Murray Klassen notices things most people miss: a vibrant red leaf, a wild-looking patch of rust, a piece of grass in a grape vine’s chokehold, the kaleidoscope of colours and shapes on a windshield at a car wash.
Through the pictures he takes Klassen shines a light on the beauty he finds all around him, and for the rest of the summer his work will be on public display Delta North MLA Ravi Kahlon’s office (located at 8350 112th St.) in his first solo show.
The North Delta artist, who helps organize the annual Delta Studio Stomp (happening Sept. 22-23) and is a member of the Surrey Photography Club, began his artistic journey decades ago as a high school student in Saskatoon.
“I was a very dyslexic student and I had a chance to go into the graphic arts program and they had photography. It was something I could really excel at, and it got me into my job as a printer,” Klassen told the Reporter at a meet-the-artist open house on July 11. “I was a camera operator for a printing company, so that kind of thing drew me right through to where I am now, back taking pictures again.”
“I’m working more towards abstract, like this rust shot,” Klassen said, pointing to a print of dynamic reds, oranges and yellows that look as though they’re bleeding across the image. “And then I do a bit of close-up with nature, trying to pick things in nature that you don’t normally see, [that] you have to take time and look.”
|Guests look over North Delta artist Murray Klassen’s photos at a meet-the-artist event on June 11. His artwork will be on display throughout the summer at Delta North MLA Ravi Kahlon’s office, located at 8350 112th St. (James Smith photo)<|
For Kahlon, showcasing artists like Klassen is part of his office’s mandate to build and support community connections.
“The whole concept just started with us having blank wall space,” Kahlon said. “So we reached out to one of the local artists and said, ‘Hey, do you want to put some work up? You can showcase it and we can put on a little show,’ and he said yes. People started coming in and more people wanted to put their art up, and now we have every six weeks a new artist, a local artist, come in and display their work and this little collective of artists has formed around the office, which is amazing. We’re really excited.”
Kahlon said Klassen’s sharp eye for detail is what makes his art great.
“Something that you would walk by and not even notice, Murray picks out,” Kahlon said. “He’s got some amazing photography of these plants and you would walk by that plant and not notice the intricate details and the colours in that plant, but Murray sees it from a distance. He’s got a real talent.”
Among Klassen’s favourite pieces on display at Kahlon’s office is a series he calls Twisted Love that depicts grape tendrils wrapped around grass stems and flowering heads.
“I was just sort of bored at my brother-in-law’s place and I went outside with my camera early one morning and just kind of wandered around his yard. All of a sudden I saw this and … I really love the way they turned out.”
“When I started shooting it I thought, ‘Oh, I’ve got five minutes here of time I can just experiment,’ and I’ve been doing it every time I take the car in for a car wash,” he said. “I have probably close to a hundred pictures of car wash.”
“It’s kind of a standing joke at the photography club now,” one of the Klassen’s club-mates interjected. “It’s usually abstract, you don’t recognize it, and you ask ‘Oh, what car wash did you shoot that in?’”
“They pick on me, but that’s okay,” Klassen laughed.
To view more of Klassen’s work, head to flickr.com/photos/keylightpics.