ARTFLIP: le skateboard comme support créatif

Comment réunir dans un espace unique : les beaux-arts, le graffiti, le tatouage, l’illustration, la bande-dessinée, le graphisme, le muralisme ? En un mot : ARTFLIP. À partir du 1er avril, la galerie Fresh Paint accueillera l’exposition, réunissant une cinquantaine d’artistes hétéroclites du monde des arts visuels, autour d’un fil conducteur.
Le skateboard s’habille de médiums et textures variés, avec du vécu ou intact, et dans des styles susceptibles de toucher des publics différents. Il y en aura pour tous les goûts ! Quelques noms : Opire, Scribe CSX, Bonar, Éric Dufour, Mc Baldassari, Borrrris, Pierre Nicolas-Rioux, Dewey Guyen, Marc Sirus, Cara Cole, Produkt, Axe…
Au tout début de l’aventure, en voyant les planches de skate usées, brisées, de ses élèves, l’idée de leur donner une seconde vie a germé dans l’esprit de Clôde Beaupré, enseignant et sculpteur sherbrookois. En collaboration avec Arnold, artiste illustrateur multidisciplinaire, l’exposition inauguratrice se déroule courant 2015 au centre communautaire et culturel Françoise-Dunn de Sherbrooke. La seconde édition dans la ville fondatrice, s’achève ce mois-ci.

Artflip fera une halte printanière à Montréal, une première. Arnold, co-curateur de l’exposition nous en parle.

 

Fresh Paint – En début avril, la galerie accueillera la première édition montréalaise d’Artflip, pouvez-vous présenter le projet ? Et, nous en dire plus sur ses racines sherbrookoises ?
Arnold – C’est un regroupement d’artistes issus de domaines différents, qui ont tous pour point commun : la planche de skate comme support artistique. À l’origine, l’idée est née de Clôde Beaupré. Enseignant et sculpteur, il a fondé le programme de skate-études à l’école secondaire du Triolet, à Sherbrooke. Dans le but de faire échec au décrochage scolaire, le programme incite les élèves à obtenir de bonnes notes en permanence, en y associant le plaisir de la pratique du skate au quotidien.
Progressivement, Clôde Beaupré a commencé à récupérer les planches de skate usées et brisées, puis s’est demandé pourquoi ne pas en faire une exposition au centre communautaire et culturel Françoise-Dunn.
Moi, je connaissais le centre, on y exposait parfois des toiles avec des amis, dont certains ont participé par la suite au projet Artflip.

6-skateur


FP – Quels domaines artistiques seront représentés à Montréal ?

Arnold – Cette année, l’exposition Artflip sera pour la première fois à Montréal et on y présentera les œuvres d’une cinquantaine d’artistes. Il y aura environ 70 pièces conçues par des créateurs de domaines artistiques aussi variés que : l’illustration, le graphisme, le tatouage, le graffiti, le street-art, les beaux-arts, la BD…
Un pourcentage de la recette des œuvres vendues au cours de l’événement, sera reversé au programme de skate-études, tout comme lors des deux éditions précédentes à Sherbrooke.

FP – Pourquoi avez-vous choisi le skateboard comme support à la création ?
Arnold – La planche de skate est capable d’unir beaucoup de monde, puis il y a une petite touche de hasard aussi. Les skates usés sont faciles à trouver. Pour le projet Artflip, les planches proviennent du programme de skate-études, aussi des compagnies spécialisées dans cette pratique et des dons de skateurs.

5-support


FP – Comment percevez-vous en tant que co-curateur et artiste participant, le fait que l’exposition “Artflip, le Glitch Artistique” permette de mixer diverses branches des arts visuels dans un espace unique ?
Arnold –
Je pense que c’est super qu’Artflip puisse connecter les personnes, entre les différentes sphères artistiques. D’habitude, le milieu des arts est divisé en sous-catégories et il n’y a pas toujours d’interactions entre les genres et les styles.  Par “Glitch Artistique”, je veux dire que l’exposition est éclectique. Le fait qu’il y ait autant de domaines représentés conduit par exemple, une personne qui vient à la galerie pour voir le tatouage, à découvrir l’illustration. C’est un mélange.

FP – Il y a d’autres événements artistiques autour du skateboard depuis quelques années, en quoi Artflip se différencie des autres expositions ayant aussi pour fil conducteur, la planche de skate ?
Arnold – On laisse une totale liberté aux artistes, il n’y a pas de règles. Ils sont invités à sortir du cadre et peuvent choisir de créer sur un skateboard qui a du vécu, un aspect usé ou au contraire neuf.
Par exemple, un graffeur pourrait décider d’utiliser une planche brisée ou usagée, tandis qu’un illustrateur créerait sur un skate intact. Puis, pendant l’accrochage, on ne juxtapose jamais deux même styles. À côté de l’œuvre d’un tatoueur, il y aurait une pièce d’un autre genre artistique. Et, les planches de skate ne sont pas toutes disposées à la verticale, ni à la même distance l’une de l’autre.

