Photo of Gary Taxali
gtaxali@faculty.ocadu.ca
Photo of Gary Taxali
Gary Taxali
Professor
Faculty of Design
gtaxali@faculty.ocadu.ca

Area(s) of Expertise

Illustration, Fine Art, Toy Company

Overview

Gary Taxali is a Toronto-based acclaimed contemporary artist and illustrator known for his retro stylized art in the realm of pop. He was born in Chandigarh, India and raised in Toronto, Canada.  Taxali is a graduate of The Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD). He has exhibited in many galleries and museums throughout North America and Europe including The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Jonathan LeVine Gallery, The Antonio Colombo Gallery, Steve Lazarides/The Outsiders, and The Andy Warhol Museum.  

Gary’s clients include Sony, Warner Brothers, Levi's, Coca-Cola, Converse, Nintendo, and every major magazine including Time, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, GQ, Esquire, The New Yorker, and The New York Times.  He has been featured and interviewed by CBC’s The National, Maclean’s, Fashion Television, MuchMusic, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, and many others.  A short film on his art entitled “Gary Taxali:  The Art of Whimsy” premiered at the Canadian Art Film Festival in March 2015.  



Gary has collaborated with many brands and integrated his art in various mediums including releasing collectible designer toys, creating public art, and writing and illustrating a children’s book titled, “This Is Silly!” published by Scholastic.  He has two monographs of his work, “I Love You, Ok?” published by TeNeues and “Mono Taxali” published by 279 Editions.  In 2005, he launched his first vinyl toy, The Toy Monkey, which included a special edition along with a silkscreen print commissioned by The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.  This led Gary to create his own toy company, Chump Toys, which resulted in the release of his popular OH NO and OH OH vinyl figures.  He created artist-designed silk pocket squares for Canada’s major men’s retailer, Harry Rosen.  In 2012, The Royal Canadian Mint released six Gary Taxali Special Edition 25¢ coins which, in addition to original art uniquely created for the coins, he also designed the typography using his font Chumply. Each coin is stamped, bearing his initials.  Gary is a past member of the Stamp Advisory Committee for Canada Post where he initiated many stamps such as Marriage Equality and Canadian Illustrators. In 2017, Gary published his monograph, “Happiness With A Caveat”. Six of his works were acquisitioned by the Library of Congress in 2018 for their permanent collection.  Gary was selected to represent North America by the United Nations and created artwork to raise awareness for World Hunger.

He has won hundreds of illustration and design awards including recognition from American Illustration, Communication Arts, a Gold Medal from the National Magazine Awards and The Society of Illustrators, and a nomination for a Cannes Lion. Gary created the cover art and inside illustrations for Aimee Mann’s album @#%&*! Smilers, which earned him a 2009 Grammy Award Nomination for Best Art Package. Gary is a Founding Member of IPA (The Illustrators’ Partnership of America). He has juried many student and professional competitions including The Juno’s (Screening Committee), The Society of Illustrators, The National Magazine Awards, The Dallas Society of Visual Communications, 3×3: The Magazine of Contemporary Illustration, the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, and sits on the Advisory Board of 3×3: The Magazine of Contemporary Illustration. Aside from his gallery shows and illustration work, Gary devotes a portion of his time teaching and lecturing at various arts organizations and schools such as OCAD University (Toronto, Canada), The Art Director’s Club of Houston (Houston, USA), Dankmarks Designskole (Copenhagen, Denmark), Istituto Europeo Di Design (Rome, Italy), The Savannah College of Art and Design (Hong Kong, China),  and The National Institute of Design (Bangalore, India). In December 2018, Gary will be the featured speaker at The Grafixx Festival in Antwerp, Belgium.

Gary was listed as one of the top 100 illustrators in the world by art book publisher Taschen. He is tenured faculty at OCAD University holding the rank of full Professor.

Gary Taxali visually blends now with then. His style, inspired by vintage comics and advertising art, is repurposed with the goal of communicating the ironies and comical essence of popular culture. His work is at once alluring and endearing. Despite the vintage look, he is neither maudlin nor nostalgic. His imagery is rich in satiric verve.”

