Narwhal is pleased to present The Merlin Years – the second monograph from iconic art collective Team Macho. Celebrating one of Canada’s most unique emerging art groups, this richly illustrated book surveys work between 2007 and 2012 from shows in Toronto, Montreal, Amsterdam, Los Angeles and New York. Ranging from the crudely rendered to the classically painted, Team Macho playfully juxtapose styles and motifs, creating mixed media works that encompass a replete list of materials and methods. Team Macho’s work conveys a strong DIY ethic and a decidedly informal, multidisciplinary approach.

With an idiosyncratic attitude toward collaboration, the group synchronously cultivate a cooperative yet highly competitive spirit, where the very nature of their alliance revolves around celebrating,thwarting and subverting each other’s contributions, creating seamless collaborations from the fraternal narrative that surrounds their studio practice. Including essays and candid interviews on their group practice, artistic brotherhood and the Axis Mundi AGO installation.

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Art / Illustration.
180 pages. Softcover. Full colour.
Over 150 illustrations.
Writing by Maggie MacDonald, Ann Marie Peña and A. James Bradley.
First edition 2012.

“.. what radiates from Team Macho artworks is a particular kind of visual story-telling, one akin to the experience of secretly looking through boxes of found photographs and objects hidden away in an attic somewhere. You encounter what appears to be a series of collected memories, gathered ephemera and experiences, and just when you think you can draw some kind of lineage through them, a new image pops up to disturb the narrative you have established. The subjects of their drawings and paintings range from boy scouts and monkeys, to foxes, lawnmowers, cats (many, many cats) and icons like Freddy Mercury…”
– from AXIS MUNDI: a DIY Guide by Ann Marie Peña.

“Climbing through the basement window of their studio is like falling down the rabbit hole, and after five minutes among the machismo one realizes that it is not an act, that Team Macho’s secret lies in their everyday belief that art is about process, about form and content, about the ego-less pursuit of the interesting.”
– from Being Macho by A. James Bradley.