Zach is the CEO of an international energy company, sitting on several boards, and an active member of many local and multinational charity organizations. He admits that creating art is a fun escape from what he feels is the weight of the world on his shoulders at times. The process of making things is an unabated outlet where discovery and creationism flourish for him.
Everything Zach needs to get energized surrounds him. He tells us he finds the most inspiration from his city, Calgary, adding that even though he travels the world, and many things give him perspective and insight, he finds Calgary to be his anchor, and its artists, as well as his friends are influential in his creations.
Zach’s art is best described as post modern street art with a hint of Dadaism, but his art has a recognizable “Zach” flare – thought provoking images, bold colours, and in most cases, stencilled words and repeated shapes. He admits his work is always changing, growing and progressing. There is a common aesthetic or feeling to his art regardless of the medium he is using.
He is currently working on a body of work based on his travels to central China over the past year. Having photographed powerful images of the local people, capturing details of their daily lives, these images are being used as references to this series of ten to twenty artworks. Each piece will be on 60”x 60” gallery depth wood panels, using different mediums and techniques on each. He says, “together they will tell the story of the locals whose lives I have touched and whose life has touched mine.”
Having now used a variety of mediums and materials from encaustic wax to pastels, silk screening, even sculpting and casting just to name a few. He has experimented with almost the whole range of materials one would consider visual arts, we do, however, know that he is looking at trying his hand at airbrushing.
Zach’s ambitious art ventures started a few years ago, sparked by an impromptu visit to Mona Lisa’s Art Supplies. He says, “while sitting at a red light on 17th Avenue, I looked over and saw Mona Lisa and thought I would drop in and kill a few minutes.” He ended up buying a few tubes of paint, some brushes, and a 12’’x 12’’ cheap canvas board to make something on that rainy Saturday afternoon. He adds, “I ended up returning on the Monday and loading up with a trunk full of stuff to play around with. It just snowballed from there.”
As a child, Zach was creative in interactive ways. Building forts in the living room made from blankets, cushions, and chairs, he also sculpted things from wood, mud, clay, and soapstone. He even built theme parks in the woods with rope bridges and swings, as well as pits and tree forts. Imagine the surprise of finding these immense sculptures constructed from random things and elements of nature, especially finding out that this was the doing of a 10 year old who had dragged what he could into the woods. This continued into his teens in the form of designing and constructing snowboard parks using skinned logs and Junker vehicles, even farm equipment to build ramps and rail slides. He says, “Skateboard culture was a large part of my youth as well, and it was full of stickers.” He adds, “These elements likely explain my draw to Street art and its interaction with the environment and our everyday spaces.”
With a down to earth approach in wanting to make a difference in the world with his art, and a name fast becoming a brand, this aspiring artist and charismatic entrepreneur, is moving up in the creative world at an exponential rate. Be sure to catch Zach’s exhibition at Motion Gallery throughout this month, where you can see a showcase of ten pieces of his latest collection.
Written by Sandra Montgomery
Edited by Renee Laferriere