If life is generous enough to provide me with good health like it did Louise Bourgeois late into her nineties, I may, at that time, take on those less interesting above-mentioned tasks, which often bring on extreme nostalgia (not always good for the morale). My motto is to make art 'til I drop.
The group show Escales Industrielles was scheduled for 2020 but like many exhibitions, it was postponed. BUT NOW IT'S ON!
Le MUSO Musée des Société Des Deux-Rives is in an incredibly beautiful old church that sports a large floor and wall space as well as stunning stained glass windows. The museum is dedicated to the history, art and industrial heritage (primarily textiles) of the Suroît region.
The artistic "stops or interludes" happen in spaces where each artist presents their interpretation of what industrial means to them. I have three works in the show.
Thanks to the printing press, millions of images produced in strips in newspapers and magazines since 1900 have become the most important and influential "art form" in history. This type of art is accessible to everyone. In the past, comics were drawn and/or printed by hand, but today digital technology makes it easier to compose, modify and reproduce images.
To create the work below, I kept the historical origins of the comic strip in mind by approaching my piece in a traditional way and drawing it by hand. I didn't want the colours to be smooth, even, and shadow-free like most comics are. Instead I let the materials take me on a journey of discovery. The hand-made rag paper was bumpy and the needle tip of a bottle filled with black acrylic ink took me where it wanted to. (The line of an expressionist artist must never be totally obliterated).
The narrative sequence in "Bottled Artists" unfolds on a conveyor belt in a bottling plant. Artists are placed in jars for future consumption. Although bottling symbolizes standardization, oddly, each jar contains an individual which is hard to contain.
Certain questions come to mind:
Can art or the artist conform or standardize to the point of becoming mundane?
Does technology fuel creativity or does it lead to sameness?
Should everything be subject to industrialization and at what cost?
TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER ! (The death of the Tungsten bulb)
The huge ice storm in Québec (1998) made me realize how vulnerable we are when it comes to the electrical grid. Our survival would be severely tested if our present-day network were to fail. Without hot food, heating, access to our money in banks, telecommunications and more, the world would become an alarming mess. A global “technological” war could literally bring us back into the dark ages. Add climate crisis to the mix. How many of us would survive?
This tongue and cheek painting is an epitaph for simpler times and the modest bulb. I've always been fascinated by the tiny interior filaments, which inspire me to imagine characters that look like aliens ready to invade us. Advances in technology have led to the creation of LED bulbs that are better for the environment but which sadly, in my opinion, lack personality.
TOO MUCH COAL
In this work I single out the steam engine trains that helped fuel the industrial revolution. Tons of freight cars full of coal were hauled and burned to keep motors running. The stoker’s job was to keep the locomotive firing and to maintain steam pressure. Charcoal and coal are similar. By applying charcoal dust to a lightly painted surface, I embodied the era with an allegorical portrait of the stoker.
Escales Industrielles runs until June 6th and museum entrance is free on that particular Sunday. I invite you all to visit this terrific show and beautiful space.