Art Rapture Presents: Mark Ollinger's math-influenced street art

Sep 11 2017, 4:23 pm

Art Rapture 2017  is right around the corner.

In what promises to be the most exhilarating urban art show you’ve ever seen in Vancouver, Art Rapture is bringing local and international artists works together for this year’s PROHIBITION: nothing but trouble event on September 22 and 23.

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Ahead of the show we’re previewing some of the talent on display at this year’s event, starting with local Vancouver talent Mark Ollinger.

Mark, when did decide to get involved with street art?

I’ve always been drawn to working in public spaces. I feel the public realm is the best environment for art to be experienced in. When I started translating the work into sculpture I had an urge to create a body of work solely based on temporary site specific public installations, I guess that was when I started to get specifically into street art.

So I started by designing my first public piece for under a bridge in Vancouver. The piece was massive, 9 1/2’ feet wide 4 feet deep and 6 feet tall. I put together a crew and rented a Uhaul to get the piece to the site. ended up parking the Uhaul under the bridge and setting up a ladder on top of the truck to get up to the location. After a solid hour, the piece was installed. That one lasted six weeks.

Tell us about your style, how would you describe it? 

My work is very much based in mathematics, I come up with what I would call formulas and punch information into these formulas and an image will end up coming out. If I was to label my work as a genre, I would say I’m trying to blend optical art and graffiti.

Your street name is Apath, where does it come from?

As a graffiti artist, when I was younger I used to write “Apathy”, I felt pretty apathetic in junior high and high school, kinda directionless. After some life-changing experiences I knew I was going to end up dedicating my life to art and found my direction. So the word changed to “Apath” which in a way was my own little tribute to the human experience as a journey on a path through space and time.

How do people react to your work when they see it in the street? 

I get a whole range of reactions. Mostly ’cause it is 3D, I feel like people think it’s supposed to be there or was commissioned so they’re always a little surprised when they find out it was “illegal”. I get a lot of “how did you do that” reactions too which is really what I enjoy. Try and evoke some sort of something in them.

Why do you use the street as your canvas? 

I enjoy making the work. Thats the most important part for it. Being able to reach a large audience and affect the overall experience of a public space is really the most I can ask for in producing work. While making work for galleries is awesome and applying for public commissions is also, I really just want to make work that I want for site specific locations without any barriers or modifications. So thats what I’ve been doing.

How does it compare to gallery shows?

I really like producing work for galleries. The work I produce for the streets is always rougher and less time is spent because it literally might only last a day before it gets taken down. With work for galleries I can really take my time and produce something more finished and a lot tighter.

What is your process for creating artwork?

I have like a 50+ step process to coming up with and producing a piece, haha. There are a lot of different things involved.


What can attendees to Art Rapture expect to see from you?

I’ll be showing the work I’ve spent the last few months on. Pretty excited about the latest freestanding sculptures!

PROHIBITION: nothing but trouble 2017 

When: September 22 and 23

Where: 130 West 4th Avenue

Price: $12 – $35 – Tickets available via Picatic

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Daily Hive is a proud media sponsor of PROHIBITION: nothing but trouble 

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