 

Des photos des éditions précédentes :

The Fusion of Paulie, Mos Geez, and Ectoplasm

When artists Paulie, Mos Geez, and Ectoplasm get together to collaborate on an exhibition, they end up creating a space where your mind can indulge in the combination of three very different, yet equally creative and intriguing works. Each of these artists has known each other for many years, having met through common friends or art exhibitions.

02
Ectoplasm began her journey in the arts at a very early age, encouraged by her mother’s love for it. Once she moved to Montreal from France in 2009, she started drawing more consistently, meeting a good community of artists, and did exhibitions at the gallery Usine 106u (where she and Mos Geez met). She later took her art more seriously, progressing her style to what she now has, some of which is displayed at the gallery. Bodies floating on the walls, extremities morphing into substances that meet Mos Geez’s bright distorted creature on the left, and Paulie’s human hand on the right.

09
Mos Geez is a multidisciplinary artist who started off with dance, music, and drawing. She decided to stick with the arts once she reached college, where she ended up understanding her emotions through painting. What strikes her most are images that are disturbing, provocative, surrealist, and shock viewers. Her inspiration comes from these types of images, along with, most powerfully, her emotions.

07
Paulie has been making art since a very young age, constantly drawing and experimenting until today. In France she studied literature, graphic design, and went to art school later on where she mostly studied contemporary art. After being in Montreal for awhile, she got back into making art when her friend Lapin came to visit her (an artist who has also collaborated with the gallery many times), during which time they would roam the streets, doing murals and graffiti in Hochelaga (and during which time she discovered Fresh Paint gallery!). Expressionism, geometry, and conceptual art are her main inspirations.

To bind the installation together, the artists decided to give it the theme of a forest. Each of these artists has already worked with the gallery at least once- Paulie has participated in Beaux Degats before, her first one being in 2011, and has done a collaborative exhibition at the old location of the gallery; Mos Geez has done Under Pressure two years in a row, Beaux Degats, and the Queens Creation exhibition earlier this year; Ectoplasm has done Beaux Degats and Queens Creation.

Whether or not you have already encountered these artists’ works during one of the Beaux Degats or exhibitions, a visit will be well worth your time to see the result of the combination of three very creative artists works.

Ectoplasm | Mos Geez |Paulie Heart

Expo | BC TO MONTREAL

Having worked together in the city of Victoria, Mikhail Miller, Shane Anus, Issaac Holland, and Rachel Ziriada rejoin in the city of Montreal to create a colorful and eccentric installation in one of the rooms at the Fresh Pant gallery.

All of these four artists have a common connection through the art community in Victoria, British Colombia, working together in less formal settings like creating murals and painting trains. Working together in a more conventional setting with some more time on their hands than usual to create their artwork allowed for new ideas to emerge. Rachel’s background in installation and sculpture based art allowed for a more immersive environment within the room.

BC2

Most of the materials used in this installation have been collected from the streets. Objects like bike tires, newspapers, and many other components were used to create the sculptural elements of the installation. A combination of pages form children’s encyclopedias and supermarket advertisements based on consumerism were used for the collages and paper mâché sculptures

Behind this lies the willingness to take everyday materials and shift their meanings to create a skewed version of reality, allowing the viewer to feel comfortable enough to create their own meaning from this imagery and participate in the formation of personal narratives within this space. This creates a parallel with the usual way in which visual images are pumped into our brains every single day without our necessarily wanting it and with prepackaged meanings, leaving not much space for personal interpretation.

BC

The name of this installation, “Kozmik Hoboes”, is meant to serve as a starting point for viewers to decode the visual references to the witches, aliens, creatures, and tribal wanderers found in the room, meant to make the viewer feel like they can connect with these “Othered” beings and sympathize with their sentiments. This is intended to hopefully make people sense a lessening of the intense feeling of individualistic isolation so often felt by many within our culture and society and instead use the limited time we have together here on Earth wisely.

Also, check out the Art Attack mural that Mikhail, Rachel and two other artists, Loks Can and Jean Maxime Giguere collaborated on in August, now at the gallery!

BCArtattack

Interview with SJ Vriend

FP  How did your life as an artist start?

SJ  I’ve been interested in drawing since the moment I could pick up a crayon, also in realism. My mother studied fine art and art history and so I think she influenced me early on to draw and be interested in making things. My grandfather was also an architect and my father owned a photography store, so I guess you could say an interest in creating and regarding images runs in the family. Even early on I had the discipline to sit down and focus on what I wanted to draw. I wanted to make things look real in my drawings, even if they were of something from imagination or fantasy. My mom likes to tell a story to guests about the time she watched me drawing a huge horse with chalk in the street when I was very young and how everything was proportionate even though it covered a very large section of pavement. I would look at photographs or other images and try to replicate the textures and forms that I saw there.

