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People, either the ones closest, or those observed at a distance, have always been my main point of fascination as a young destructer. I say destructer cause people assume that as a child I was really good at art, truth is I did not particularly care for it but was rather into the idea of deconstruction and the creative process. My first experience with art was using my mother’s Renoir books as my own personal coloring books.
For me a pretty images did not matter but rather how was it created? Why, what was the story behind the image? That and my early fascination with the author and cult classic director John Waters and the perception of his storytelling… are the series of events that have led me here. I remember vividly after binging on his classics, way to young, watching hits such as; Female Trouble, Pink Flamingos and Cry Baby to name a few and realizing he was glorifying the people I took for granted in my own community. The people who my surroundings had perceived as background characters to be ignored but in reality, were the stars of their or perspectives. Glorifying the delinquents and loud characters that annoy the shit out of us in real life. This idea of storytelling was always in the back of my mind growing up. Mix those inspirations with the fact I was an only child, people watching was and is my favorite sport.
Making up stories or finding out what makes a person uniquely them went from a hobby to part of my creative process. It’s the discovery of letting someone in and getting to know them while creating a piece of art that the individual is physically and emotionally part of. I began this type of art earlier then I give myself credit for. My first live/interactive installation was in my high schools lobby in 2008, and was my first experience in developing this particular creative process.
I had two models (now referred to as muses from this point on) with white masks and sheets, the public was invited to paint or draw on them. As I observed my piece coming to life during the lunch break with stoners and over achievers making their way to see what was going on, I realized pretty instantly that THIS, planning and making individuals/participants collaborators and tools utilized in my art – was what I wanted to do. I had no clue how, when, or even the first step but I felt useful (which was a new emotion to little me) and inspired to the point where I have not stopped since. After that experience, in University I planned my first independent Art Installation in the living room of my first apartment in 2011,
I invited 7 complete different personalities to come into a fort I made of white hospital sheets and pretty much have a paint fight. I took the opportunity to study their behaviors and interactions, I even had an expectations sheets to compare with how they truly interacted. All in all it went super well and led to a handful of other similar installation varying in details.
Jump to 2014, I was living with some pretty amazing young fellows who were annoyingly into video games, that being said, this group of people were my family and biggest supporters for years. One day, like any other day I ran out of paint but had come from a body painting contract at a local club, (side note there’s some good money in body painting especially then before it became such a big trend) and had a bunch of body paint to spare. Sitting there, playing at their respective PC’s they allowed me to use them as Human Canvas’s,
the project started with roommates, then childhood friends to new people who I absolutely had to paint and get to know. This process is very important to me, it allows me to form a bridge with individuals I would otherwise not have an opportunity to hear their perspectives. And the more perspectives we know, the more we can individually grow. Not sure if this introduction made any sense, I have been procrastinating posting the truth and these essays for years now, but here we go. I present to you my Painted Personas – Human Art Series, individuals who have come into my life and allowed me to use their stories and experiences by becoming art themselves.
All individuals have consented to becoming an art piece. Most I still talk to, some I am sure I have upset by being selfish in my own right. (PS. Happiness requires a degree of selfishness, you can’t please them all) I write these out of pure love and wish them all nothing but the best. In what follows are the essays of my muses and a series’ part of my life’s work – that will, like everything evolve into its own accord and direction. None of these are in any particular order of importance.
This will be an ongoing page, please come back to see if I have added any essays or blurbs! Merci!
HUMAN ART SERIES BY ALEXANDRE AIMÉE
LA FEMME FATALE
This beautiful muse was utilized in many series including the item of desire in my ‘Smoking Alone’ installation at the Daily Grind Art Café (R.I.P.) in 2011.
A seductress aware of the strength of her power, let’s call her Scarlet.
I met Scarlet when I was just about to graduate from high school at the union job I scored (the only reason I was able to get my post-secondary education.) I hated working there, especially at first. The only thing that made it bearable was meeting people like Scarlet. Scarlet was a force to be reckoned with. Beautiful, smart and above all approachable and a very loving person. So incredibly comfortable in her own skin she though me to own my womanhood and that breast are always magical, no matter what you think about your own. As well as the magic each and everyone of us can own with confidence and love. She intrigued me the most with her exhibitionist nature and general sweetness, she is now living her best life and has two beautiful children.
Though it has been almost half a decade since we last spoke, there will always be a place in my heart for her and her family and the lessons I’ve learned. To own my beauty – is something I thank her for every day.
THE ROLLING STONE
I met this rolling stone at a bus stop, you will see this is kind of a theme in my life, but what makes this different is I met this young lad at a Greyhound bus stop coming back from a week-long contract at a leadership camp that pretty much changed my life. So, meeting this individual the second I got off of the bus, was sign to me and I took it.
I have never met a stranger who looked so excited to talk to me. His eyes wide like a deer in headlights, he was high on adrenaline and God knows what kids take these days. On his own adventure, he was bragging about all the trips he took across continents with only a bicycle. I was really impressed, this individual was barely of age to drink in our beautiful province and had already done so much in a short life. The conversation ended there and unexpectedly continue months later as I was moving up north for the winter and desperately looking for anything to do. I agreed to meet only if it was for artistic purposes as I knew anyone who had done and lived such unnecessary measures at such a young age had to have a good story to tell. And he did.
From a family of what I assume have high expectations and great connections with loyalty top priority – I strongly believe that this rolling stone will not stop unless he crashes and burns.
What he did open my eyes up to is the importance of family history and heritage; to be part of something that is bigger than yourself, something you do not choose, something you were born into, something that is part of you whether you like it or not. Some may call it privilege, I think it depends what side of the fence you’re sitting on.
I honestly have no clue what he’s up to but I have a painting waiting for him in my studio so, if anyone recognizes this individual please let them know that there is a painting waiting for him to thank him for our beautiful conversations.
THE SAD MOTHER
There are many sides to every story. This particular person is a muse who’s shown the dark side of a gendered expectation I’ve been conditioned to aspire to: motherhood. Drowning in her own high standards and expectations this 2014 multimedia piece reminds me every day that the wave of darkness is never that far away. And that to truly be happy we must surmount the storm, even if that might hurt or affect the emotions of others. Also, that priorities and goals must be able to adapt to the bumpy road we have ahead of us.