Culture Critique- Cafe Renzo


For VOGUE Italia, culture review: Café Renzo
Mikayla Mazur

Like the moth to the lantern, café Renzo magnetizes passersby with neon hued window lighting and an airy, welcoming layout. From the sidewalk, extravagant pastries and sandwiches tickle several senses at once. Even behind the humid layer of cool glass, chocolate curls and red velvet layers pop, vivid and decadent. Should you be bold enough to make an attempt on one of the gigantic slices, prepare to put in a significant effort? The cakes at Café Renzo are carved by the hand of a man living out a ‘The more, the merrier!’ approach at things.
But all in balance… The sandwiches are massive as well.
Above and beyond the front counter, the creative direction of Café Renzo is surprisingly minimalist. The clean, white wall space, that which is left between incredible bay windows, is mounted with a local artist’s pen and ink drawings, framed and mounted entirely in white. The art in Renzo is celebrated via technologies finest in LCD screen TV’s as well- one of which hosts a revolving presentation of photography by resident photographer/barista.
Lucked out on location, Café Renzo sits alongside attractive Commercial drive, neighbors with a sprawling greenspace. On hot august afternoons, a walk through the park with Renzo’s complimentary signature lime-strawberry-mint water and a croissant. Our cooler days beckon for the steamed Chai Spice latte or possibly, a mint London Fog. With such beautiful design, location and cuisine, Café Renzo keeps promise after promise of something very unordain.


Preparation for the show!
Lights, check!
Camera, double check!
A lot of it…
As per usual, the majority of my preparations for RAW Grandeur have taken place over a period of ‘last minutes’. Images have been printed, and mounted. Frames have been found, bought, returned, resized, refurbished and polished.
Dates with my man have, lately included a Mr. Chipits and S hook assembly line, couples bike n’ bus across town to the printers and even an ever sexy evening singing a duet chorus of ‘Hey Babe Is This Crooked?’
The amount of work that has goes into the preparation of showing photography is astounding- especially when on a budget. Prints themselves aren’t horribly expensive. Costs climb up as you collect the materials necessary to frame and mount the prints. To have someone do that work for you more than doubles that cost. An extremely generous mother and boyfriend have allowed for me to experience this process first hand.
Though the time and work involved is great, beyond rewarding has been what I have learned-both about the art of photography and of myself. Dedication, perseverance, patience and creativity- all traits I highly value- have been practiced and pronounced. Gratefully, I am reminded of the physical involvement with my art, a factor that often goes amiss within a period of digital editing/ finalizing. Moving my body. Walking across town, buying out every Dollarama of the 8X10’s that don’t exists anywhere else… feels amazing. To push and lift and press the prints, aligning each carefully measured and cut millimetre to the adhesive mount.
Great movements and big decisions, followed by the most intricate and exact position of measurement and time. I have not experienced such a vastly fulfilling process before as this.
And now I’m ready for the night, ready to show and see and feel the art.
RAW Grandeur 2015

The Things That Keep Us Late


This City is incredible.
Brick after brick. The old, the missing, the new and the yet constructed.
Eyes may feel tired sometimes, but the sights do not.
So, I turned the ‘wrong’ way off the train and knew where I was…
The blue brick of this decaying apartment is absolutely magnetic.
It stands-or slouches-between a newly constructed apartment block and an empty lot.
The atmosphere, alluring. A mystery of Late Late at night and somebody…

Mikayla Mazur Photography

Portrait- Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver B.C.

Portrait- Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver B.C.

Sight. One of five senses we utilize in order to experience life, the world around us. Without the capability to visualize our surroundings, blind, we can grow and learn- to not only function, but thrive. Those without sight are not disabled, poorly or weak.

The idea terrifies me, as I’m sure it does many.

Innumerable times, caught off guard by the sheer depth and emotion seen in day to day life, I am left breathless, pulled to action or moved to tears. My reaching for the camera has become an immediate reaction to these moments of random captivation. Through practice, noticing relations that work to create something beautiful in an apparent or grande sense, one begins to stumble upon a more intricate and subtle reality. Be it small or apparently insignificant, moments and perspectives that exist, remaining unnoticed by many, are of no lesser importance, no lesser beauty.

Like most aspects of life-for example, our age- what we are born with or grow to know is plastic. We change, physically, mentally, emotionally etc.. Through time, experiences, interests and coincidence, we develop a sense of our lives and the people we know, along with a sense of who we are. It is that-a sense. Unlike those well known five-sight,smell, hearing, taste and touch- our perceptions are within our power to change. Where and/or what we shine our flashlights of directed conciousness upon is our choice and our gift to learn from and live with.

Choosing to see the intricate, the subtlety titanic occurrences of nature, the incongruous flock of happenings that flicker into the reach of our perceptions, is stunning.

And then the camera was invented.

Tools of our time. Oppritunities to collide and expand as a race, in knowledge and connection was magnified tenfold.

So incredible. So, so beautiful.

Thank you and enjoy,

Mikayla Mazur