Vancouver’s Biennale is a nice reminder that the city has a great amount of public art ranging from good to bad to plain old ugly. With art, naturally tastes differ – and certain pieces will elicit a variety of emotions. Undeniably however, there’s something for everyone. Our favourites include The Gate to The Northwest Passage at Vanier Park, Rodney Graham’s Erasmus weathervane and the death defying Pendulum at the HSBC building.
As early as 1939 Vancouver has been dotting its landscape with public art. The practice seems to have escalated recently with the 2010 Olympics and construction of the Canada Line. As the years go by the work seems to get more monumental and more prominent.
This past winter the city hosted TED 2014. In conjunction with “The Talks” artist Janet Echelman’s enormous piece: Skies Painted with Unnumbered Sparks was suspended over 745 feet of Vancouver’s inner harbour. Truly a sight to behold from installation to night-time illumination. A temporary installation that was partially crowd funded, the Echelman sculpture’s removal left a gap to be filled on the cityscape.
To mark the start of the Vancouver Biennale, an impressive new piece has recently been completed. Brazilian brothers Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo (OSGEMEOS – literally “The Twins”) have envisioned 6 “giants” on the cement silos on Granville Island. Their projects span the globe and appear on unlikely canvases such as a large aircraft and entire sides of buildings. Love or hate the art work, a fantastic aspect of it is that whether flying overhead or standing on the ground these pieces are visible to the masses due to their enormous scale.
No matter which perspective is preferred when viewing the Granville Island Giants they are a welcome addition to the collection of public art we can enjoy in Vancouver.