Saturday, August 30, 2014

you must be crazy

you must be crazy
and go on -- self-portrait of
a graffiti artist

Vancouver, home to Van Arts, a world-class media institute, is also home to some creative graffiti artists. Maybe not yet as famous as Jean-Michel Basquiat or Shepard Fairey, but who knows?

Any flat surface becomes a canvas.

There's another class of wall painters, mural artists, like the ones who painted a mural on a wall that stretches for an entire city block near the YMCA where we're staying. The mural, which depicts the history of Vancouver, is old. Rust stains caused by rain have damaged the paint, bird droppings and ivy vines cover many of the images. But there's a kind of beauty in this aging process. Fauvist colors and curvaceous shapes, worthy of Matisse.

A First Nations man, his face unmarred, looms taller than the totem pole.

Vines covering the turban of a Sikh, one of the many immigrants to Vancouver, seem to bind him to his adopted country.

A black athlete peers through a net of vines.

Eerily, this soldier looks like he's been shot in the head.

Vancouver is also notable for its artistic architecture, like BC Place, the world's largest air-supported domed stadium with its crown of steel cables.

And of course the landmark Canada Place with its white cloth roofs.

No, it's not a structure created by Antonio Gaudi, but a fun house reflection of an apartment building studded with balconies

Skyscraper reflections in the curved windows of an office building.

Surrealist reflections.

Flowering shrubs and pigeons lined up on wires contrast with the Cubist buildings in the background.

And always, the cloud-capped mountains rise above the Tinkertoy works of man.

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