The unveiling of Celsius, Alex Marsolais’s first collection of paintings, could not have been timed any better. Set in a cool refuge of KAI Design Studio, away from the sweltering heat wave of Montreal, some of the vividly textured canvases seemed to be melting. The untrained local artist presents a series of portraits of his favorite songs, a colourful exploration for a new artist.
Marsolais unconsciously crosses Kandinsky with Pollock while following his artistic instincts, trusting his visualization of the music in acrylic and latex paints on canvas. To create his canvases the 35-year-old newbie artist played with techniques, using his fingers, spoons, toy cars to create a final image. Musical inspirations range from Lady Gaga’s Teeth to Jay Chou’s Uncle Joker, The Jackson 5’s Sky Writer to Mylène Farmer’s Libertine.
I was charmed by the work; it truly is wonderful to see a self-taught artist experimenting and putting forward his voice. While music is ubiquitous in our world (everyone has their own iPod soundtrack to their day…), art isn’t always as accessible a practice. Yet here is an encouraging example of a humble and playful foray into art by an elementary school teacher with a love for music and the courage to put paint to canvas.
Celsius is on display at KAI Design Studio until July 22. Be sure to make an appointment to see the work by calling 514-564-6554.