Paper Monster 1958

Harold Town, Memory of Chinatown (Memory of Chinatown), 1958

Harold Town, Paper Monster (Memory of Chinatown), 1958

Mixed media collage on Masonite, 121.9 x 61 cm

Christopher Cutts Gallery, Toronto

This collage reflects Town’s experience of Toronto’s multicultural milieu. The body of the monster is made from a “single autographic print” —Town’s innovative monotype technique—with torn-off edges, and streamers made from cut-up pieces of a print. Given his free-associative method of generating images at this time, the particular shade of deep red could have triggered Town’s memory of a New Year’s parade in Chinatown or an elaborate Chinese kite he had admired. The collage has a festive air, with the sky-blue background and the white graffiti-like figure inside the monster. Letter-like scribbles and a heart at left centre also suggest graffiti, while a small red form near the lower right edge suggests an insect or a Chinese inscription. 

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