• Sketchy | JUSTIN OGILVIE

     … l’étranger.

    Curator & Writer | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | Justin’s Studio · Gear | Leica

    5years ago, on a dreadfully wet Vancouver evening, inside a dilapidated WINNERS store with atrocious air quality and offensive lighting, I ran into Maria—a high school friend from Ankara I hadn’t seen in over 12 years. Although we’d never been that close, what stayed with me, in spite of the time spent asunder, was her exuberance—a relentless life force that always culminated into a singular brand of Russian revelry. Who knew a late night stroll for epsom salts [and winter socks] would open up a world of existential wonder?

    Although Justin—Maria’s husband—came by association, he was very much integral to this new world order. And for the better part of five years, we’ve become quite close; revelling in the face of the absurd, much like Meursault in Camus’ Stranger. But unlike the titular hero’s fate, entering Justin’s Dionysian domain, and experiencing his inner workings, was not only a rarity—it was emancipatory, fucking Narnia. And what seemed like a veneer of hubris had proven all but illusory, giving way to humbled grandiloquence—a seasoned raconteur, and master flâneur, drifting away in his own Peter Pan universe.

    Interviewing artists is nothing but unchartered territory for me, and I’d never been this nervous going into one. Whilst reviewing some talking points the night before our session, my phone rang and it was Justin. There I was, thinking “fuck, he’s going to either postpone or cancel”. But his words were quick to assuage my various anxieties —“Hey Hakan. Let’s just drink and hang out. I might paint… Do you like gin!?” Yes, Justin. I love gin. But I like your paintings better. So this time, I tried my hand at drifting, submitting to his domain, and process. We drank lots, talked about life and art, and listened to Radiohead. I’ll never forget that night. So here’s to you, Mr. Ogilvie.

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  • [C]hronicled. | MARK SINGSON

     … from darkness to light, and the virtues of acceptance. 

    Curator & Writer | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | Gastown, Vancouver · Gear | Leica

    Filipinos pioneered pathological altruism. I’m saying it, because I know they won’t—vanity never seemed to be their brand of fashion. I have a lot of Filipino friends, and their perennial positivity has kept assuaging my existential allegiances, so much so, that I’m like, happier again. Must they all be champion Good Samaritans? And must their joie de vivre be so contagious? Regardless, they’re giving us cynics a pretty shit name.

    Mark’s provenance; his remarkable journey that traverses Las Piñas, Philippines and Vancouver, Canada is a masterclass in familial resilience, an eloquent dissertation on patience and dedication, and silent revelry in nostalgic longing. It’s poignancy, distilled. Thankfully, having enough aunts around him to rebuild modern civilization, in the absence of his mother and father, his childhood never culminated into a vestige pilfered of its innocence. And the proof’s in the pudding, just look at the photos. [Spoiler: Fanny Pack fashions]

    It’s an exciting time for Mark, and things are happening to him at a rate he can neither process, nor fathom. And, as is the case with most Dionysian minds, he too sublimates. It’s all healthy of course—he’s got good bones, following in the footsteps of a brave, industrious and self-made mother. His prized trait is his virtue of acceptance, which is why, at ostensibly the most important time in his life—and career—he holds the power to weave his own dreams. And he’s earned it, time and time over. So here’s to you, Mr. Dreamweaver. Welcome to The Curatorialist family.

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  • Sketchy | GARVIN CHINNIA

     … some kind of special.

    Curator & Writer | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | Emily Carr University · Gear | Leica

    He muses, holding in his palm a pillbox of larvae, frozen in time, suspended in amber. On his work desk, an ornamental mason jar; inside it, the tiniest mouse, decomposing and unrecognizable—gone to glory. Behind old Mickey sits a monolithic aquarium—a theatre of life, a harbinger of terminus. I’m out of place—awestruck—searching for familiarity. But for Garvin, none of this is farrago—it’s distilled melancholia, metamorphosis in miasma.

    Artists are tempestuous, and Garvin’s chaos incarnate. But there’s a brand of fragility that accompanies the carnage—exemplified by the surrounding geography of his hometown Sherwood Park—an idyllic, Albertan hamlet nestled in between farm fields and oil country. The duality is real—his very parlance—and it’s moulded him into an artist with an astonishing ability for sway-and-flux, inherent in every brush stroke as he belabours the canvas—rigid yet fluid, forceful yet submissive, confident yet forever in doubt.

    So here’s to SKETCHY—a revelatory new segment where we inveigh upon the realities of singular artists and their most peculiar feeding habits—be it spiritual, or nutritional. Artists need to eat, after all.

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