Author Tags: Art
Having worked at the Vancouver Art Gallery since 1992, Grant Arnold interviewed Fred Herzog and provided the main essay about his work for the coffee table book Fred Herzog Vancouver Photographs (D&M, 2007). He is one of many art curators who co-authored Scott McFarland (D&M, 2009), a collection of images from the Canadian photographer, and Ken Lum (D&M, 2009), a retrospective of the Vancouver-based artist. Since selected as the first Audain Curator of British Columbia Art, he previously organized more than thirty exhibitions.
Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Shore, Forest and Beyond: Art From the Audain Collection
Ken Lum; with Okwui Enwezor and Roland Schoeny. (Dougals & McIntyre, 2010). 978-1-55365-498-8 : $55.00
Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965–1980; with Karen Henry (Douglas & McIntyre 2011) 978-1-895442-88-5 $60.00
Shore, Forest and Beyond: Art from the Audain Collection; with Ian Thom (Douglas & McIntyre 2011) 978-1-55365-929-7 $55.00.
Fred Herzog Vancouver Photographs
“I’ve taken photographs in colour for fifty-five years, and I'm still doing it with considerable motivation.” -- Fred Herzog
With 80,000 images of Vancouver taken during the past half-century, Fred Herzog is the city’s premier street photographer, having focussed on store fronts, cafes, barber shops, pedestrians, cars, signs since his emigration from Germany in 1952. “It was my goal from the start to show city vitality,” he says. His mostly colour images suggest Vancouver was a more vibrant and unself-conscious city in Fifties and Sixties when it was bustling burg in which the working class could still afford to live.
Replete with vacant lots, abandoned cars and bygone signage, his images invite the adjective authentic, but his own website puts it best. “The images are not about important people, events or edifices, but about the vitality of the city, its ambience, and the daily activities of the people. Also their dress, automobiles and recreation, and the pride with which they participate and enjoy human contact.”
Herzog came to Vancouver in 1953 and worked on ships for three years before making his living primarily as a medical photographer. “My present style of street photography was formed in spring 1957 with a bang,” he says, “practically complete from day one.” He sold his first print in 1970. Since then he has prodigiously thrived in relative obscurity before finally hitting it big.
Now officially represented by the Equinox Gallery, Herzog catapulted into the public eye with a major January-to-May exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery and an accompanying coffee table book, Fred Herzog: Vancouver Photographs (D&M $45), with textual contributions from Grant Arnold and Michael Turner.
“I never went to school to learn photography--not a single day,” he says.