In the lead up to ROVE the Mount Pleasant art walk coming up on September 30th we are going to introduce to you to some of the artists, galleries and curated spaces that will be taking part!
Today we are sharing a conversation we had with multi-disciplinary artist Keith Ikeda-Barry whose exhibition at Kafka's will be a must visit stop on the ROVE art walk.
ROVE: We are so excited to have you as part of ROVE! Give us a quick description of your work and what is it generally about.
Keith: My large-format woodblock prints have been about using specific materials and tones to suggest massive scale and weight. The images are psychologically exaggerated landscapes with renderings of immense structures impossibly lofted above the ground plane. The paradox of the simultaneous impressions of lightness and heaviness suspend the immediate familiarity of the figure/ground relationship and unravels the usual comforts of spatial awareness.
My recent abstract paintings have been about the additive/subtractive process and how line and form can be created and released through layers of applied paint. I’ve been drawing alternately on real-world references and new kinds of marks made by exploring alternate techniques and materials.
ROVE: What are you excited to show off at ROVE?
Keith: Having my show co-incide with ROVE has really given me that extra drive to push my work in new and challenging directions. I will be showing a new series of prints made on non-traditional materials using ancient techniques. There will be further expressions of surreal landscape as well as explorations of shape and form.
ROVE: In your opinion how does Kafka’s help make Vancouver awesome?
Keith: Kafka’s has been our favourite piece of Mount Pleasant since its very earliest days. While the amazing staff held our hands on the first steps down the rabbit-hole of coffee appreciation, Kafka’s also provides a new take on the essential Third Place that is the heart of a great coffee shop. Kafka’s is so serious about defining a vital arts space that it often feels like a gallery that just happens to have a serious coffee house inside it rather than the other way around. Michael Schwartz’s curatorial skills and the incredibly savvy foresight of Aaron Kafka incorporate art and a hang-out spot in a way that has often been dreamed of but rarely, if ever, so successfully realized.
ROVE: Where is your favourite place to eat, shop and drink along Main Street?
Keith: Eating: Kafka’s for coffee, of course, Don’t Argue Pizza, Vera’s Burgers, The Fish Counter, Campagnolo and Baguette & Co (for croissants).
Shopping: mostly groceries for our experimental dinners, so we love Windsor Quality Meats, Yek O Yek, Brewery Creek Liquor Store for wine and beer, and even Kea for dry goods and greenery
Drinking: We are so lucky to have three breweries within a few blocks, but we will always go the extra distance to get to Brassneck, our favourite!
ROVE: The most important question of them all… will you be there to boogie with us at the Projection Room?
Thanks so much Keith! You can view Keith's website to see more of his work.