Interviewed by Lucy A.Edwards on behalf of The Moniker Foundation
Tell us a bit about Alex Garant : the person, opposed to Alex Garant : the artist - what do you enjoy doing when you're not in the studio?
I have a pretty relaxed lifestyle, I think. I used to have a crazy stressful corporate career where I completely burnt out, and after suffering from a heart attack at 30, lifestyle changes pushed me to live day by day and also intensify my life passions. I enjoy going to the gym, I find that resistance training is really good for my mental health, I also truly enjoy walking my little monster dog, a hairless chihuahua named Master Splinter. I also enjoy traveling with my fiance Jack and during the pandemic, I tried to focus on gardening in my backyard and calling my family back home in Quebec City.
Now let's hear about Alex the artist - you're internationally renown in the art world as the Queen of the Double Eyes due to the features in your paintings, whats the influence there? How did the double eyes come about in the first place?
The duplication of elements and recognising patterns is something I was always visually attracted to. Even from my early works in Art school in the early 2000's, you can observe some of those trends slowly forming. It wasn't until I started healing from the heart incident that I truly focused on my quest for a vibrating effect within my work. And the process was very analog & sketch-on-paper driven. The idea was to create movement and illusion as a way to express a battle between the subject's different personalities.
You've been interviewed and featured by some awesome publications and institutions - VICE, Huffington Post, Juxtapoz, Wall Street International - just to name a few! Do you have any interviews that stick out in your mind as special or humorous for whatever reason?
All interviews are different, sometimes people want to go very deep into the meaning of creation and the impact of the universe, and other times people just want to go point by point over your actual CV. I usually enjoy interviews that tend to bit more conversational with an interesting exchange of perspectives. I also usually embrace the opportunity to be very blunt and raw with my ideas (laughs)
Probably a tricky one, but who is your favourite artist of all time?
It is a tricky question, on a technical level, I am so obsessed with Bouguereau, the way he painted was just so mind-blowing. I saw several of his paintings at the Musee D'orsay and I was truly overwhelmed by the sight of such beauty and mastery.
When it comes to inspiration, I always recognised the Francis Bacon Pope series after Valazquez to be one of the triggers of my search for movement in a 2d medium.
If you were a musical artist, what would the name of your debut album be?
Moving on to talk about your upcoming print release with Moniker Editions - tell us a bit more about this piece...
Little Bit of Time was an interesting piece that stands as a transitional piece within the last collection I produced. It generated from the concept of duplicating the duplicated. I also liked the idea of stripes and pattern as an additional main stage element creating supplementary vibrating value. While the colours are blunt and patterns sharp, it is meant to contrast with the softer figure just standing there, observing the viewer back.
Which is your preferred medium? and why?
I enjoy Oil Paint more than anything, I find it to be a forgiving medium when it comes to shape and colours. I also like how it can be "massaged" and sculpted for a few hours after application. I would feel constraint in a fast-drying practice.
You've exhibited all over Canada and the U.S., Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York as well as Australia and Portugal - out of all of your shows, which has been your favourite?
Each show offers something special, some of them were milestones in my career so they mean slightly more contextually. My first solo in California at Spoke Art San Francisco, my first museum shows in collaboration with the lovely people at Thinkspace Projects, also my first solo in Australia with Beinart Gallery. And sometimes the highlight of a show is to work with truly passionate curators like Lawren Alice, Erica Berkowitz or Dasha Matsuura just to name a few <3
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