Gordon Belray is a Canadian visual artist, graphic designer and film-maker that currently lives and works in Toronto, Canada.
He earned a BFA with distinction from the University of Toronto’s Department of Art, where he still works, previously as softwares developer and currently as Information Architect and Designer for the University of Toronto Libraries.
Through the course of his career he focused on relevant events of the 20th century from a new perspective that aims to reflect and criticize the role of media. His artworks take the form of film or manipulated images created by reconstructing in a new formalization video stills or images that he appropriates because of their particular relevance related to the topic he is working on.
He had also briefly shown some intaglio prints at Bus Gallery, in Toronto, before focusing on art pedagogy. For personal reasons he turned his attention more taking care of his family and after few time he returned in earnest to an art making practice which has evolved to the current body of work which represents the beginning of a much larger oeuvre. His work focuses on events and people that changed the course of 20th century through a particular use of film sources that he manipulates in order to create new narratives.
I work from historical film sources to create narrative compositions of significant 20th century events and persons.
Taking cues from history painting1 and post-internet strategies of neo-appropriation, I select numerous film stills for their visual and sequential relevance and manipulate them into a painterly tableau, retaining traces of frame and process. I supplement with photographs as required and paint and draw on the work electronically.
Historical subjects are chosen for both the extent and availability of their archive as well as for their
resonance as interrogations into pivotal socio-political media events as told through reconstructions of the media itself. While every frame is an indexical moment in real time2, their composite approximates a theatre of the surreal. In this way, the work addresses the dichotomies between news and cinema, truth3 and propaganda, record and memory. The effect of re-witnessing history as a temporal landscape inevitably evokes its greater mythology.