In the three days following Canada’s Remembrance Day, Toronto will host an art show, in tribute to the late “Macho Man” Randy Savage, who passed away earlier this year. The curator of the event, Nathaniel Moore, is thrilled about it.
“When Randy died in late May it was world news. I personally received 50 emails and messages. Some people asked me, including my mother, what I was going to do to commemorate or honour Savage’s life,” Moore told SLAM! Wrestling. “As a fan of his for most of my teen years, and more recently as a writer who has written several pieces about Savage over the last ten years, I had a bond with him artistically that seemed infinite and very real.”
Toronto is one of the biggest wrestling cities in the world, and Savage was a huge part of that rich wrestling history, as he entertained Torontonians at the old Maple Leaf Gardens for years. Some might say it was his home away from home.
“Savage is as much a part of Toronto as the Rolling Stones, the Toronto Blue Jays and John Lennon,” Moore said. “He performed in Ontario hundreds of times in the 1980s and 1990s and I was fortunate enough to see him face Steamboat, Michaels, Rhodes and Hall between 1986 and 1992.”
If it’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words, then the amount of artwork on display at “Savage: Cult of Personality, Pure Media & The Art of Macho Madness” should not surprise anybody, because Savage was just as famous for his promos as he was for his wrestling. His personality was almost as colourful as his ring attire.
The artists involved in the show all come from unique backgrounds, and will undoubtedly showcase the different sides of Randy Savage.
Moore listed off some of the contributors:
“Sonja Ahlers is a renowned graphic artist, long-listed for the Sobey Award; not to mention one of her infamous bunnies was in Bella’s bedroom in one of the Twilight films. She has a collage and text piece in the show that is being put up with razor blades.
“Vicki Nerino has been gaining notoriety over the last couple of years and is working on her first graphic novel. She’s designed skateboards, band CD art and done a lot of very disturbing, odd drawings.
“Anisa Cameron from Montreal has made a special song to celebrate Randy’s life and that will be played several times live from Montreal or on a podcast.
“A film collective called Family Contact have a special short film that I believe involves the ghost of Randy Savage visiting a group of teenagers.
“Other artists come in the form of writers such as Michael Holmes, author of the wrestling poetry book Parts Unknown, Dave Bidini, musician and author will be making an appearance, Greg Oliver, wrestling author will be reading something and Alexandra Leggat will be reading a poem entitled The Last Savage by Roberto Bolano. Sherwin Tjia, originally from Toronto who now lives in Montreal, has a new illustrated novel out called You Are a Cat and he has done a rendering of Macho Man and Elizabeth morphed together.
“Toronto dancers Alicia Grant and Cara Spooner will be doing a live interpretive dance that will encapsulate Macho Madness in all its pomp and circumstance.”
So it seems like both wrestling fans and art lovers will surely have a great time at this three-day event. The artists are expecting a great turnout, and if all goes well, it might not just be one and done.
“There have been talks about Chicago, Florida and New York versions of the show. We are filming a short promotional film to commemorate the show. The public can also sign a card we are sending to Randy’s brother Lanny Poffo and Savage’s widow in Florida,” Moore said. “I’m very excited for the show, honoured to be able to commemorate Savage’s life in this unique way, clear of the Google image search blandness that his death seemed to spawn when sites were looking to add his photo to their death news; but most of all thrilled the White House Studio Project and the artists involved are so pumped for this once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s art, it’s humanity, it’s life, it’s love. The show to me is very real and emotional.”
The free event will take place at the White House (studio) in the heart of downtown Toronto, at 277.5 Augusta Ave. (second floor) and will run from November 12 at 7 p.m. to November 15 at 10 p.m. All are welcome to come out and enjoy the show, and to reflect on the life and times of Randy Savage.