Ian’s work has always felt primal to us. So incredibly emotional, right down to the direct titles, temperament, and rich colors. He describes some of his art as “modern cave drawings, ” and as per usual, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Whether examining our darker hours, or simply wrestling with introspection related to the various dilemmas of personhood, Ian Gamache is unabashed, talented, and creates insatiably.
Hailing from a rural Manitoba and currently living in Montreal, the breadth of Ian’s art is wide. Keeping up with him on social media could spin one up, wondering not only how he creates as much as he does but how he’s becomes so adept, no matter what medium he’s working in. Seeing as how he didn’t start painting until he was 20, it’s incredible to think how much he has grown technically. He uses textures to create succinct, emotional landscapes, whose resignation precipitate a sense of calm; even if concurrent with defeat. Somehow, this feels hopeful to us. As rugged humans traipse over text, and land amid an artistic experience called “life”, we surely relate to the range of emotions they embody.
Whether painting, found elements, or photographs, Ian’s work is inherently relatable in a way that makes us feel a little less crazy. We appreciate his honesty, perspective, and that he took the time to answer these questions for IPaintMyMind… cuz we think he’s a bit of a genius.
EL: There is a stark simplicity to your work that is disarming. How did you arrive at your current style? Did you experiment with other mediums?
Ian Gamache: I think that there has been a general trajectory in my visual art experiences; I’ve always been open to experimentation, but I believe that the ethic and aesthetics have remained consistent. I didn’t start painting until I was about 20, and my first interest was abstract painting, and it started to become more figurative as I evolved. I’ve always worked with a variety of materials: general art supplies, but also found objects, wood, collage, and pretty much whatever is available. These days I prefer making something that is light-weight and somewhat portable. I also take a lot of photographs and experiment with video and digital pieces.
EL: We’re also big fans of collage and mixed media, what draws you most to adding these elements to your artworks?
Ian Gamache: Probably because of the availability of printed material; I think collage and mixed media are really art forms of this time. Using lefts-overs from the ‘print’ age makes sense. As I evolve I try more and more to hide and cover the collaged elements; to really work them into the new piece, rather then having those elements merely referencing something else.
EL: Whether a flower, or some other add-on, these other materials play a central role in conveying the emotion of the work. And actually, many of your titles refer to certain emotional states that I think we all deal with…
Ian Gamache: Yes, I think my art works have become more emotional. They reflect a lot of my own experiences and the variety of emotions I’ve gone through in the last few years; but I am also a big believer in empathy, and having empathy with others in situations, and imagining myself in others shoes and different emotional states. I try to put all that into my drawings and paintings. I think my earlier works were more reflections on humanity, on our history, and our collective memory, where as now they are more interior reflections on emotional states, love, loss, pain, growth.
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