Art Talk: Fred Herzog

One of the most interesting photo exhibitions I’ve seen in a long, long while is the inaugural show at Vancouver’s Equinox Gallery Project Space. On display until March 31, Fred Herzog: A Retrospective showcases the work of a Vancouver-based street photographer who has become well-known only in the past five years or so.

Fred Herzog immigrated to Canada from Germany in 1952. He worked mainly with slide film (Kodachrome), which, until recently, was expensive and difficult to create prints from. He also shot in colour at a time when fine art photographers were shooting in black and white. As a result, his work wasn’t taken seriously for many years.

The first retrospective of Fred Herzog’s work was in 2007 at the Vancouver Art Gallery, which is when I first discovered his images. His body of work ― some 100,000 photos ― is an incredible photographic record of Vancouver’s social history from 1950s to the 1970s. Those of my readers who live in Vancouver: do not miss this exhibition.

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