Final sale

Among the few attractions of the Parkdale neighbourhood, over the past century or so, has been a large art store. I could spend at least as much time in such an art store, if I had the choice, for since childhood I have been acquiring art materials; and while there is a proverb in effect, that one cannot become a great artist by buying a lot of art supplies, I’ve been out to prove this proverb wrong.

While riding a trolley east along Queen Street (I am a monarchist, still) I realized, yesterday, to my horror, that Curry’s Art Store had “packed it in.” This was especially disappointing, as the Curry’s in question, which had become their central franchise, was the product of several mergers or other capitalist condensations. The store was once, under the management of generations of independent artists, perhaps the largest art store in the region; and since the region contains the conurbation of Toronto, with its five or ten million souls, it was fairly busy. Indeed, I was disappointed when the (obsequiously commercial) Messrs Curry took it over, several years ago, for I anticipated the end.

I could go on tediously about how Batflu restrictions had killed the store. They certainly made fetching art supplies from independent dealers a less plausible proposition. But really there are deeper reasons.

The nature of art, and its material fabric, has radically changed from the tradition that began in the caves of Lascaux, or earlier. The technology has been transformed. Apparently, no one paints any more (or sculpts, &c), just as no one writes letters. They do their scribbling on computer tablets, and ping their creations about, electronically. Any materials discovered still to be required may be ordered from Amazon.

The clever modern artist has no need for talent or skill.

Most Parkdale shops are currently being replaced by marijuana dispensaries. But I think our former art store is too big a corpse for this purpose. It will have to be subdivided into various, smaller, marijuana dispensaries, and perhaps a sex-change clinic.