The Art of Charles Pachter: A Q&A with Leonard Wise

The Art of Charles Pachter: A Q&A with Leonard Wise

Posted on June 30 by Kyle in Interview
Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Pinterest

Charles Pachter, one of Canada’s most celebrated artists, is the creator of such iconic works as Queen on Moose and The Painted Flag. In this Q&A, we speak to the author of Pachter&;s biography.

Do you remember the first time you saw a painting by Charles Pachter/were introduced to his work?

The first artwork by Charles Pachter that I ever saw was his 1969 litho/silkscreen done in Calgary of Dale Evans called “We&;ll all be there to see her”, a line from the song, “She&;ll be comin&; round the mountain”, which he used, as usual, in a risque fashion.

What are your favourite paintings by Charles Pachter and why?

My favourite Pachter work is his variations on the Canadian flag. If Monet can paint 250 versions of Water Lilies there&;s no reason why Charles can&;t do 100 different takes on a flag.

How has Pachter&;s work influenced Canadian art?

Charles Pachter is the most Canadian artist this country has ever produced, including  the revered members of the Group of Seven. Charlie is a Group of One, and no one else can do what he does.

What prompted you to write this biography?

I wrote this book because I was asked to by Charles Pachter and by Kirk Howard. I agreed because I wanted to prove to myself and others that I could do more than ghostwrite the various memoirs I did for others over the past ten years, and I wanted to join the ranks of full-fledged, authentic, honest-to-god biographers.

In honour of Canada 150, what does Canada mean to you?

This is what Canada means to me. I was raised above a modest clothing store on Queen Street by immigrant parents, went to various schools in Toronto, and spent 30 years there until I was able to move a few hundred yards down the street to my law office at Queen and Bay, where through the window I could see the place I grew up. And it was Canada that made that journey possible.