Fascinating portrait paintings of apparitions from the imaginal realm
inspired by Walt Whitman’s poem, “Eidolon”.
I met a seer,
Passing the hues and objects of the world,
The fields of art and learning, pleasure, sense,
To glean eidolons.
Napoleon Brousseau spent several years in trance meditation states, painting and stalking these elusive eidolons and fantomes which he has so powerfully pinned down in this series of nineteen portrait paintings. The paintings scintillate and respond to the viewers gaze, largely because of Brousseau’s “roll, grind, roll, brush,repeat” technique he created in order to wrestle his subjects down into the dimensions of each work.
Each painting expressing each phantom’s own intriguing individuality and personality. One is a Christ like apparition, another a chimeric mask. The portraits appear to tangibly push forward into the viewers’ space, trying to enter into our dimension.Viewing each one is fascinating encounter and leaves an enduring impression, they are quite unforgettable.
Abraham Lincoln appears and disappears from behind a chain link fence,the dividing poverty line. “Mister Bitumen” beguiles us with his bulbous reflective death mask floating ominously over a ghostly skull. Mister Bitumen was inspired by the environmental damage of the Alberta Tar Sands.
“I began from a meditative process, I held an ideal and went searching, rolling and re- rolling multiple layers of paint. When the ghostly image finally revealed itself,I sealed it in epoxy. Then I ground down the paint and resumed rolling more layers in search of more details ” Grind,roll, repeat, the process took a long time.
Napoleon Brousseau is well known for his giant ant sculptures adorning the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art in Toronto and The Cameron House, a famous local art bar. Napoleon collaborated with Fastwurms which presented innovative eco installations worldwide. Brousseau is a world traveler who has shown and created continuously, working in many mediums- which always confronts the viewer with a distinctive perspective from the usual way of seeing the world.
A seasoned veteran of the Toronto art scene. Brousseau devoted most of the last seven years to Art Directing his new media eco fundraising project “SEED” which uses cell phones interactively to co-create digital trees which raises funds to plant actual trees in urban settings. Seed has been presented in Canada, the US, China, Australia and The McMichael Art Gallery, Kleinburg 2012.
This is a MUST SEE show. At the new Robert Kananaj Gallery http://robertkananajgallery.com/
Show opens: November 8 – Dec 8 2012
Napoleon’s website: http://www.napob.com/