HerzogBlackManPenderREV Fred Herzog, Black Man Pender, 1958.

Fred Herzog


Chosen by: Michael Bell

“The very first time I laid my eyes on a Fred Herzog photograph at the Vancouver Art Gallery, I was spellbound. Because he uses slide film for processing his work, the colour just pops from the compositions in his urban landscapes of Vancouver. Black Man Pender takes me to a different era in Vancouver’s history – one I was not a part of. From his photograph, I can almost feel the temperature and smells from Pender Street. One aspect of this photograph I really appreciate is the composition – not only the subject matter, but also how he treats the light and the absence of light with the use of shadow. The rich colours of the store fronts perfectly frame the three subjects, and it almost seems like they are stepping from one point in time into another – just as I am as I gaze at this photograph.
I have always had an interest in urban landscapes, and Fred Herzog has shown me that Vancouver too has come from a different time from where it is now. I also appreciate the various ethnic tones in this photograph which really speak to what Vancouver is today – a multi-cultural urban centre. We have a black Canadian family walking down the street surrounded by Chinese signs and window displays. How more Vancouver can you get?”

Fred Herzog, Black Man Pender, 1958. Photograph. Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Purchased with funds from the Jean MacMillan Southam Major Art Purchase Fund.

Michael Bell is a graphic designer in Vancouver, and is one of thousands of people who follow the Gallery on Facebook.

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