"This isn’t art, a 5-year-old can do that."
"What a waste of paint."
"How is this art? He’s just splashing paint on canvas!"
Imagine for just one second you were working hard on chasing your passion, but you kept being trolled with comments like the ones you just read... This is what inspired abstract artist Callen Schaub’s exhibition Energy, which ran at Project Gallery in Toronto last month. Essentially, Energy is a show that seeks to respond to the experience of being trolled. Schaub explains: "Words evoke emotional responses which can be destructive, uplifting, or both. I want to encourage my audiences, especially the younger members, to use words and art to empower others."
By definition, energy is a universal concept. Often used to describe how we feel or the way we connect with someone and to explain different forces in physics and science, in art, well, it can be used to describe the act of using colour, form and composition to create pieces of work that resonate with impact and feeling. By the use of innovative painting techniques - spin machines, swinging troughs and pendulums - Callen Schaub creates colourful and mesmerizing paintings, which immediately reel the viewer in with curiosity and awe. Simultaneously, the trolls - still pointing fingers from across the room - are left detracted, the artist's positivity overpowering their negativity.