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Team Macho: The Collective Mythology of Pop Culture

Meet Toronto’s Team Macho: a collaborative group of illustrators and fine artists composed of Lauchie Reid, Chris Buchan, Nicholas Aoki, Jacob Whibley, and Stephen Appleby-Barr. Check out their imaginative styles of photos taken throughout their days as they prepare and gather quantities of creative work for galleries across Canada!

Is it true that, you guys got together in college because you were all unsatisfied with you university’s illustration program? Are you still the same rebels today?

We did indeed get together at Sheridan College in the Illustration program, but to say we were unsatisfied with the program is a bit off. We actually really liked the course of study, we just had problems understanding the people involved. The mindset seemed a little restrained and unfriendly to our own, so we teamed up to help foster a sense of community and practice drawing in the way that felt natural and exciting to us. That same sort of impulse definitely still drives us today. We tend to take…oblique routes to our destinations. Except Nick, who is a sweater vest wearing, yacht club conformist.

Team Macho’s work has been described as a, “collective mythology of pop-culture references of the super-nerd verity”. Would you agree that you have created a “mythology”?

In a way, the mythology has been the sum total of our efforts and our drawings are documents of it. We have occupied a pretty unconventional method of work and type of shared space (physically and mentally) that has really shaped the way we interact with one another. So yeah… Our work comes from that shared mythology and our desire to keep exploring and codifying the bizarre inanities and wildly complex metaphors that are our chief way of collaborating.

It’s hard to imagine how a group of people can create one work, what is the process like and what do you do when you don’t like another members contribution?

There wasn’t really any road-map that we were aware of when started working that way, so a lot of it was shot from the hip. We have come across probably all of the difficulties that can arise from working on others’ work, and we rarely use the same strategy to solve them. We constantly strive to discover new ways to do things, so those problems that do arise are really valuable lessons. We have cut work in half, painted over things, drawn things that make fun of parts of the same drawing that we don’t like… There are always ways to make it work.

Is Toronto a good city in terms of its art scene or do you just do your own work style?
Toronto is a great city for the art community here. So many good people and great gallersists and engaged and amazing collectors. But also yes to the staying inside and doing our own thing question. Not out of disinterest in what’s going on outside, but there is so much to do, and so little time.

What was the inspiration for your Diana World Tour recreation of the Diana F+?

We created it as a sort of shrine to our cat Punchy, who mysteriously vanished a couple of years ago. We like to think of him as having de/ascended to another place, full of mystery and symbolism and dark boxes to sleep in.

How did you guys like getting back into analogue again shooting with the La Sardina?
It made us feel like morons. Turns out that we have a hard time with things with buttons. But is an amazing way to re-experience our usual lives. Carrying an analogue camera and documenting things that way is really comforting/exhilarating, because you never know how it’ll turn out.

What’s next exhibition for Team Macho?

We are doing an installation at the Art Gallery of Ontario this February based on the mythological constructs identified by Northrop Frye, and dealing with the relationship people develop with their artistic progress and the space the occupy. It should be really neat.

Please tell us a few words of wisdom to other aspiring artist out there?


Work constantly and don’t make any excuses. If this is something you want to do for the rest of your life, show it the respect it deserves. Also, be excellent to each other, and party on dudezzz!

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written by jeanettelee

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Deutsch.