Showing 11 posts tagged Art

Street Notoriety

Banksy’s speciality is creating a stir – not only with his meaningful graffiti art but with his much criticized opinion piece on the World Trade Center that got denied by the New York Times. Few know who the mysterious artist truly is, but his anonymity only adds to the appeal. It’s when the mask comes off and all is revealed when we may lose interest, proving, once again, that mystery holds attention.

Here’s a few reasons why we still love Banksy:

1. He’s influenced by the stars and sprays his art in the quiet of night.

2. He takes risks with his creativity, providing art that evokes thought and debate.

3. Under anonymity, he set up a stand in Central Park and sold his pieces for $60 each - works of art that usually sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

4. Commercialization and money aren’t his bag. He just wants to tell his message through art.

5. After learning that a homeless man was living in a water tank he had covered with graffiti, Banksy gave him enough money to get an apartment and support himself for a year.

6. He does what he loves. The ultimate rule to life.

Now, will Banksy ever be lured to Vancouver?

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Ghosts from Paris

Long before Helmut Newton shocked eyes with his salacious images of women in various states of undress and compromise, Brassaï, a Hungarian photographer, captured the inner workings of Paris in the 1920s and 30s. Often seductive, sometimes raw, frequently haunting. He used photography “in order to capture the beauty of streets and gardens in the rain and fog, and to capture Paris by night.”

~Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Vancouver’s got blogs

There’s so much information zooming and zipping through the internet that it’s hard to know when and where we should reach out our hands (or click our finger to the mouse) to grasp onto a succulent piece of knowledge.

To assist you in your surfing, here are a few Vancouver-based bloggers we like to check in with:

Erin Ireland

Not only is she the founder of To Die For Banana Bread, a heavenly phenomenon that has swept across the city, Erin Ireland knows anything and everything with a culinary twist, including the best restaurants, cafes and bars in town.

Expect salivating upon clicking…

Bullet with Butterfly Wings

A beautiful and whimsical collection of décor, fashion, and lifestyle treasures are housed within the pages of Kate Horsman’s Bullet with Butterfly Wings.

Your eyes will light up…


When we need a little (or a lot) of creative inspiration, we open up Booooooom, curated and designed by Jeff Hamada, for an onslaught of music, film, photography and all things artful.

There’s no telling what you’ll create after a visit here…

Look for the Girl

Magical words of poetry, whispers of literature, and provocative images are captured at Look for the Girl – dedicated to the dreamers, lovers, and the mysterious woman behind the site.

Cue heart swoons and language lust…

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Creative Wine Bottles

With so many wines lining cellars, shelves, and coolers, our eyes are drawn to those labels that capture attention and cause us to pause in our perusing. Wineries are becoming quite cunningly artistic when it comes to marketing their reds, whites, rosés, and bubbles.

Which are your favourite wine labels?

From left to right, top to bottom:

Lascala (via Lovely Package), Botanica (via Simon Frouws), Matsu (via Lost at E Minor), Elk and Wolf Chardonnay (via Coolist), Jolie-Laide (via Dr Vino), Killibinbin (via Under Consideration), Skulls (via Eat Magazine), Return of the Living Red (via Coolist), Vitis Vinifera (via Trend Hunter

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Lip Service

Perhaps it’s no surprise that the mouth and lips are frequently featured in art and photography. They are vessels of words, expressions of love, and sensual icons. These are our favourite mouths creatively captured.

From left to right, top to bottom: Matthew Cusick; unknown; Irving Penn; Irving Penn; Tyler Shields; The Rolling Stones; Hugo Barros.

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Artist Spotlight: Robert Longo

The best and most prolific artists cause onlookers to pause. To stop and stare and let a barrage of feeling, resonance, and thought invisibly whip their beings. One of these artists is New Yorker Robert Longo. His eye has created waves, moons, sharks, forests, people and a deluge of other images - always in black and white. “Maybe I work in black and white because I think it’s the truth,” he professed in a recent film made for NOWNESS.

All images from

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Paint outside the lines at Art Basel

Located at the crossroads of Europe, on the borders of France, Switzerland, and Germany, the idyllic Basel is home to the most distinguished, flashy, and colourful art event of the year – Art Basel.

Hundreds of galleries from around the world swoop into the small city to showcase the works of their most cherished artists, who delve into paintings, sculpture, photography, installations, performance, and videos.

There is so much diversity amongst the over 4,000 artists in attendance that all who find themselves in this European enclave will discover goosebumps rising, eyes watering, or smiles widening over something within their sightline.

Here are some pieces that caught our eyes…


Daniel Lefcourt from Campoli Presti Gallery, Debris Field [#4], 2011

Like finding pictures amongst the clouds in the sky, try to make out images in this work of art by Daniel Lefcourt.


Martin Kippenberger from David Zwirner Gallery, 1982

Known for his exposing self-portraits, Martin Kippenberger reveals clues to his sense of being with each painting. What is he telling us here?


Tom Wesselmann, Tiny Dropped Bra #15, 1981

Also fashioned as a larger than life steel sculpture, one wonders if Tom Wesselmann had a particular woman in mind when creating his dropped bra series.


Richard Prince from Gagosian Gallery, 2012

Cowboys have always been a fascinating character from our culture, and Richard Prince captures this “Marlboro Man” with such intricate detail that we can almost smell his cigarette.