Steven Heller

Education

1991: Ontario College of Art

Selected Exhibitions

SOLO SHOWS 2006: La Luz de Jesus Gallery, October, 2006 2005: "Chumpy?s Specials" - OX OP Gallery, Minneapolis, MN "Toy Monkey Launch and New Prints" - Magic Pony, Toronto, ON 2005: "Chumpy?s Night School" - La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 2001: "Sweet Shop Toys, Candies and Books" - CPOP Gallery, Detroit, MI 2001: "America Lucky Service" - La Luz de Jesus Gallery 2000: "New Work" - Anno Domini Gallery, San Jos?, CA GROUP SHOWS 2006: ?Rumble Rumble: An Art Throw Down?, Artlab, Toronto, Canada 2006: ?MTV Overground #3?, Toy Tokyo, New York, NY 2006: ?Customized Munny; Traveling Show?, Kid Robot, New York, NY 2006: ?Nanospore Series 01, Customized Figures?, NY Comicon, New York, NY 2006: ?Juxtapoz 2006 Group Show?, OX-OP Gallery, Minneapolis, MN 2005: "Everything But the Kitschen Sync" - La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 2005: "Art Party" - Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY 2005: "I Am 8 Bit" - Gallery 1988, Los Angeles, CA 2005: "Day of the Doon" - Bonny Doon Vineyard, Santa Cruz, CA 2005: "Circus Punks Rule" - Toy Tokyo, New York, NY 2005: "Blab Show" - Track 16 Gallery, Santa Monica, CA 2005: "TAAFI" - Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, ON 2005: "Toronto Art Fair" - Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, ON 2005: "Prints and Posters" - Outer Edge Studio, Monterey, CA 2005: "Built for Speed" - L?Autre Galerie, Montreal, QC 2005: "Partridge and Pear Trees" - Magic Pony Gallery, Toronto, ON 2005: "Picture Mechanics Show" - Musuem of American Illlustration at the Society of Illustrators, New York, NY 2005: "Art of Denim" - L?Autre Galerie, Montreal, QC 2005: "Pop Pluralism" - Jonathan Levine Gallery, New York, NY 2005: "Weirdo Deluxe" - StuARTGallery, Burbank, CA 2005: "Male Pattern Baldness and Hummingbirds" - Reading Frenzy, Portland, OR 2005: "The Postcard Project" - Fosterart, London, UK 2004: "Uncommercial Art by Commercial Artists" - La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 2004: "The Dress Up Show" - Star Shoes, Los Angeles, CA 2004: "A Day on the Lawn" - Froden Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 2004: "The Art of Laughter, A Salute to Humor" - Jewish Community Center, Santa Monica, CA 2004: "V&A Awards" - Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK 2004: "Contemporary Culture" - City of Brea Gallery, Brea, CA 2004: "10th Anniversary Show" - Giant Robot Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 2004: "Qeedrophonic Doll Show" - OX-OP Gallery, Minneapolis, MN 2004: "Picture Mechanics Group Show" - Exploding Head Gallery, Sacramento, CA 2004: "Dialogue: The Fine Art of Conversation" - Abbey Church, San Diego, CA 2004: "Ghost Town" - Tin Man Alley, Philadelphia, PA 2003: "Uncommercial Art by Commercial Artist" - La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 2003: "Robots Have Feelings Too" - Culture Cache Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2003: "Cubed" - Tin Man Alley, Philadelphia, PA 2003: "Hand to Eye" - Magma Books, London, UK 2003: "Doll House Show" - Copro Nason Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 2003: "Cartoon Musuem Show" - Cartoon Museum, San Francisco,CA 2003: "Picture Mechanics Group Show" - Zeitgeist Gallery, Nashville, TN 2002: "Quartered de La Luz" - The Cartoon Network, Los Angeles, CA 2002: "Picture Mechanics Group Show" - 69A Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2002: "Circus, Carnival, Freaks and Oddities" - CPOP Gallery, Detroit, MI 2002: "Decipher" - 450 Broadway Gallery, New York, NY 2002: "La Luz de Leche" - Milk Bedroom Gallery, Toronto, ON

Awards \ Grants

American Illustration, Communication Arts Illustration Annual, Society of Illustrators (Gold Medal), Print, Society of Publication Designers, National Magazine Awards (Gold Medal), Chicago Creative Club, Advertising and Design Club of Canada, Gold Addy (National and Regional), Nomination for Cannes Lion, Grammy Nomination (Best Art Package)

Commissions

Time, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, GQ, Esquire, The New Yorker, Fortune, Entertainment Weekly, Reader's Digest, The New York Times, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Royal Canadian Mint, Harry Rosen, Sony, Warner Brothers, Levi's, Coca-Cola, Converse, Nintendo, The City of Toronto, and The United Nations.

Selected Publications

“I Love You, Ok?” published by TeNeues , “Mono Taxali” published by 279 Editions, and "Happiness With A Caveat"