A good friend of mine, Tony Millares III, owns an exceptional architectural woodworking firm called Urthwurks Furniture Inc. Starting in Brooklyn, NY, he moved his shop to Vancouver in 2001 and has designed and built for Jasper Johns, Francesco Clemente, Bette Midler, ALIFE NYC and the list goes on and on. Last year, he worked on the restoration of the Wing Sang building, which is now the home of the Rennie Collection . In the end of 2009, he was busy completing Canadian artist, Rodney Graham’s new line of work called POSSIBLE ABSTRACTIONS, which is a series of sculptures in the shape of a painting made out of wood and corian. Tony was hired as the artist’s technical advisor and built the entire collection which is now showing at the Museu Pablo Picasso in Barcelona. He has written a few words on his blog about the process.
In mid-January, the pieces were shipped to Barcelona along with privately owned Rodney Graham pieces that were lent to the museum for Through the Forest, Rodney’s first solo exhibit. Unexpectedly, Tony was given a well deserved first class ticket to Barcelona to attend the opening and unveiling of POSSIBLE ABSTRACTIONS and as I write this article, he is on his way home.
Over the past year and a half, I have had the opportunity to shoot a lot of his work, and looking through te lens, I have learned that he is an extreme perfectionist when it comes to his own work. I have never seen so much passion and love put into every detail. With each job, he hones his skills as a designer and craftsman and he blows my mind every time I shoot his work. The photos I took are only a fracture of what went on behind the scenes in the last few weeks before the opening in Barcelona.
“Ok, what’s next?”
Welcome home Tony, and congratulations to you and your team at Urthwurks!
With my lovelies in southern Brasil for almost 5 weeks now, I’ve found so much comfort in being able to see them occasionally on my screen. Thank you Skype!
After 4 weeks of being at a beach with low tech, minimal technology, lots of caipirinhas and shurascarias they’re back to spend their last week in Porto Alegre at their granparents house where there’s a pc! -whew!
Last week Gabriela told me that our daughter woke up saying “I want my papa.”
I asked if she said that in english and she said, “no, there is no more english honey, she’s all Portuguese now”.
Thats how she’ll be speaking when we go snow shoeing on the 6th guys!
The phrase Kla-how-ya, which is the Chinook word for “welcome”, was the phrase of the day as visitors were greeted at the Pan Pacific yesterday during a media event which marked the erection of an aboriginal village in the lobby of the hotel. Representing First Nations from around B.C., the village will showcase their culture and remain in the Pan Pacific’s spectacular lobby throughout the Olympic Games.
We were lucky enough to shoot the ceremony side-by-side with the talented Deo Cruz, who was able to help us capture all of the key moments as an event of this scale usually requires more than one shooter. We call him our secret weapon.
16 First Nations members got a hand from the hotel’s kitchen staff to carry the massive 40-foot ceremonial canoe Raven’s Song, which will be the focal point of the village, through the front doors and up two flights of stairs to a stage. The canoe was built by Bill Helin in 1993 for a journey to the Commonwealth Games in Victoria and is said to have been on eight different journeys since then.
Helin, along with six apprentice carvers, took more than four months to carve Raven’s Song, representative of a Tsimshian war canoe, out of a 540-year-old red cedar log. The raven is also the most profound character in First Nations mythology.
The Kla-how-ya village officially opens to the public on Feb.12. For 16 days following, it will showcase traditional dancing, cedar-bark weaving, aboriginal fashions, jewelry making, carving and storytelling.
Who’s got the fever? We’ve got the fever…Olympic fever that is. The city is transforming before our eyes, with a new pavilion, party house or building wrap by the day, so it seems. Vancouver is alive with Olympic buzz, so we’ve been buzzing about town shooting and capturing as much of the excitement as possible.
Stop by the GE Ice Plaza at Robson Square for free ice skating in the heart of the city. This is something suitable for the entire family and skate rentals are available onsite. The kiddies will love it!
One block away, standing in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery you’ll find the Vancouver 2010 Countdown Clock with a huge Olympic building wrap just across the way. The Hotel Georgia’s Canadian flag wrap is a slight testament to our patriotism (I use the word ‘slight’ in jest ofcourse – the sucker is massive!). The Bay building across from the art gallery is decked out with banners of folks sporting the official Olympic memorabilia. Has everyone snagged some red mittens?
Take a stroll through Yaletown and check out Flagwalk, a series of flags placed along the sidewalk representing all of the competing countries that will be gracing our city streets in just a few weeks. Meander a bit further along the seawall for views of the Olympic Village on the south end of False Creek. We snagged a few shots here.
