base and has not budged up or down in many many polls now. He must at some level realize there is every chance he will be ejected from office by voters, and then he can play the martyr to the end of his days, crowing about how a liberal conspiracy suborned the will of the taxpayers.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:27 PM on September 19, 2013


Diane said the 36-by-30-inch canvas has a “wow factor.”

Art!
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:43 PM on September 19, 2013


http://unicorn0spunk.tumblr.com/
posted by Rumple at 10:43 PM on September 19, 2013


Having not followed this, can I guess that the scandal had something to do with a golden shower?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:15 PM on September 19, 2013


Having not followed this, can I guess that the scandal had something to do with a golden shower?

Jesus, if only. I think the people of Toronto would gladly trade Rob Ford for a competent mayor whose biggest peccadillo is pee-related.

Previous Metafilter thread: For Sale: A Video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Smoking Crack.

How is he still mayor?? I mean the guy is teflon--it's downright awe-inspiring at this point.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:33 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Having not followed this, can I guess that the scandal had something to do with a golden shower?

Wait a week.
posted by converge at 1:25 AM on September 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Shit, he's got that rainbow dandruff stuff all over his shoulders too. You'd think the artist could've cleaned that up.
posted by ardgedee at 3:21 AM on September 20, 2013


It isn't obvious from the David Price piece but the GO station he freaked out in is tiny. It has one staff person, a lovely soft-spoken and very helpful woman that I have never seen raise her voice (nor had a reason to as the community is very polite on the whole). The independent coffe shop owner is the only other person that works in the small station, away from the GO employee. So David Price basically bullied a lone woman - like most bullies, he chooses people with less power and unwillingness to break the social contract.
posted by saucysault at 3:29 AM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's not a bad portrait. He appears to be sheepishly walking away from a firestorm of exploding Lucky Charms.

He looks a bit like he's been hit from behind by a water balloon filled with B12-enriched urine. Which may, in fact, have happened at some time. Color me perplexed (which is apparently blue and yellow).
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:57 AM on September 20, 2013


I read this thread before looking at the article and was sure it could not be as bad as everyone was making it out to be.

i was so wrong
posted by elizardbits at 6:15 AM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am soooo starting a Kickstarter to buy this painting for the collection of the Museum of Bad Art.
posted by ocschwar at 7:27 AM on September 20, 2013


Here's a higher res version, brought to you by predictable permalinks.
posted by Mr. Anthropomorphism at 8:49 AM on September 20, 2013


Will not Google "unicorn spunk." Will not Google "unicorn spunk."

Let me guess, you're going to Bing "unicorn spunk" so that know one will ever know...
posted by juiceCake at 9:35 AM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm so glad I'm moving to TO and can vote in the next election.
posted by Imperfect at 11:20 AM on September 20, 2013


Rob Ford has a terrible photographer
posted by jcruelty at 12:52 PM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Crack Smoking Mayor Rob Ford Arm-Wrestled Hulk Hogan and Won
posted by jcruelty at 12:54 PM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am soooo starting a Kickstarter to buy this painting for the collection of the Museum of Bad Art.

You'll have to arm-wrestle his mom for it. And given jcruelty's link (which is awesome by the way), RF probably got his mad arm-wrestling skills from somewhere....
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:41 PM on September 20, 2013


FordFest is on people... only thing I'm seeing is Daniel Dale (Toronto Star) twitter feed
posted by chapps at 3:55 PM on September 20, 2013


komara: "Has Gary Crawford never heard of the rule of thirds? The center-weighted composition on this portrait is atrocious. He'd be laughed out of Photography 101."

I know, right? He's as bad as that hack painter, Da Vinci. And Rembrandt. Ditto Andrew Wyeth.

Or maybe, just maybe, that rule doesn't necessarily govern portraits.

(Also, why is the painter worried about Photography 101?)

It isn't a bad portrait. It's just that its subject is a shitpile.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:48 AM on September 21, 2013


It isn't a bad portrait. It's just that its subject is a shitpile.

This is very much my opinion. I actually think it is a prety insightful portrait and I absolutely get the decision to center-weight the composition. Ford is villain and the portrait illuminates that in the laudatory, satirical, court jester way that used to be the only option. In that light, I think it does a very good job, while also satisfying the nominal and admirable goal of pleasing Ford's mother.
posted by 256 at 8:02 PM on September 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Ford-supporting Sun reports today that the mayor's approval rating has soared to 49%.

I like very much that the president of the polling organization has "credited the upswing in Ford’s rating to a lack of recent personal controversies." Yeah, not being an ass for a few weeks will definitely help with the popularity. Some public figure in fact do this for years on end.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:59 AM on September 26, 2013


Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's friend faces drug charges

Mayor Rob Ford 'surprised' about charges against friend

Lisi faces a drug trafficking charge, as well as charges of possession of property obtained by crime, possession of marijuana and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.

Of course, it could all be an unrelated garden-variety bust of a pot dealer, but... my spideysense is tingling at the "possession of property obtained by crime" and the conspiracy charge.

We will see, of course, but it's all coming ever closer, ever closer, ever closer to RoFo himself.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:11 AM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, and the cops hired a Cessna to track Ford from the sky while collecting evidence to charge his driver and "close friend" with "being in possession of the proceeds of crime".
posted by anthill at 9:44 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also noteworthy is that the investigator assigned to Lisi's case is Det. Sgt. Gary Giroux, a detective of fairly significant stature in the force.

Significant resources for an ordinary pot bust.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:55 PM on October 7, 2013


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