This New Exhibition Reveals the Artist Behind the Canvas

MNSTR Gallery's first exhibition aims to give insight into an artist's creative psyche.

June 9, 2017

By Maansi Pandya

“When we see artwork, oftentimes we don’t know what the artist looks like,” says Olivia Sari-Goerlach, founder and creative director of MNSTR Gallery (pronounced “monster”)—but that’s not the case at #GraphicallySpeaking_. The goal of the exhibition, says Sari-Goerlach, is to showcase the artists and their artistic style in one image: “I love graphic design and illustration and I wanted to open people’s minds to different styles,” she says. “By using [the artists’] own portraits as a canvas, we get an insight into the personalities behind the work.”

A photographer with a background in graphic design, Sari-Goerlach recently moved to Vancouver from Singapore and founded MNSTR with husband and fellow artist, Ben Goerlach (the gallery opened just two weeks ago). “We created this little monster together and without Ben I wouldn’t have been able to live in such a beautiful city,” she says. Sari-Goerlach especially loves how multifunctional the gallery is—it’s both a creative studio and the duo’s own loft (“Everything is on wheels”) and there’s no telling what the space will become next. “The space feels very personal to me. The way I conceptualize my art depends heavily on having everything be within my reach, so it’s great that whatever I need is all under one roof.”

For #GraphicallySpeaking_, the key theme for Sari-Goerlach was consistency. All the artists were asked to illustrate around their portraits using a black Sharpie to achieve a manual application. “I see it as a documentary project,” says Sari-Goerlach. “It’s all about sharing the work of these artists I connected with.” The series began in Singapore and features Singapore-based artists and illustrators, but Sari-Goerlach says she’s making a call for Vancouver artists to participate in upcoming exhibits. “I love connecting with other artists,” she says. “In the future I’d love to do more group exhibitions and invite other artists to collaborate with us.”

#GraphicallySpeaking_

Opening Event: June 10, 2017, 2 to 5 p.m.
ExhibitionJune 11 to July 8, by appointment only
Where: 1818 Lorne Street, Vancouver
Price: Free

Artists drew around their own portraits to showcase their unique art style. (Photo: Olivia Sari-Goerlach.)
Ben Goerlach works on his pieces in the Mount Pleasant studio. (Photo: Olivia Sari-Goerlach.)

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