In one photo, a sunglasses-donning Andy Warhol stares straight into the camera, half of his face in shadow. In another, a giant tarantula sits on the cheek of pop icon Michael Jackson. A contact sheet of nudes of supermodel Iman highlight the beauty of the female form, while a haunting photo of Heath Ledger captures the late actor looking darkly pensive.
It’s a collection of iconic photos by legendary photographer Greg Gorman at the Pendulum Gallery on Georgia Street – and just one of 55 image-based exhibitions happening as part of a new city-wide festival, Capture Photography.
The six-week fest features works by some of Vancouver’s best-known photo-based artists, including legendary street photographer Fred Herzog, the Vancouver School’s Jeff Wall and Rodney Graham, documentarian Edward Burtynsky, London-based Canadian artist Mark Lewis and local luminaries Karin Bubaš and Jessica Eaton, as well as renowned international artists from Kimsooja to Mungo Thomson.
But it’s not all straight shooting: Capture Photography is also shining a light on multidisciplinary works that incorporate sound, painting, film and even fabric design.
“It’s not just straight photography. It encompasses all of the new interdisciplinary work – but it has to emanate from a lens,” says festival director Julie Lee. “Because that’s what art is – it’s about pushing boundaries.”
The fest is also pushing into the streets with striking images by Mr. Burtynsky filling giant Pattison billboards, and eight Canada Line stations wrapped with works by artists from Foncie Pulice to Langara photography students.
Festival events include high-profile artist talks, book signings, panel discussions, free Langara workshops and exhibition openings.
“There is a perfect alchemy of photographic talent here. It really is a hotbed,” Ms. Lee says. “There is the rich history of the photoconceptualists, there is a tremendous amount of interdisciplinary photography, and there is also an emerging commercial photography scene. So there is a lot to celebrate.”