News

July 14, 2019


Ikigai. A colorful reveal of our deepest intentions.


Ikigai (生き甲斐) is a Japanese concept that means "a reason for being."

Our collective purpose in life is to bring light into the darkness. To outweigh fear with love. To share our inner workings with the world, and remind others that no one is perfect. We are messy. We are fiery. We are complicated, complex individuals set out on this journey together to bring freedom to the minds of others. Over the last year, we have shared studios in Cabbagetown, allowing us to experience and grow a fondness of a new area in Toronto. This stage in our lives has been thrilling, memorable. We each created brilliant works full of passion in this space but we are now ready to say goodbye and move to a private studio. Before we say farewell to this space which brought us an incredible amount of opportunity and freedom, we want to share it with all of you. A glimpse into the grittiness and behind scenes of our work over the last year. An insight into our hearts, minds, souls. This is our goodbye. This is our growth. This is us. This is Ikigai

- Matthew Del Degan and Emily Minor

40+ unique collaborative artworks.
Everything in this show is an original collaborative artwork from the large, medium and small paintings to the resin toys, pins and much more.
All pieces are for sale.

Free admission and open to the public for only two short days
Friday July 26th, 2019 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Saturday July 27th, 2019 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Location: Doctor O Lane, just West of Parliament Street. Cabbagetown, Toronto.
 
May 09, 2019


The First Edition 1ft Concrete Lovebots




Matthew Del Degan was inspired to create Lovebot after he shared a heart-to-heart sitting face-to-face with a strange while riding a Toronto streetcar. Lovebot is native to Canada.
Displayed proudly in its chest, the Hero Heart symbol is a unique embodiment of its very own red maple leaf. An original one-foot concrete Lovebot is Canadian right down to the size one Robertson screws that fasten its locally-produced wooden box to the matching lid, branded using a hot metal press. These special Canadian screws were purchased directly through Robertson Inc., a company established by a Canadian, P.L. Robertson in 1908. In 2019, Del Degan visited the original factory building in Milton, Ontario to discover where Robertson created his then new innovation: the square-headed screw.  Lovebot is also a square-headed Canadian design. Del Degan’s relentless quest to establish Lovebot as a truly Canadian icon has even lead to sourcing the biodegradable wheat starch packing foam from a Canadian distributor. Wheat is Canada’s largest grossing crop of all exported agricultural products.

       Ultimately, Lovebot is symbolic of positive ideologies, a quality for which Canadians are renowned the world over. Standing strong and free, Lovebot is a symbol of people's ability to love and be loved despite the robotic routines that structure our urban lives. It is a reminder to love within and beyond technology, to never use our faceless devices blindly but instead use them with heart. Each original Lovebot sculpture has been created to withstand the test of time and to inspire stories well beyond our own lifetimes. They have been made by hand and with love to remind us that love is the true foundation of the concrete jungle. Lovebot compels us to champion kindness, something truly concrete in this often digital world.


November 16, 2018


Excerpt from Kian Kashani:



Emily Minor gazing at the first, newly completed Love Metrics painting commissioned by Aurora Montessori School - September 2018. Artwork by Matthew Del Degan - 8ft by 8 ft Spray paint on Wood panel.

Excerpt from Kian Kashani:

Del Degan’s Lovebot has been a familiar fixture in Toronto since the Artist first introduced his iconic concrete sculptures to the city in 2013. A concrete robot representation with a red heart resonated with fans of all ages and backgrounds as Lovebot conveyed universal values of kindness, optimism and generosity.  Lovebot sculptures, with their geometric form and concrete composition, seemed to usher in a era of mass urbanization and technological advance the city was experiencing while Lovebot murals went up on what was left of the cities former brick heritage. A captive audience internalized the Lovebot message and over time, ascribed it values that its creator Matthew Del Degan had likely never conceived. Lovebot began to reflect and perhaps even promote, the welcoming and kind disposition of Torontonians. It is perhaps these qualities; qualities for which Toronto is itself known for globally, that came to attract endorsements from companies such as Virgin Mobile, Air Canada and Minto. Without any conscious effort from Matthew, it became clear that associating a company with Lovebot was akin to associating a company with the city itself. With each new condo came new residents and the potential for new fans was only limited by how fast Del Degan and his now 30 volunteers could churn out new murals and sculptures and place them across the city.

