Purchased with Acquisition Fund Grants from the Walter and Duncan Gordon Charitable Foundation and the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Citizenship and Culture, 1986.
Toronto-based artist Barry Smylie completed five lithographic prints based on the theme of Heroes. The suite was self printed and published at Toronto’s Open Studio in the early eighties. In Crowchild the artist appropriates the Kentucky Fried Chicken logo and mascot as a background to his lithographic print. A coyote is depicted on the foreground of the chicken bucket label. The KFC bucket came to represent the non-identity of a Canadian culture inundated with American fast-food joints and US culture. Similar references have been made in the Tragically Hip video The Darkest One which is a retrospective musing on Canadian culture in the seventies. Harland David Sanders, better known as the Colonel, was an American entrepreneur who founded the ubiquitous chain of fast food restaurants, now referred to the as KFC. It is also interesting to point out a little-known Canfact: Sanders moved to Mississauga, Ontario to manage his Canadian operations in 1965.
From the Greek lithos meaning stone and graphic meaning drawing, Lithography is just that with a couple of twists along the way. This type of printmaking is planographic, meaning the surface of the matrix, usually an incredibly flat and smooth slab of limestone, is not carved into or cut away. The lithographer draws on the surface of the stone using waxy drawing materials, and then treats the surface with an acidic mixture, “etching” the drawing into the stones surface. This acidic mixture causes the bare parts of the stone to attract water, while the drawn image of the stone repels water. To print the image, the artist washes the drawing material off of the stone, dampens it, and rolls it up with ink, which sticks to the drawn areas of the stone. Paper is laid over the image, and the two are rolled through a printing press, where pressure transfers the ink onto the paper, creating a print.