Art Installation @ Fresh Paint Gallery, Montreal
Upon entering the room, it feels like the fourth of July in America. The Stars and Stripes of the American flag are everywhere. This abundance of patriotic symbols seems a bit excessive to be innocent however... The eagle has two heads, the Catholic cross is merged with the $ sign and the eye above the pyramid seems to be watching us. The enigmatic maxims listed here and there and the various staged objects invite us to reconsider the history of the United States through its unknown facets. The American people are proud of their country's values, they like to display the emblems of the nation. But are the foundations of America so well-meaning that its people believe them?
Text: Yann Meurot
Photos: Adrien Fumex
Yesterday I was drawing with one of my sisters. She has this art book with exercises to help you draw and paint from your sub-conscious. We had a lot of fun trying to make automatic drawings and getting inspired by music to create some pictures. In the process, we ended up making our own guidelines, and finished by analyzing and critiquing each other’s work, just for the heck of it. It’s always interesting to have someone close to you describe one of your drawings; they always end up saying meaningful things about themselves. The kind of stuff they wouldn’t say directly to you, they feel free to mention when talking about art.
Just as we were getting ready to leave, she picked up her drawings with the intention of throwing them in the recycling bin. I stopped her; I thought she should keep them. Then I realized something: I have always kept the artworks I made. I still have all those drawings from elementary school. Do you remember making that kind of art? You would draw yourself with your family, the house with the chimney, the tree, the car, the sun with sunglasses, and the clouds. Well, it’s all in one briefcase under my bed. Every now and then, I get nostalgic and open it. These are my first masterpieces! And the stack is getting bigger and bigger. In the past few years, I had to get several large portfolios to keep my life drawing studies and a filing cabinet to put all the cartoon stuff.
And this is it. I told her that everyday, everything I have ever done has more value to my eyes. All the drawings I used to qualify as crappy or amateurish, they are my most valuable possessions right now. I think it’s important to remember where you came from; it makes you appreciate even more where you are at the moment. And as I look at these drawings, I’m often surprised to see that I was already exploring some ideas which would drive some of my projects later on. Maybe this is an important step for the artist: to appreciate and recognize the value of your own work. Only then will people start noticing you.