Considered a pioneer of color photography, Fred Herzog’s images of Vancouver in the 1950s are a vibrant and romantic view of a city that no longer includes many of the storefronts and architecture that the artist depicts. Fishseller (1958) is of a man sitting on a small stool in front of a vivid green storefront. In front of him is a newspaper laid out with 5 small plates of fish. The man presses his thumbs together and looks out into the distance. Many of Herzog’s color photographs were not printed until the early 2000s, like this print which was produced in 2007. The advantage to this was that the digital inkjet technology allowed the printed to be faithfully reproduced from the original Kodachrome slides. The gap in time from when the photographs were taken to when they were printed resulted in an emotional moment for Vancouver residents. Upon seeing Herzog’s work at his retrospective in 2007, he states that, “[p]eople came to the exhibition and broke into tears because they recognized a city they had forgotten existed.” The simple gesture of a man selling fish on the street, patiently waiting for someone to come by is not a sight we are accustomed to any more with vanishing small businesses, online shopping and subscription services that now provide all our basic needs.
Martin Z. Margulies Foundation
Laurence Miller Gallery; reproduced in Fred Herzog Vancover Photographs, p. 46