Andy Warhol from Galerie Klüser, Lenin, 1986

Oddly enough, Andy Warhol’s depiction of Lenin bears striking resemblance to John Malkovich.

- Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider


Everyone’s wedding should be a unique experience – an event that stands out and splashes across unblinking eyes with brilliant colours and captivating imagery. Heads should continue to turn long after the remarkable day.

Contemporary artist Alana Rothstein, a self-professed lover of hotel rooms, is recreating moments of celebration for brides, grooms, wedding parties, and anyone else staying at OPUS Hotel with the ART+IDENTITY+TRAVEL package. Think dashes of rock and roll, sprinkles of Studio 54, zests of decadence, and flavours of seduction fused together into a freestanding art creation of memories.

Using a collection of images, taken either by the group or by her, she captures a morsel of the guests’ lives to digitally transform onto Plexiglass. After collaboration with guests to ascertain style and vision, she layers the pictures with artfully-placed, vibrant colour.

The chic keepsakes are contemporary and personal, ideal for guests or as cool gifts. Show off a provocative boudoir side, dance off single life with girlfriends, or bond with a best man over scotch.

And if it’s not your wedding, celebrate you and life with an original piece of Plexi-art by Alana Rothstein. We’re so excited at OPUS to be working with her on this unique project.

Q&A with Alana Rothstein:

OPUS: Where did you find inspiration for ART+IDENTITY+TRAVEL?

ALANA: ART+IDENTITY+TRAVEL is the result of traveling and taking pictures that never saw the light of day. My work is usually large format, colourful, high-concept art combining multiple images and transforming them digitally onto Plexiglass. I came up with the idea of PLEXI-ART, a mini version or travel size, for the person that loves hotels. It is a souvenir, if you will, that is personal and attractive enough to keep on display in your home or office – not your average snow globe. I immediately knew that OPUS Vancouver was the perfect hotel for the project.

OPUS: What do you love about the project?

ALANA: It brings me in contact with people from all over the world.  In interviews with the guests, I get to experience their time in Vancouver through their eyes.  Their personal photos give me a glimpse into their world through their lens, and, in turn, it opens my eyes wider.

OPUS: What has been your favourite moment?

ALANA: One of the best projects was a bride-to-be from Vancouver and her bridal party of eight that came in from all over the world. Each one decided to dress as a favourite icon and we created a Vanity Fair-style cocktail party for the shoot in the DEDE suite. It was a night to remember…  And yes, there was champagne.

Find more info on the package here!

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Andy Warhol created fame. He manifested celebrity. He defined the term icon. And he gave pop art an eternal life. With leaping colours and swirling pop culture themes splattered on his striking images, and a blazing social life that would make any other human being collapse, it’s no wonder we love him here at OPUS.

Let us count the ways…

1. Long before OutKast told us to shake them, Warhol made Polaroid cool and covetable with a series of celebrity candids

 “I have Social Disease. I have to go out every night. If I stay home one night I start spreading rumours to my dogs.”

2. He was the original Facebook. He documented his life and the people around him with more hunger and vitality than most of us do on social media today.

“A picture means I know where I was every minute. That’s why I take pictures. It’s a visual diary.”

3. Everyday household objects became works of art when looked at through his eyes. He brought Campbell’s soup cans and Coca Cola bottles to life, while simultaneously boosting the brands’ sales. He taught us to appreciate the “ordinary”.  

“I like boring things.”

4. First rule of icon: Be yourself. Warhol was always open about his sexuality, desires, and personal life by expressing each facet through his art. Then again, he was also the master of warping perceptions. What was actually real and what was fantasy?

“I don’t know where the artificial stops and the real starts.”

5. He didn’t care about the critics. Warhol never stopped creating art.  

“Don’t pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches.”

~Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Art at OPUS Hotel

Upon the vivacious walls of our OPUS rooms hang a collection of artwork that have as much personality as our lifestyle muses. They make one stop to stare, provoke an emotion, and reflect the creativity we so adamantly encourage. OPUS is proud to have these prolific Vancouver artists featured in our rooms.

Every generation has its pop icons and we all have nostalgic references that awaken memories so vivid they may still live. Michael Miller’s youth spent absorbed in video games is evident in his ‘The Nintendo Generation’ series, which depicts characters of that era in all their animated glory.


Tiko Kerr’s vibrant colours and electric, yet somewhat contorted images were created as a reaction to government cuts to the arts. The luminous cityscape paintings from his Lush Life series are a peephole into his immense imagination and creative breadth. image

At first glance, one may be offended by the guns used as imagery in Mark Mizgala’s art, but if you stand still and stare a little bit longer, it’s apparent that the guns are, in fact, broken water pistols. The iconographic paintings appear ironic and childlike, yet portray another message under the surface layers of perception for each individual viewer to decipher.


With his series of urban shopping carts, Taizo Yamamoto forces us to acknowledge an often ignored object present in all cities. The images are a study in street anthropology, portraying homes and possessions packed into metal cages on wheels.


Alana Rothstein’s pulsating images of sensual colours and provocative scenes are a glimpse into another person’s life. Her art is an expression of a memorable moment in time captured in its most brilliant light. We are honoured to have her contribute to our ART + IDENTITY + TRAVEL package.


- Sandra O’Connell