|THE OPENING is all about introducing the fascinating, quirky and wonderful people working in and around the visual arts in Vancouver. Each week, we’ll feature an artist, collective, curator or administrator to delve deep into who and what makes art happen!|
Chris von Szombathy is a visual & auditory artist, designer and writer residing in Vancouver, Canada. His recent Esophaus Now show at Unit/Pitt garnered a great deal of attention and helped pave the path towards his latest project, a show at Catalog Gallery with Drew Shaffer. Titled Love is in the Error, and featuring a monumental interactive sculptural piece, the show opens tonight and runs until February 26th. I sat down with Chris last week while he was in the midst of finishing pieces, and began the discussion by asking him about his recent summer show at Unit/Pitt.
‘Big Desires’ – polymer clay, cardstock, acrylic paints & mediums (2010)
I was really happy with it. That show was a bit of a return for me. A few years ago I stopped doing visual work completely to work on music, and I didn’t really get back into it until 2006. After doing my first solo show at my friend’s gallery, WRKS DVSN, I was able to make contact with [what was then] Helen Pitt Gallery. The show at the Unit/Pitt, I didn’t really promote it, but the opening night was jam-packed. I was really excited. A lot of people in the community had assumed I had left the country since they hadn’t seen me in five or six years. The reaction I got from those people was really overwhelmingly positive. Because of that show, I’ve been able to work towards the new show for Catalog.
I’ve known Drew for about a decade. He’s got a frame of reference that was very different from mine, but at the same time we were hitting on all these similar things. Because we had so many of the same reference points, we already knew a lot of the things each of us would talk about. I have a lot of respect for him and love for him as a friend. We’d been talking about doing a show together for ten years, but quite honestly, if we had decided to do a show back then I wouldn’t have been ready for it. I still don’t feel I’m ready for it. But I’m so happy that we’re doing it, and I have the most respect for his work. I’ve learned so much from the guy that he’s almost my mentor in some ways. He would totally puke if he heard that. He’s one of the ones who taught me how to see things. Both of us have been doing our own thing for the last ten years, but we’ve been in contact. I think what we’re doing is, at least for this city, a little different.
‘A Beginner’s Guide to Craftsmanship’ – polymer clay, glass, wood, paper, hair, acrylic (2011)
The larger piece we’ve done for Catalog has ended up being a perfect metaphor for our working relationship. To build “You Complete Me” (a 2′ x 3′ skinned head) we got a DTES Small Arts Grant from the Vancouver Foundation. We wouldn’t have …READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY>>>