In Kevin Lanthier's latest collection of images, viewers are transported to areas of Vancouver that are inherently recognizable--but don't go looking for them, because you won't find these scenes anywhere in the city.
Using masterful Photoshop skills, Lanthier creates nostalgic little worlds that resemble different areas throughout the city and the Lower Mainland.
In addition to documenting the Vancouver Specials of the past and their modern counterparts, Lanthier explores the Victorian and Edwardian character houses in Strathcona, as well as the picturesque storybook homes in the west side.
The series, called The Special, is made up of 10 images, each telling the story of a Vancouver that once was.
Here's the artist's statement:
"Like any city, Vancouver has its myths and clichés. Being a lifelong resident of the Lower Mainland, these are as common to me as the north shore mountains, or #1 Highway. As a digital photo artist, the ability to extract and recompose elements allows me to explore these ideas. So while every subject in these images can be found within the Greater Vancouver area (unless they’ve already become victims of the city’s ever-reconstructing nature), none will be found in the context in which you see them here.
"As such, The Special is not at all about the strict documentation of the city, but rather presents a crafted idea of it as it exists in our thoughts and memories. The flattened perspective of the buildings suggests reducing those structures to symbols, as a child would draw a house by placing a triangle atop a square, yet they maintain photorealism. The assembly of the pieces is done with the intention of creating a series of hyperreal, yet nostalgic little worlds, each of them distinctly and recognizably Vancouver."
Watch the video above to get an inside look at the thought process that went into Lanthier's body of work, and check out the exhibition at Hot Art Wet City (2206 Main Street). The opening reception takes place tonight (January 8) at 7 p.m., but the exhibition will be on display until January 30.