 

FP  Your work at the gallery seems to have an infinite amount of detail. What mediums do you use to accomplish that?

SJ  I use fine tipped ballpoint pens specifically for the majority of my work, often working on several sheets of paper that are collaged to a wood panel.

yess (2)

FP  How long does it take you to finish one canvas?

SJ  This is an interesting question to answer and is related to the material I use. Each drawing is actually more of a long-term performance work rather than a finished object. This is due to the fact that the ink of the ballpoint pens I use reacts to the surface drawn on, light conditions and other environmental factors. The ink changes color and fades with time and so I continually work on the pieces as they age. Some parts of the drawings I could choose to bring back into focus while some of them I could let fade but in any case transformation is constant in each one. It’s like having a long lasting conversation with each piece and it’s a fairly meditative process. The primary image itself that I work with over a longer period of time initially takes anywhere from three months to a year to finish, though, with on and off drawing because I tend to work on several drawings at once.

 

FP  What has inspired you along the way?

SJ  A lot of things have inspired me. Life itself is generally inspiring and full of different encounters with people and information. My drawings are a blend coming from all of these things. However, I think mortality was definitely a primary influence. My father died when I was seven, so I feel like that has impacted how I think about and approach living and art-making alongside growing up as a genderqueer person and the intense questioning that this often leads to about one’s identity and how one interacts with the rest of the world. Studying mythology, spirituality, theology, queer theory and philosophy have all contributed to the pool of ideas I draw from. Individuals like Michel Henry, Joseph Campbell, Judith Butler, Heidegger, Wassily Kandinsky and countless others have all been inspiring.

yeah (2)

FP  Why mostly animal drawings? Are they included in most of the work you do?

SJ  While I do abstract drawings as well, animals are in most of the figurative work I’ve done in the past few years. Mostly dogs that are composed of other natural elements as well, such as leaves, flowers, bones and wood. It’s a metaphor and symbol that I adopted over time, drawing upon the folk tales and myths that I read about as a child and into adulthood. In many mythologies and folk stories, you have dogs symbolizing guardians of the underworld or as the faithful, sometimes mischievous, companion that leads you from the realm of the living into the realm of death. This symbol became very prominent to me while I was visiting my Oma a few years ago shortly after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I drew so many dogs while I was visiting her and it stuck and became something powerful for me to think about symbolically. This is reflected in the medium that I use and how I work with the mortal marks made by the pen. It’s just a particular way to think about living in awareness of death and not just in the material sense of it, but the spiritual as well (such as thinking about the creation and destruction of ego and/or identity). Other visual influences for me were Byzantine icons. Those images were symbolic realist images and not meant to be understood strictly in a realistic sense. They were symbols for a set of spiritual concepts related to being. To ‘read’ the image in a literal way is to misunderstand it – it requires a more poetic reading to get at full the train of thought. The dogs are like that for me. That said, it’s just my way of thinking about something and I totally don’t expect a viewer to get what I’m thinking about when they walk in and look at what’s on the wall. It is my personal visual poetry, really, and someone else will interpret my images through their own life experiences just like they would when listening to a song by a musician or when reading a poem or something else.

 

FP  Have you done any work on the streets before?

SJ  Not a whole lot. I was pleasantly surprised to be approached by Fresh Paint Gallery. I had a friend who is really involved in street art and has been involved with Fresh Paint for quite a while, IAMBATMAN. She introduced my work to the gallery and they were excited by what I was creating and so they approached me to do something in the space. It’s been really excited to be drawing in a place where the emphasis is on a process-based approach to working on it and where there’s such a strong sense of community. It’s like being in a kind of studio in that sense. It’s been really rewarding to interact with people who come and in from the street to witness the process of artists creating. Visitors get to converse with the artists and gallery volunteers/owners and I think it feels more comfortable for many of them to do that in Fresh Paint Gallery than in a more ‘white cube’ style space.

yup (2)

FP  Have you ever been involved with the Fresh Paint gallery or the Under Pressure festival before?  In what ways has it benefited and influenced you as an artist? 

SJ  I’ve participated in Beaux Degats before, which is run by Fresh Paint. I had visited Fresh Paint a couple of times in the past and I enjoyed seeing work in the space but hadn’t done any specific projects inside of it until now. I really like how the place is oriented around process as opposed to just hanging things up on the wall. I think that has definitely opened up some new thoughts for me on how I might propose to do projects in the future. Also, it’s been really interesting to see a place where the community devotes so much energy and is so enthusiastic about its project and getting people involved. It has been awesome to watch and be a part of!