As the excitement continues to build, we have to concur with the below vid:
You Gotta Be Here
Unless I’m booked shooting, a regular work day tends be more of a day of distractions. I tend to be more productive during the odd hours. I’m an early riser and with my gals still on vacation in Brasil I find myself getting a lot of things done before the rat race begins. Yesterday my son Deo wanted to borrow my tripod and 14 mm rectilinear lens for a test shoot he was doing for a hotel on Robson Street. I decided to drop off the equipment and drive Deo to his location. Deo explained the hotel is under major renovations for the Olympics and the hotel owner wanted new photographs as he wasn’t happy with the previous shooter’s work. I thought this was a great opportunity to work on a project with Deo. We wrapped fairly quickly and decided to pick up his girl friend Marija to eat some serious, all you can eat sushi at Tanpopo. -stuffed!
The weather was amazing, 14 Celsius (48 °F) Carpe Diam!
We busted out our cameras and skipped out the rest of the day.
Life is Good!
It’s Evan Haveman, the polar bear’s birthday tonight at Fortune Sound Club. –oh boy.
As the buzz begins to grow, famed Canadian artist Rodney Graham prepares to present his work at the prestigious Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona later this month.
Starting out in Vancouver in the 1970s, among one of his earliest works was Camera Obscura (1979; destroyed 1981) a site-specific work that consisted of a shed-sized optical device on his family’s farm field near Abbotsford. Entering the shed, the observer was confronted with an inverted image of a solitary tree. Both prior to this and throughout the 1980s and 90s, Graham employed the technique of the camera obscura in his work.
During the crazy snowstorm of ’08, we had the pleasure of shooting the artist in his home here in Vancouver. We were asked by Tony Millares III of Urthwurks to come by Graham’s home to photograph a book shelf he had designed for the artist and ended up capturing a few candid snaps.
An outstanding element of Graham’s upcoming exhibition – Through the Forest – is a major compilation of books and sculptures, installations and machines based on books of Graham’s that come from a peculiar library that shows his interpolations, appendices, bookmarks, reading and exhibition devices in the style of Judd, among other pieces. The exhibition also includes the series of 21 pictures Picasso, My Master (2005), his first incursion into painting, which reconstructs the aura of mastery that surrounds Picasso’s work with a touch of humour.
Through the Forest runs from January 30th through May 18th. If you happen to be in Barcelona over the coming months, be sure to swing by.
Filed under Celebrity, HM
As we continue the countdown to the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, which seems to be coming at us fast and furious with only 30 days to go, the city is preparing with a few final touches. One of which was the resurrection of the famous Birks Clock.
Situated on the corner of Hastings and Granville in front of the Birks store, the clock hasn’t worked for years, confusing many as they hoof it to work in the morning or back to work after a boozy lunch. They actually removed the time piece temporarily for 2 years to make way for Canada Line construction on Granville Street. The clock was first erected in 1909 and was moved to the corner of Georgia and Granville in 1913, where it remained until 1994 when it was moved back to its original home. Back in the day people used the clock as a meeting place before hitting the town – “meet me under the Birks clock”. I wonder if people still say that? Seems like it’s more common to say “meet me at the Starbucks on…”. How boring.
We had the opportunity to shoot the re-installment of the clock, following some much needed repairs by horologist Ray Saunders who gave the clock a complete overhaul and restoration. It was an exciting moment to see a piece of history put back in its place, where it will sit for many years to come. Now visitors to Vancouver during the Games and beyond will always have a point of reference while exploring our beautiful city.
Some of us were hung over. Others were busy having brunch. Or maybe, some people kept the party going well into the next day (you know who you are). However nearly 2,000 clinically insane people braved the frigid waters of English Bay for the annual Polar Bear Swim.
The New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim originated in Vancouver with the inaugural plunge taking place in 1920, coordinated by Founder and President Peter Pantages. In those days, you had to register to become a member of the Polar Bear Swim Club, which started out with only 10 members. The Sylvia Hotel housed the club’s headquarters until popularity around the event grew, forcing the club to move to the Vancouver Swimming Club just west of the English Bay pier.
Today the event attracts thousands of participants and spectators, spilling onto the beach in complete pandemonium, some decked out in costume, others simply rocking a speedo or a bikini. Youch.
Over the years the Polar Bear Swim has been covered by major media giants like CNN and National Geographic Traveler as well as countless other media outlets around the world. This year, the team at Jonathan Cruz Photography made their way to English Bay armed with a crew of nutball participants that took the plunge while we captured the chaos. Check out our YouTube vid below:
Disclaimer: Bridezillas, please disregard this post.
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More info to come. Click here if you’d like to receive further details.