Martin Brouillette
Sept. 14th - Oct. 7th, 2006

This latest body of work is principally inspired by the distress and powerlessness that one sometimes feels in the face of human dramas. My intention is to honour those people who are willing to forget about their own needs and be available for others. In order to reach that place, I have chosen a theme often used in painting, that of the angel. I like what the angel represents – Love, Kindness, Compassion and Generosity. My intention is to evoke a state of heart through the idea of the angel. As such, the wings become a symbol contributing to the concept rather than to a formal representation of the angel.

My work aims to illustrate how difficult it can be for "today's angels" to be strong and courageous. That is why I intentionally represent the individuals in a quiet moment of reflection, often in distress and pain. What really motivated me to create these paintings is the constant suffering, solitude and sadness I witness everyday around me and in the media. I hope by seeing my work, the spectator will take some time to reflect on his/her own involvement in the process of peace and healing in this modern world.

What I think is engaging in my paintings, are the very unique techniques I use to support the suggestion of pain. Throughout the process of building the image, I voluntarily destroy parts of it. By using wood scissors, sanding paper and many other instruments, I like to hurt, cut and distress the surface in a manner that reveals layers of collage beneath the paint. These collages are taken entirely from magazine articles and book pages mainly related to Terrorism, War, Global Warming, Aids and other current events. Creating these wounds suggests injuries that someone could feel by looking at the paintings. The challenge for me is a balancing act; while destroying the image, I try to keep as much as possible of its esthetic value without turning it into something less seductive.

I like to pour epoxy resin over the wounded painting as a way to "heal" the distressed surface. It gives the work a smooth, extra-glossy finish. In this manner, the partially destroyed object becomes more appealing and elevates itself to fine art. I propose this intervention as a metaphor which suggests that by altering our perception of the necessity to make everything perfect and beautiful, we tend to create an illusion of a life that is far more glamorous than it really is, as if we would be in denial of what really matters.

I titled this exhibition "Healing" because it is something my angels and the world need at this time. Also, creating these paintings was personally a healing process in terms of my own fears and concerns.

Martin Brouillette