Mike Levin | Gentrification Series

Artist Statement:

I have selected to show 28 of my 108 ink paintings I made this year to reflect the negative impact of accelerated gentrification and densification of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, BC. Speculation has fuelled the aggressive behaviour of transactions driving many away from owning homes and others into impoverished living conditions or homelessness. This rapid speculation and skyrocketing prices were first demonstrated in South America with little state involvement, and carried here in Vancouver, again with little interference by the government. Rather than to showcase shiny buildings being built, I am offering a grittier interpretation of the building boom. These paintings come from my imagination and from wandering around Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. I let my imagination override the literal descriptions of developments and generalize gentrification to an anywhere city. Each painting is a microcosm of what is happening. When all of the images are put together, they operate as a macrocosm of city gentrification and densification.

Artist’s Biography

Mike Levin grew up in Calgary, Alberta where he first studied Painting and Sculpture at the University of Calgary from 1990 to 1991. Pausing his artistic interests, he moved to Vancouver to pursue a side career as a draftsman. After some time, he returned to the arts by completing his BFA in Painting in 2020 at Emily Carr University. Levin has recently started painting murals with Richard Tetrault, who is considered one of the most prominent muralists in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Levin teaches the Fundamentals of Drawing and Painting at The Art Studios, Vancouver General Hospital Psychiatric Units, and privately in the Vancouver community. His art has been sold in Canada and in the United States to private collectors.

Contact Information:

Website: www.michael-levin.com

Instagram: @mike.levin

Email: mikelevin1121@gmail.com

Phone: 778-370-2404