Tiko Kerr


About the Artist:

Born in Edmonton and currently based in Vancouver, Canadian artist Tiko Kerr has earned high-profile recognition for his artfully liberated visual explorations of landscape and figurative scenes. His early body of work in his The Past Is Personal series explored the way that memory. emotion and personal narrative influenced his perception of his quotidian environment.

In his recent collage work, Kerr investigates perception from a more conceptual angle that shifts into the surreal sublime. Investigating the spectrum of perception that exists between Pareidolia (perceiving an object where none exists) and Camouflage (where an existing object is made invisible), Kerr creates minimalist narrative spaces that are at once cunning, comedic and culturally poignant. Through the fragmentation of these figurative scenes and the abstracted reimagining of the source material, Kerr distorts our understanding of what we are looking at. The collages become masters of disguise - appearance artfully scribbled out so it is open to a variety of views. The full series explores the way marginal, outcast or outsider figures can be culturally-encoded by shape and pattern recognition but also creatively reimagined through the cleverly prickly use of the collage source material.

Kerr has been widely recognized for his creative accomplishments and longtime activism. Along with many solo shows, Kerr has undertaken prominent creative partnerships with many arts organizations. Kerr provided the sumptuous artistic scenery and visual through-line for Ballet BC’s acclaimed Wonder Boy. In 2014, Kerr was the featured biographical subject of Cue The Muse, an Emmy-nominated documentary series that focused on artistic freethinkers and creative rebels. Kerr’s work has been the feature of many published articles and his work is in many private and corporate collections.


Selected Exhibitions

2018     Legends of Utopia, South Main Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada

2017     Mythic Proportions, South Main Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada

2016     Body Language, South Main Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2015     The Past is Personal, Robinson Studios Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada
             Homeland Security, Miami Art Fair, Miami, Florida (READ MORE)
             The Good Night Bird, Kaye Meek Theatre, West Vancouver, BC, Canada
2014     Lest We Forget, Foster Eastman Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2013     Art for Life CBC Studios, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2012     Vancouver Art Gallery, Art Rental and Sales Vancouver, BC, Canada
             Barrister’s Lounge, B.C. Law Courts Vancouver, BC, Canada
2011     Douglas College, New Westminster BC
2010     Lush Life, Winsor Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2009     You Are Here, Winsor Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2008     Hayden Beck Gallery, Whistler, BC
             The Lazarus Tree, Windsor Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2007     Winsor Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2006     Odon Wagner Gallery, Toronto, ON
2002     The Indomitable Spirit, Heffel Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada
             Mourning Paintings, Heffel Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada
             Perspectives: Meaning, Making & Medium, Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, BC
2001     Artropolis 2001, CBC Television Studios, Vancouver, BC, Canada
1999     A Tribute to Jack Shadbolt, Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada
             New Work, Heffel Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada
1997     Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC), Vancouver, BC, Canada
1996     Great Work, HSBC Bank, Vancouver, BC, Canada
             GM Place Inaugural Exhibition, Vancouver, BC, Canada
1995     New Work, Gallery Denise Roberge, Palm Springs, CA
1994     Privilege, Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada
1993     Reconstructions, Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada
1992     Tuscan Pictures, Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada
1991     New Work Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada
1990     Water Spirit Paintings, Buschlen Mowatt Gallery, Vancouver 1988, 1989, 1990
1989     Polyptychs, Buschlen Mowatt Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada
1988     Deck Chairs, Buschlen Mowatt Gallery, Vancovuer BC  
1987     Art to Stop AIDS, Robson Media Center, Vancouver, BC, Canada
1986     Mexican Pavillion, Expo 86, Vancouver, BC, Canada
1985     What It Takes To Be A Mountie, Australian Visual Arts Gallery, Sydney, NSW, Australia
1981     Paintings From My Travels, Cynthia Mackenzie Gallery, Calgary, AB Collaborations


2015     Chor Leoni, Vancouver, BC, Canada

2008     Vivaldi's The Four Seasons (Painting in performance) with Ballet British Columbia and 
             Alan Storey, Queen Elizabeth Theatre,Vancouver, BC, Canada
1997     Boy Wonder (Set design) with Ballet British Columbia, Touchstone Theatre and
             Vancouver New Music, Queen Elizabeth Theatre,Vancouver, BC, Canada
1994     Three Visible Poems (Painting in performance) with Ballet British Columbia, Queen
             Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver, BC, Canada and National Arts Centre, Ottawa, ON


  • Beedie Group, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • CIBC, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Whistler, BC, Canada
  • Harper Gray and Easton, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Intrawest, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Intrawest, Sandestin Fla, USA
  • Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, NJ, USA
  • Mark James Group, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, California, USA
  • Richmond Credit Union, Richmond, BC, Canada
  • Royal Bank of Canada, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Springbank Development Corporation, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Sylvia Hotel, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Smart and Biggar, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Vancouver General Hospital Permanent Collection, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Vancity, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, BC, Canada


2015     Artists for Kids Summer Camp, Gordon Smith Gallery, North Vancouver, BC, Canada
2006     Artist in Residence, Brodsky Center for Innovative Print-making, Rutgers University, New
             Brunswick,  NJ, USA

1994-96 Artist in Residence, West End Community Center, Vancouver, BC, Canada


The Visual Value of Liberations

“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, still he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.” - William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Perception - how we see and what shapes and distorts our visual impressions - has been the root of much of my work through the vines of my awareness have twisted off in different directions over the years. My recent series of paper cut collages explores the notion of how the innate process of pattern recognition is influenced by our current set of cultural indicators - the panoply of visual clues that make us rush to judgment about what we are seeing.

Certainly, evolutionary survival has imprinted archetypes that make us compose faces and figures out of random arrangements. But we are quick to fill in cultural prejudices, socio-economic biases, emotional connections and narrative constructions based on a minimal set of visual clues. We see signals and make assumptions. But the truth of identity is malleable and can be cut up in many ways.

We are in a historical moment when how we categorize people, how we instinctually and culturally encode them with loaded negative values or misplaced judgments can lead to political opposition, severe ostracization, harsh actions or, most commonly, the psychological grief of societal indifference occurring when individuality is reduced to invisibility. No one really wants to look carefully for more than is what is supposedly obvious. It is that attitude of contemporary cultural ignorance that I seek to upend with my new series of paper cuts and paintings entitled Body Language. The work challenges us to consider how we construct - and need to loosen - our visual assumptions about identity.

– Tiko Kerr

Associated Exhibitions