Paul Lavoie, art thief

An upcoming exhibit by the Taxi founder examines anonymity and creative ownership in the internet age.
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Paul Lavoie has stolen a lot of art, but it’s OK because he’s doing it for charity.

The Taxi co-founder is hosting an art show, opening next week, which takes on authorship, plagiarism, anonymity and other internet conundrums.

The show is called “Cant you sue ppl for stealing tweets isn’t that playjarism?”, and it mixes random tweets set against images found on the internet and painted in a Shanghai factory. The collaborative approach was meant to mirror the online world’s anonymous intimacy: the tweets and images were assembled by strangers; Lavoie didn’t meet the Chinese paint-to-order artists, nor does he know the Montrealers who digitally set the typography or the people in Peterborough who stenciled it onto canvas.

The show consists of 15 oil paintings, all made from content “stolen” from the internet.

“I’m not creating anything, I’m just observing,” Lavoie said in a release. “I’m very interested in social media, and this notion of anonymity and being intimate, that the Internet is sometimes personal and sometimes impersonal. It fascinates me, but I don’t have the answer to anything.”

If you want to ask your own questions, the opening is Sept. 7 from 6-8 p.m. at Gallery 1313 on Queen St. West in Toronto. Proceeds from the show will go to POV 3rd Street, a non-profit that helps at-risk youth find jobs in the film industry.

From Stimulant