David Ostrem, Why Won’t You Be Art? No. 2, 2014, digital collage on paper, AP/1, 33.0 x 42.5 cm, Courtesy of the artist, Photo: Blaine Campbell
April 20-June 3, 2018
Roger Corman’s dark comedy A Bucket of Blood (1959) follows a beatnik who struggles in vain to become an artist. In one scene, he claws at a clay sculpture, yelling “Be a nose! Be a nose!” This exhibition features 50 recent photo-collage based works by Vancouver artist David Ostrem, who has been making art using photography, painting and printmaking techniques for more than 40 years. For the exhibition “Why Won’t You Be Art?” Ostrem incorporates art history, literature and pop culture into incisive statements and questions about artistic struggle, human perception, emotion and meaning.
David Ostrem was born in Portland, Oregon in 1945, and immigrated to Canada in 1969. In 1974 he enrolled at the Vancouver School of Art, specializing in photography. His work often juxtaposes photo-based graphics from newspapers, magazines, 1940s comic books, art-history texts, drafting tools, jazz records, old photos, and painting guides for amateurs. Ostrem lives and works in Vancouver.