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IntroductionAndré Monet portrays the pop icons of our time in expressive, large-format collages. Not only does he capture our fascination with celebrity culture, but also the complexity of the stars’ individual personalities. Human, vulnerable, and exalted at the same time, these charismatic celebrities bring us under their spell.
The Canadian artist honours the late David Bowie with a portrait of unique intensity, stylishly embracing the music legend’s enigmatic aura. When selecting his subjects, Monet draws inspiration from the spirit of the times. For instance, he has created stunning portraits of Rihanna, Jay-Z, and celebrated actress Cate Blanchett.
In his incisive pop-art style, Monet reinterprets photographs in minutely detailed collages consisting of text and acrylics. The extreme contrast between light and shadow lends the faces a dramatic expressiveness. Carefully selected colour accents complete the compositions. The scraps of text, maps, and writing are not random; they are directly related to the subjects’ biographies and achievements.
In the 1980s, Monet studied art and graphic design in his hometown, Montreal. His work has since been exhibited in numerous galleries across the world. In 2011, he was commissioned to produce an image of Prince William and Princess Kate to commemorate their royal wedding. In his distinctive style, he combines handcrafted finesse and emotionality to produce glamorous portraits.
1965 Born in Montreal, Canada Studied Art and Graphic Design Lives and works in Montreal, CanadaExhibitions
2019 André Monet», Galerie De Bellefeuille, Montreal, Canada 2018 André Monet», Galerie De Bellefeuille, Toronto, Canada 2016 André Monet», Galerie De Bellefeuille, Montreal, Canada 2014 VIP, Galerie DeBellefeuille, Montreal, Canada 2011 Retrospective, Galerie Lydia Monaro, Montreal, Canada 2010 André Monet, Opera Gallery, New York, USA 2008 Brilliance of being, Thompson Landry Gallery, Toronto, Canada 2007 Caractères, Galerie Lydia Monaro, Montreal, Canada 2006 Mouvement de masse, Galerie Lydia Monaro, Montreal, Canada
2018 Portrait of a Lady, Opera Gallery, Seoul 2016 Shades of Blue, Opera Gallery, Monaco 2015 Art Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Miami, USA Context Art Miami, Miami, USA Toronto International Art Fair, Toronto, Canada Art Miami New York, New York, USA Art Palm Beach, Palm Beach, USA 2014 Impressions of Singapore, Opera Gallery, Singapore, Singapore The Great American Icons, Opera Gallery, Seoul, South Korea Toronto International Art Fair, Toronto, Canada Expo Chicago, Chicago, USA Art Show Busan, Busan, South Korea 2013 Nowness!, Art Walk and Opera Gallery, Cannes, France The many faces of David Bowie, Opera Gallery, London, UK Contemporary icons, Art Walk and Opera Gallery, Oslo, Norway Paris Match, une histoire de couvertures, Opera Gallery, Paris, France 2012 Visage, Opera gallery, Seoul, South Korea Nobody else but you, Opera Gallery, Singapore, Singapore I want to be loved by you, Opera Gallery, Paris, France 2011 Black and White, Opera Gallery, Seoul, South Korea André Monet vs Jean-François Larieux, Opera Galley, Hong Kong, China Nuit Rouge, Galerie Lydia Monaro, Montreal, Canada 2010 Small Sizes, Galerie Lydia Monaro, Montreal, Canada Toronto International Art Fair, Toronto, Canada Face à face, Opera Gallery, Paris, France Les nuits blanches, Galerie Lydia Monaro, Montreal, Canada 2009 X-mas exhibition, Galerie Lydia Monaro, Montreal, Canada 2006 Group Show, Thompson and Landry Gallery, Toronto, CanadaInterviewAndré Monet Interview
Picasso once said, “you don’t make art, you find it.” Where do you find your art?
Art has always been a part of me. I realized it the first time I saw my nanny paint a mushroom on a piece of paper and I couldn’t understand how she did it. I was amazed by how she put something real to paper. It was so many years ago and I can still remember it changing something for me. I don’t remember the moment I painted a face as clearly. But the first time I painted a portrait on the page of a book, then a map while adding to the texture, I realized I had just created something I had never seen before. You see it more and more now, other artist trying to do the same thing but back when I started it all those years ago, I was alone with my idea and I knew it would change things.
From an idea to its materialization: How do you approach your work?
When I choose a subject, a face I’m going to paint, I usually dive into that person’s world. Their books, their lyrics, their lives, I jump right in. I need to feel like I know the subject so the person looking at my work, looking at the portrait, ends up feeling the same way. I focus quite a bit on the eyes, the gaze, the textures. People are not one dimensional neither is my work. I think it’s the only way to create a portrait that will express the love, respect and admiration that I have for my subject.
What is your favourite book?
My favourite book is anything from Romain Gary.
Which artist would you like to have coffee with and what would you discuss?
I would have coffee, drinks, lunch, dinner, anything really, with Picasso. I will always admire his audacity and his genius. Still, I’m not sure meeting your idol is a good idea. Best to imagine them a certain way and leave reality alone.
How did you get into art?
I’ve been painting since I can remember. I studied graphic design in university and then moved into advertising and fashion for years. Then the company I was working for had some very big financial issues. As someone in a senior position they had me fire everyone on my floor and then it was my turn. I walked out of there with some things in a box and headed straight for my studio. I stayed there for a year and prepared my first show. It sold out the day before opening.
Who are the people in your surroundings that influence you?
My wife Joanne.
Imagine you have a time machine. Where would you go?
I would live in Paris, between the two wars. In the time of Picasso, Monet, Manet, Lautrec and company.
Other than art, what are you most passionate about?
Painting is a very solitary experience. It’s just me and my art, up close and personal, so I depend heavily on music. It’s really the soundtrack to my life but also my work, my headspace, the mood I put myself into when I work and need to focus on the tiny details that have become my signature.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on a series of nudes. I experimented with this a few years ago and all those pieces sold out in New York. So I know there’s something there. I’ve started up on them again, still using my signature backgrounds of collage, maps, stamps and texture.... with a twist.