COLLECTOR'S ITEM: "So Smart/You're an Idiot" by Ken Lum

Vancouver Art Gallery holds Ken Lum's work So Smart/You're an Idiot in their permanent collection. This installation was made by Lum in 2006 and consists of two image and text diptychs. Lum's work is a reflection of Canada's multiculturalism and how it affects everyday life, including methods of parenting. It uses colour, contrast, and text to make us question our experiences in society that normally go unnoticed. "In his art he considers the individual's place in society while investigating race and class distinctions. He often pairs an image with text in ways that he hopes will invite the viewer to ask questions about social issues and the visual world." - Description writt

Erin O'Keefe

Erin O'Keefe, a New York based artist, creates beautiful, mysterious and ambiguous photographs. We love that while they are photographs, they can be interpreted as paintings, sculptures and collages as well. However, we suspect the fact that these works are photographs instead of paintings gives them a lovely glow. They almost radiate with light! In each work, a sense of mystery is present, as it unclear to the viewer what the compositions are created with. Blocks of colour, either crisp or soft, appear to be flat planes imitating the rules of perspective when in reality each work is created in real life and then photographed. The amazing colour complexity that O'Keefe is able to create wit

Mark Clintberg

Mark Clintberg is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Alberta. His text works are often installation based, and we love how engaging they are for their viewers! Clintberg's text based pieces are often responses to other people's concepts and works. For example, he describes "Passion Over Reason" as a response to Joyce Wieland's "Reason Over Passion." This work is an extremely clever engagement with Wieland's piece because not only was the titular text reversed, the fabric of the quilt's surface is inverted as well. We also think this piece could have an element of irony, as quilting is not often associated with the passion the text references. However, Clintberg also has a numb

Andrea Castro

Andrea Castro, an artist living and working in Spain, creates bright, colourful paintings that blur the line between abstraction and portraiture. We love how loose and intuitively Castro applies paint and how each gesture adds to the stories they tell. In her work, Castro uses both literal collage and fragmented paintings that are very collage-like. In "Shame," the contrast between the fully rendered lips against the quickly painted blue shirt and the flat background colours reference a collaging of source imagery while still speaking strongly about the materiality of paint. Thin brushstrokes, full bodied colour, quick gestures, and delicate details make these paintings so intriguing and cap