Affinites - Tiko Kerr
Cocktail Hour, acrylic and oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches, July 2018
by Chris Keatly
Director Curator Pendulum Gallery
Recognized for his vibrant paintings of Vancouver's iconic architecture and natural locales, Tiko Kerr made a radical shift in his practice in 2014 when he began to utilize collage in the production of mixed media works. These in turn have fundamentally refocused his approach to painting, producing complex and vibrant images, referencing both contemporary digital media and key modern artists and art movements Central to all his new painting is the notion of images and concepts coming together in a collage-like fashion and the way in which forms find affinities with and impact each other, creating new arrangements which can reinforce or diverge from their significance to the original source material.
There is a fundamental relationship between the collages and the paintings, and the paintings rely on the generating power of collage. The extracting of form and texture, the aligning of disparate elements and the shifting and turning of the fragmented images all disrupt their representative power and allow Kerr to use these fragments to construct the pictorial elements of the overall painting. Working in an intuitive and spontaneous way, he gathers images that share specific attributes of form or colour, shifting and juxtaposing the source material to establish conceptual and visual relationships. These collage sketches then become the basis for the paintings, being adapted as required to translate the image from collage to painted form.
In choosing his source material, he is drawn to using artists’ works that in their original form make a specific impression or are artistically significant. He then adapts and reframes these into a contemporary social and historical context. This is demonstrated by works in the exhibition; The Meaning of Night utilizes the early cubist experiments of Picasso and Braque; Night Moves reflects the lyrical approach of Howard Hodgkin and Matisse; The Gift of the Given is Kerr’s homage to Canadian Art, using fragments of Colville, Shadbolt, Binning, Harris, Jackson, Carr, and classic CPR posters to construct the work. This work exists in it’s ultimate form as a large-scale wall mural in Khatsahlano, undertaken in collaboration with Jay Senetchko and completed in July 2018.