I have blogged about Luc Guerard before (see previous blogs), but had only met him through email and telephone. I met him in person on my trip to Montreal and it was pretty much as I expected – art in every square inch of his home-studio and a man who had a lot of interesting things to say about his art. I learned that Luc had “hundreds” more paintings stored in another location in Quebec, and I believed him when he described the stacks of art that are stored there.
Like many artists I meet, Luc is a prolific artist. His work is hung everywhere in his home and much, much more is stored in every small space, like closets and bathrooms. Surprisingly, Luc remembers every piece he created, and that in itself is mind-boggling to me because there is so much of it!
I learned that Luc typically creates abstract works, like the ones pictured here, but he also experiments with portraits, cityscapes, and assembled sculptures. There seems to be no end to his creativity. Every work displayed in his home is a visual delight and it is hard to focus on one in the midst of so many. I think it is easier to show you images of his art, rather than explain the dazzling array of work.
My apologies for no blogs coming from two weeks in Montreal. Shortly after I arrived I had major problems with my laptop (again) and couldn’t add photos. And, what’s the point of a blog about art if there are no photographs of art…?
As I suspected, there is a lot going on in the world of outsider art in Montreal, Quebec. At least more than the rest of Canada. For those of you outside of Canada, the province of Quebec is an eastern province that is predominantly French-speaking. It has a long history with France and is still connected by more than language to that country. To visit a city in Quebec is like visiting a city in France – the language, culture, and food would fool you into thinking you were somewhere in Europe. In short, it is an incredible city for those who enjoy history and the arts.
The purpose of my trip was to connect with artists and galleries with whom I have been corresponding through my blog. I kept a frenetic pace for two weeks, as there was a lot to see, people to meet, and much to learn. One of the things I wanted to understand is how others in Canada define outsider art. Unfortunately, I have to report that the definition is as muddled there as here. However, because Quebec is still closely aligned with France, much credence is paid to the concept of art brut as it is understood in Europe – that is, art that is outside mainstream art and (perhaps) created by disabled artists or those who are not closely aligned to art culture. It is sometimes referred to as “art singulier” or “art insubordinaire” (insubordinate art).
I did not leave with a clear definition of outsider art, but I enjoyed long hours of conversation with art colleagues and collectors there. The blogs that follow will introduce you some amazing artists. Stay tuned.