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“My interest in mountains dates back to my childhood, when my brother and I would scramble around our backyard of British Columbia’s coastal range on Vancouver’s North Shore. My reverence for these snow-capped peaks extends itself into a devotional pursuit whereby I not only paint these mountains but climb most of them as well. Recent ski mountaineering expeditions into the Grand Tetons for example give an intimate sense for the mountain range and its characteristics, forging a relationship between the images I create and my experience.

In removing the individual mountain from the surrounding range I decontextualize the subject, making it symbolic rather than representational. I treat the mountains like celebrities, fashioning larger than life, unattainable, beautiful and mysterious portrayals. I also record their rugged features in detail, as they individually assume their own unique personalities. My use of bright monochromatic colors and dot overlay draws aesthetic and conceptual comparisons to Pop Art, implicating these colossal stone figures in the pop culture lexicon. In this light the work becomes an exercise in re-framing how we perceive the mountains; examining the function of representation and how preserving something in imagery can make it iconic.

My studying and mapping of these various mountains is also a form of personal inquiry. The dots may represent coordinate plotting, metaphorically pointing to the impermanence of their man-made structures that attempt to prescribe location at the intersection of human and geological time. I also paint evidence of erosion, hoping to remind us of the temporal nature of the mountains which, seemingly anchored in time, force us to acknowledge our transient existence on this earth.”  David Pirrie

Jumbo Pass, Selkirks BC  2023
Oil on canvas  40″ x 40″

Mt Edith Cavell, Canadian Rockies  2023
Oil on canvas  40″ x 40″

Howse Peak, Winter  2023
Oil on canvas  40″ x 40″

Snowpatch Spire, Bugaboos BC  2023
Oil on canvas  54″ x 54″

Mt Columbia, Canadian Rockies  2023
Oil on canvas  54″ x 54″

Mt Sir Donald, Rogers Pass BC  2023
Oil on canvas  56″ x 56″

Mt Assiniboine, BC Rockies  2023
Oil on canvas  56″ x 72″

Overlord Glacier, Whistler  2022
Oil on canvas  24″ x 30″

The Lions, Northwest View  2023
Oil on canvas  24″ x 24″

2655 Granville Street Vancouver
British Columbia, Canada
t: 604.738.1077

Gallery Hours

Monday:        Closed
Tuesday:       11AM to 5PM
Wednesday: 11AM to 5PM
Thursday:     11AM to 5PM
Friday:           11AM to 5PM
Saturday:      11AM to 5PM
Sunday:         12PM to 5PM
Also available by appointment.

Ian Tan Art Gallery © 2024. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.