“I am a painter and a sculptor. After a while, I understood that I need to paint in order to sculpt, and I need to sculpt in order to paint. Each time I find myself in front of a canvas, a flat, inert, simple surface, I try to infuse it with a piece of life that revolves in an infinite space. My desire is not to excavate the depths of the background, but to open up the potential of the foreground, to allow my subjects to break free from the canvas. I use brushes sometimes, but I prefer my hands. I sculpt my canvas. I need to be in direct contact with it. I conceive its roundness. When I paint, in fact, I am preparing to sculpt better.
When I sculpt, I have the impression that I am drawing my subjects. I trace the line of a body that is unfolding, I sketch the curve of a hip, then the roundness of a breast. The thousands of sketches that I have done up till now, always in an effort to better understand human anatomy, allow me to approach the subject without constraints. The proportions emerge naturally, so I can amuse myself by deconstructing them. I open my bodies, I arch them beyond natural limits. In the same breath, I profoundly anchor yet weaken them. My subjects often emerge from the base of a tree that passes through them and reappears as wild, dense hair. The meeting between body and organic matter is intended to be a reminder of our origins. We come from the earth and we will return to it.
No matter what medium I explore, the central theme remains the same: I speak of interior peace, of fulfilment. Whether it is through painting or through sculpture, I endeavour to transcend the mere representation of a subject to approach the interiority, the spirit. I question the mysteries of life, love, and the world in which we live. The serenity with which I infuse my subjects is my way of denouncing the demanding world in which we live, a world that encourages performance at any cost, rampant consumerism, pollution, stress, and the over-exposure of violence and human stupidity in the media. I offer a pause. My artistic work can be considered as a celebration of slowness, of the sweetness of life, of the simple pleasure of being here, alive, of existing.”
André Desjardins was born in 1964 in Haute-Rive. He studied graphic design at the Université du Québec à Montréal. In 2002, after 14 years at the helm of his own communications company, Desjardins made the decision to leave everything behind to devote himself to his true passion: painting and sculpture.
In 2008, he presented his work at the Art Expo New-York, where he enjoyed unexpected success. Masterpiece Publishing, a California company that specialises in representing visual artists, took Desjardins under its wing and launched his international career. His work is now featured in many galleries, as well as public and private collections around the world. The Galerie ROCCIA, on boulevard St-Laurent in Montréal, is the exclusive representative of his work in Canada.