It’s no question that love or hate his work, Douglas Coupland has become synonymous with Vancouver culture. The writer, artist and cultural critic is behind not only Vancouver’s nickname (City of Glass) but also some of our most iconic public art pieces. And now, he’s revealed his largest project to date- a mural covering an entire building right on the edge of English Bay.
First off, there’s no doubt that Coupland is the person that popularized the term ‘Generation X’, using it in a 1987 article for Vancouver Magazine, then in a 1991 novel that sought to explain some of the generation’s traits and opinions. Meanwhile, a collection of essays and pictures about Vancouver had the title City of Glass, which is definitely one of our most popular nicknames. High level tip time- The Age of Earthquakes, published in 2015, is a great companion piece to The Medium is the Massage.
So that’s the cultural critic/literature side, but what about visual arts? Well, turns out that Coupland is a proud graduate of Emily Carr, and hasn’t shied away from flexing those muscles either. In Vancouver, he’s probably best known for the Digital Orca, which came to the city in 2009. But, he’s also the person behind the Terry Fox Memorial that was unveiled in 2011. If anything, Coupland has shown a mastery of public artworks, and serious knowledge of different art genres.
Which is why we’re pretty excited about his newest piece in the city. Coupland has partnered with Reliance Properties to create a huge mural covering all sides of The Berkeley, a decades-old building undergoing renovations on the corner of Denman and Davie. The abstract, geometric design features bright colours and a light aesthetic, and is undoubtedly going to be a must-see once it’s unveiled.
Where will it fall with the other massive murals in Vancouver, including Shepard Fairey’s 20-story behemoth? Well, only time will tell- we’ll keep you posted about a reveal date!