Lifestyle & Parenting

Artist on the Loose

November 7, 2013

Down on the corner of Bay and Wellington, there’s a man smashing desks with a sledge hammer. No need to sound the alarm, however: Toronto-based artist Justin Broadbent is deconstructing the office staple to promote Microsoft’s new Office 365 platform.

In order to push the software’s "work from anywhere" cloud features, the tech company commissioned Broadbent to bring his hands-on approach to their #ditchthedesk campaign. As a multi-disciplinary artist whose breadth of work runs from creating Metric’s Juno Award winning album art to curating AGO’s Massive party two years running, Broadbent is perhaps best known for his freestyle installation pieces.

Familiar elements like spray paint, cats, and the number 81 are peppered throughout the orange Office 365 platform, but the artist’s main intention is to tear down used office desks and transform the wood and parts into sculptures. Not without a touch of irony, Broadbent is doing what he does best by poking fun at the idea of an artist taking over white collar run Bay Street. A spray painted "Bank -> see" points to the towering RBC building behind the installation, while "Oooh Gary you make some fine art" decorates the opposing wall.

Is it time for the suits to embrace an artist lifestyle and get up out of their desk chairs, then? Judging by the crowds gathered to see Broadbent bounce around with a paint brush, the idea certainly seems intriguing.

Laura Lanktree


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