The story behind a 2018 series I painted in tribute to the Quebec artists who shaped me – Marc Séguin, Charles Daudelin (sculptor), Betty Goodwin, Marcel Barbeau, and more.
Aside from esthetical issues, I find all painters worthy of admiration.
The stubbornness — Cézanne! — and sacrifices necessary to devote one’s life to painting are tremendous.
Most painters are unknown superheroes. Being myself chosen by painting, I feel profound affection towards each of these preciously insane humans.
The series “Dear Painters” is a tribute to the Quebec painters who have shaped me. It’s a personal testimonial, like letters that I could have addressed to them. The idea was to have a conversation through artwork.
On my side, I choose portraiture. Jean-Paul Riopelle, Paul-Émile Borduas, Marcelle Ferron, Guido Molinari and Marc Séguin have suffered under my palette knife.
To portray a painter is essentially to capture a gaze. Everything is reflected in the eye.
The ideal form to embody this idea appeared to me to be the diptych. On one side, the face. On the other side, an abstract outgrowth — a mental image? — referring to the work of the painter depicted.
Two distinct languages united around the fiction of a single self. One needs to get out of the usual tracks to represent a painter. To translate what each of them was the only one in the world to see is a unique task. But it’s the goal I set myself.
What can I say? I’m preciously insane.
A few works from that series are available at Orange Art Gallery in Ottawa.
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