As if being one of Canada’s most popular and successful contemporary novelists wasn’t good enough.
After writing 13 novels and eight non-fiction books in 18 years, not to mention a collection of short stories and several screen plays, Douglas Coupland returned to his roots as a visual artist and graced the city of Vancouver with his beautiful and imposing sculpture, Digital Orca.
Coupland’s first piece of public art in his home city, Digital Orca stands outside the Vancouver Convention Centre, next to the Olympic Cauldron, set against the grand backdrop of the North Shore Mountains. Technically, it is made of black and white blocks that are supported by a steel armature and aluminum cladding, made to look like the cubic pixels of a digital photo. Aesthetically, the three-dimensional structure of a massive killer whale is a unique and powerful symbol of the West Coast and will make any West Coaster burst with pride.
Coupland, who is famous for his novels, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture and jPod, which had a brief stint as a television series on CBC, wrote his first novel in 1991, but before that had studied visual art at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design. After graduating in 1984, he continued his studies at the European Design Institute in Milan, Italy and the Hokkaido College of Art and Design in Sapporo, Japan. Talk about a dedicated guy. He claims to never take vacations and has been regarded in his work habits as an “anti-slacker.”
Besides Digital Orca, he has created Supernova, A Monument to the War of 1812 and Canoe Landing Park, all large-scale sculptures publicly on display in Toronto. He has also shown his work in a number of galleries and continues to write. The guy is an artistic genius.