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Saturday, March 17, 2012

REVISITING THE VANCOUVER OF MY YOUTH THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHS

This weekend my friend invited me to an art exhibit at a new spacious gallery, The Equinox Project Space  http://equinoxgallery.com/exhibitions  This outstanding visual arts gallery is the former Finning Tractor machine shop located at the Great Northern Way Campus.

The gallery exhibit is an impressive show of photographs by Fred Herzog, well known for his candid shots of Vancouver from the 1950's on. Herzog, who was born in Stuttgart, Germany, immigrated to Canada in 1952 and moved to Vancouver in 1953.  He had taken photos nearly all his life but after moving to Canada he began a collection of memorable work which focuses primarily on ordinary people and their connect with the city around them.  He worked with slide film, mostly Kodachrome, which was limiting as far as his ability to exhibit because at that time his work was mostly in black and white.  However over the years his work has been increasingly recognized, especially in recent decades, appearing in books, and galleries, including the Vancouver Art Gallery.

What I loved about this exhibit was it brought me back to my youth, during the 1950's when I haunted many of the downtown areas he filmed.  How exciting to see all the old neon signs (some of them I recently saw on display at the Vancouver Museum) and to catch a glimpse of the back lanes and waterfront of my city as it was before all the new development took over. 

This new exhibit gallery was a perfect place for Herzog's vast collection of photos.  We spent a long time browsing, reminiscing over the various scenes (as were many of the other people visiting that day!).  One woman said "I've made it a point this year to revisit the city of my birth."  What a great way to do it!

The exhibit has been extended until the end of the month so be sure and take time to visit.  You can purchase some of Herzog's books at the gallery too.  A wonderful idea for a gift or memento to keep.

Equinox Project Space: 525 Great Northern Way Campus.  Free parking directly in front.
http://www.equinoxgallery.com/artists/portfolio/fred-herzog

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