Zvonko Markovic - Tiko Kerr & The Dominion BuildingThursday, September 15, 2016
Anybody who might be tempted to pick up a copy of the Georgia Straight today might be slightly perplexed (only if you notice details) that there is a nicely deformed painting reproduction of the Dominion Building in every one of the five pictures (and the sixth on the cover) in what is the Straight’s Fall Arts Preview issue.
Some years ago I sort of started the idea of picking a theme for this yearly one job I get from the Straight. They know that eventually when they make a call (usually in August) my widow will answer the phone. Last year's theme was the Tatra car. This year’s was the use of the 1909 built Dominion Building at VictorySquare.
What made the photographs possible was the happy help from building manager Zvonko Markovic.
It was Zvonko who gave me keys to access the roof for the cover photograph of the dancers and the picure of the two visual artists in the elevator engine room that is also on the roof. Zvonko provided me with a key to lock the elevator, also for the dancer shot.
I photographed the musicians in the Gold Saucer Studio which happens to be a dance studio during the day (the very studio where cover dancer Natalie Gan practices) and by night it is an avant-garde music concert venue where I have witnessed several concerts with cellist Marina Hasselberg who was the Straight’s featured musician (with erhu player Nicole Li) two years ago in that Fall Arts Preview. She played concerts with music written for her by many of our city’s best composers including John Oliver.
The building for me represents the memories of many freelance writers I worked with in the past including Ted Laturnus and Mark Budgen. They both had offices there. So did “Robin Hood” lawyer Cameron Ward.
I like to think that the building is going strong. In fact it is judging by all the young people (artsy looking) I saw while waiting at the lobby for my subjects to show up. One is dancer/choreographer Alvin Erasga Tolentino who has his office there. It is also interesting to note that Opus has a nice store on the corner of the building at West Hastings and Cambie.
But what was most fun was plotting the use of a reproduction of the building (especially done for me by the artist) originally painted by Vancouver artist Tiko Kerr. We have been friends for year. The original is owned by building owner Jacqui Cohen. Zvonko has his office wall full of photographic reproductions of the Dominion. Tiko Kerr’s copy will now be part of it. And today Tiko Kerr, Zvonko Markovic and I plan to have some of Zvonko’s wine before noon in celebration!
But the little hint of Kerr's painting in today's Georgia Straight cover is not Kerr's first. Some years ago the Straight was running an article about the Lions Gate Bridge. I convinced then editor Charles Campbell to run the Kerr version of it. In those days the Straight did not have colour reproduction. I went to the Diane Farris Gallery (on 6th Ave) and photographed it. The person holding it up is our friend (Kerr's and mine) Anne Macauley.