 

You could say that all seemed well in the land of Lovebot, though few had any notion that Lovebot’s creator, Del Degan was exhausting himself and wandering into the proverbial Land of Nod.

 

Though specific details have not yet been issued by the artist or his family, it is clear that unlike the infallible solid concrete robot of his creation, Del Degan had privately been battling with mental illness. The once daily posts on the artist’s instagram page stopped entirely on January  2017 and even the Lovebot fan store subsequently ceased to offer any of its items for sale. Nearly five months went by and the quiet itself began to attract some attention of its own. Del Degan’s partner, Emily, has since revealed that by the time he had managed to recover enough mental fortitude to check his email, he had amassed thousands of messages from fans and patrons alike - all of which had gone unanswered during his absence.

 

Months later, a few sporadic posts of older works eventually materialized on Lovebots instagram and then on October 25th 2017, a photo of a new piece was finally posted. The piece entitled “Not My Friend 1”, featured an old, male figure wearing what appears to be a top hat. The figure’s glazed-over and bloodshot eyes offer up a blank stare as he battles a near-unrecognizable Lovebot in turmoil. The two characters seem to warp and morph into one-another in an inseparable spiral of chaos and confusion. Each caught in the others tentacles in a twist and pull-like tug of war. This villain, who appears in this singular post, is the polar opposite of all that Lovebot represents and the aesthetic antithesis of Lovebot’s precise form and rigid composition.  Those familiar with Del Degan’s private battle with mental illness undoubtedly recognized the battle depicted in the post as a private expression of the horrors of mental illness. Del degan may be representing himself as the mutated Lovebot figure fighting to keep his composure against his internal demons. This rare and telling expression of a Toronto artist is both unique and refreshingly original in style and subject matter.

 

Weeks later Del Degan posted a subsequent piece with the hashtag #sicklove.  This piece had a similar psychedelic quality, only in this instance a singular Lovebot character can be seen with noticeably more defined geometric characteristics. Despite its accordion arms and a jester-like appearance, the figure is still easily recognizable as a Lovebot, but with distinct humorous and self-deprecating features. This iteration of Lovebot had fought mental illness, but was changed by it. A jester or clown, the character beckons us to laugh at its appearance and criticize it for its humorous flaws. Here, the minimal grey and red colour scheme of older versions of Lovebot are replaced by an endless spectrum of colour combinations. Of the colours chosen by Del Degan, some are complementary and others are noticeably not. As themes go, harmony and dissonance begin to flow with one another in the colour domain while the form is grounded with mechanical precision and geometry.

 

With each passing month, the Lovebot character began to slowly return to its original and precise geometric form. Later, as the Lovebot illustrations finally returned to the level of precision they were previously known for, Del Degan released a new version of his Lovebot that he perfected to the nanometer. One would scarcely see a trace of the corrupted Lovebot of Del Degan’s past demons were it not for one surviving and consistent characteristic of his newer works: Colour.

 

It is clear that to sacrifice the sanctity and precision of Lovebot’s geometric form was far too much for this Toronto artist to bare. Instead, Del Degan expresses the multiplicity of life and of his life-altering struggle with mental illness in vivid colour. Pastels and prime colours of every variety cascade across these new oversized canvases to reveal facets of Lovebot’s identity. A true fusion of the diversity of that which makes us human - love - and the precision that guides and structures the world around us. Love Metrics is the vast spectrum of the heart and nano-precision of the machine.

- Kian Kashani

 

September 28, 2018


LOVE METRICS - 2018


Location: 225 Carlton St. Toronto, Ontario 

Love Metrics took place on Novemeber 23rd, 2018. It was the most substantial Lovebot Solo Art Exhibition to date. Lovebot taook over a vacant building in Cabbagetown, Toronto to showcase all new never before seen artworks that brought together art lovers for a three day event of substantial impact; two floors of never before seen artworks, all new limited edition and event exclusive items, new partnerships, artist talks and more.

Love Metrics Description
Love Metrics by Lovebot is an allusion. The term, Love Metrics, communicates a series of subsequent notions using two juxtaposed words. Love, as an intense feeling of deep affection, exists in stark contrast to quantifiable measurements and evaluations. Lovebot has the ability to connect and inspire people linked by a common theme: LOVE. It is not a coincidence that the Love Metrics artworks are visual networks. These artworks are arrangements of colour, each a matrix intersecting poetically. In software development and often in business, metrics are used to measure a particular characteristic of a program's performance or efficiency, but metrics also defines the use and study of poetic meters; prosody. Love Metrics is poetic and deliberate.

