Canadian artist and photographer Jeff Wall—a born-and-raised Vancouverite—was on hand at this morning's unveiling of the conceptual design for the new Vancouver Art Gallery.
The Straight caught up with Wall for an exclusive interview after the press conference, and he shed light on some important facets of the building. He praised the architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron for creating an original design that stays true to both the firm’s stylistic roots and the city’s artistic culture, saying "they never come up with the same thing twice".
He also commented on the building’s proximity to B.C. Place, calling the stadium “one of the biggest, most overbearing, prepossessing structures in Vancouver”.
“The gallery’s going to be a neighbour of that building, and somehow hold it’s own,” he said.
"The fact that they've been able to combine a lot of social functions like a restaurant, an auditorium, and a plaza with galleries that will isolate the art from the world a little bit—I think it’s always important, because if you allow social functions to penetrate too far into the architecture so that they distract people from seeing a sculpture or a painting, then you have a problem," said Wall of the design.
“They’ve succeeded in that, and I’m happy.”
Check out the video above for more on Wall's thoughts about the reimagined Vancouver Art Gallery.