People / Vincent Trasov

Artist. Vincent Trasov was born in Edmonton, Alberta in 1947. Trasov majored in languages and humanities at the University of British Columbia. At this early stage in his career, Trasov went by the alias Vincent Blue Pants. In 1969, influenced by the output of Group Zero and Yves Klein—work that emphasized performance, repetition and chance in its making—Trasov began making more conceptual art, working with process, text, and materials in his Fire Paintings. He began making video shortly thereafter. Trasov assumed the identity of Mr. Peanut in 1969. Through this performance, Trasov explored ideas around persona, anthropomorphism, and contemporary mythology. With the support of the arts community, Trasov ran for mayor in 1974 as Mr. Peanut. He ultimately received five percent of the vote.

Also in 1969, Trasov, along with Michael Morris, founded the Image Bank, a system of postal correspondence between participating artists for the exchange of information and ideas. The intention of the Image Bank was to create a collaborative, process-based project in the hopes of engendering a shared creative consciousness—in opposition to the alienation endemic to modern capitalist society—through the deconstruction and recombination of its ideological forms.The year previous to his mayoral candidacy, Trasov co-founded the Western Front Society and served as co-director until 1980. His work is included in collections both in Canada and internationally. Trasov has participated in the Berlin Kustlerprogramm (1981) and the artist-in-residence program at the Banff Centre (1990). As a marker of his artistic influence, he was selected by the Vancouver Sun as one of the top one hundred British Columbians who shaped the province over the past century (1999). He currently lives and works between Vancouver and Berlin.
Additional information and materials about Vincent Trasov are available on request in Art, Architecture and Planning at the University of British Columbia Library. http://www.library.ubc.ca/finearts/