Love Metrics by Lovebot is a style of artwork. Its cause is reminiscent of the brief instance of reflection when the screen is black and you see yourself for a moment; when you realize that your analogue life, by it’s very nature, is infinitely more fulfilling than it’s digital counterpart; when you go off-line and your values are in-line.
 
- Matthew Del Degan

 

June 08, 2018


White Squirrel Mural - Trinity Bellwoods Park - Toronto

Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto is known for it's few albino squirrels.

The white squirrels indigenous to this area add a feeling of wonder and mystery to this park that locals may experience if the moment's right.

"The squirrel's large kaleidoscopic eye keeps watch over passers by. As it rests on a traditional Lovebot heart, it helps to solidify our fascination and love of these small, magestic creatures."

Flack, Derek. "Trinity Bellwoods Gets a Giant White Squirrel Mural."
www.blogto.com. N.p., 3 3 2016 Sept. 2016. Web. 29 Oct. 2016.

 

 

Community Of Love: banding together to help others.


Lovebot Hero Heart cookies will be at popping up at locations across Toronto!  All proceeds are going to some real good friends of mine, Easter Seals, a charitable organization bringing love to others by helping kids with physical disabilities.  

Since 1922, through both financial assistance and recreational programs, Easter Seals has helped provide a better life for youth with physical disabilities.

It’s great to see such selfless organizations making such strong effort in spreading the love, really tugs at your heart wires.

It doesn’t stop at cookies though. I’ve also been helping with the organization’s annual telethon, a fundraiser celebrating success stories and recognizing ambassadors, families, and donors that have helped the organization. It’s all love with them! During last year’s 31st annual 2014 telethon, Lovebot was there to help Easter Seals raise a whopping $2.16-million! So, get out and support a great cause that makes a difference to the over 20,000 kids in with physical disabilities. Let’s beat last years total!

Lovebot is such a perfect cupid bringing us together for another worthy cause,"  says Shawn Andrews of Rooster Coffee. "We're excited to be part of this community effort based on LOVE and giving!"

You can support Lovebot and Easter Seals by purchasing an lovingly-packaged Hero Heart cookie for $2.  Starting Ferbruary 12th, you’ll be able to find these special treats for you or the people you love at the these locations:

Riverdale Perk - Rooster Coffee - Redline Coffee - Lazy Daisy's - Thor Espresso - The Rollling Pin - Mindzai (Markham)

 

Want to see Lovebot cookies at your local coffee shop or cafe? Please ask them to get in touch! We'd love to have them available in as many locations as possible.

Want a whole box? You can purchase a full box of 30 cookies for $60 that you can share in your workplace or community, I’ll get the humans to deliver them right to your door! Easter Seals will also offer a tax-deductible receipt for these supporters.

Easter Seals is wonderful, but you know where they get a lot of their money? People that go out and actively share the message of positivity and love! So this year, instead of buying the same old material goods you always do, take a page from my book. Break the mold and do something different. Help share the love! Get your loved ones a tasty treat while supporting an awesome cause.

Together, we are helping  kids BE KIDS!

 

April 08, 2014

Lovebot Videos ›


Lovebot on MTV

A five minute segment that made it onto MTV! Grab some tissues because there are three heartwarming stories in this video. :)
February 12, 2014


The Lovebot Leaders Warm Your Heart

This February, The Lovebot Leaders, led by Matthew Del Degan came up with a new way to spread kindness throughout the city of Toronto.

They wanted to take Valentines day back to basics, away from commercialization, and focus on it's original goal: spreading love .

The Leaders did this by sharing Lovebot hero-heart cookie cutters with local bakeries. In doing so they were able to help in sharing the message of the Love Invasion by baking warm hero-heart cookies to give to their communities.
In addition, the Leaders also baked well over 2000 cookies to share with family, friends and strangers.

February 02, 2014

Lovebot Videos ›


Lovebot on InnerSPACE on the Space Channel

Check out our video on the Space Channel

 

December 13, 2013

Lovebot Videos ›


Our Toronto: A Lovebot Invasion on the CBC

We met up with Tina Mackenzie, a videographer from the CBC to produce a segment on the CBC!