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Mike Svob

Graham Sayell Gallery, Vancouver
thru - June 17

Mike Svob, Koto(2000),
oil on canvas

Mike Svob is a senior member and past president of the Federation of Canadian Artists. His representational images can be recognized by the solidity and assurance of deep colours and patterns of light on form. Like the early American painter Edward Hopper, Svob's style is slightly graphic with strong hard shadows and stage-lit settings. His paintings have antecedents of illustrational realism, particularly American Scene painting, when themes of indigenous architecture, communication technologies and transportation were rendered loosely and massed in volume. Svob's content is cultural and mixed. In this exhibit, he portrays themes as diverse as Japanese dancers with brilliantly-lit kimonos; the back alleys of Vancouver's Chinatown and Mediterranean street scenes. The diversity reflects his travels throughout the world and his experience painting public murals in both local and foreign regions. In this way, Svob's technique is similarly reminiscent of the murals created in the States during the late 1930s and early 1940s by artists in the WPA Federal Art Project.

© Mia Johnson