Thinkspace Projects is presenting Sandra Chevrier’s highly anticipated second solo show with the gallery, ‘Cages and the Shadow of the Colors.’ The Montreal-based Canadian artist creates work that explores identity as a locus of competing imperatives and complex contradictions. Drawing parallels between the assumed invulnerability of the superhero and the impossible demands placed upon the contemporary individual, Chevrier creates literal and metaphoric masks by combining comic book imagery assembled from found and imagined sources. Her dystopian spin on the iconic figure of the superhero looks to reveal the flaws in the staged extroversion of the superficial veneer.
The artist examines gender identities and roles, exhibiting a male-dominated world where Chevrier’s subjects denounce the role given to the female counterpart therein, refusing to play the part of seducer or victim. In the greater body of Chevrier’s work, the images represented range from scenes of conflict, triumph and defeat. They delve into social limitations, which corrupt what truly is beautiful and lock women into prisons of highly-codified and narrow identities. In this, her subjects become nothing short of superheroines.
Chevrier paints masterfully detailed portraiture, making her women seemingly emerge from a surreal world, onto the canvas, wherein a dance is performed between reality and imagination, truth and deception. She chooses to highlight the fragility of the superhero, their struggles and weaknesses, and exposes the humanity within the superhuman. Despite all the playfulness of the superhero trope, she emphasized that superheroes are also fragile, all merely human men and women, all entitled to our flaws and errors.
“To paint is to play with colors, to let them dance with each other, to intertwine to become one or more, an infinite chromatic circle. To paint is to take everything that nature offers us and make it yours. All those hues that are only available to us because our eyes and brain work together to translate light into color. An apple is not red. Color exists only in the mind of the beholder.”
Ever inspired by color and its influence, Chevrier has incorporated color shading into her reference photoshoots over the last couple years, playing with blues, ambers, yellows, and reds on the skin. She has found each one tells a different story and embraces that in this new body of work.
‘Cages and the Shadow of the Colors’ opens Saturday, May 7 with a reception from 6PM to 10PM. Additionally, there will be a new print in an edition of 50 from the artist only available on opening night, and beginning an hour ahead of the reception at 5pm. The show will remain on view until May 28 at Thinkspace Projects.
About Sandra Chevrier
Sandra Chevrier is a Canadian contemporary / pop urban artist, known for her captivating portraits of women from The Cages series. Born in 1983, Chevrier got her Bachelor’s degree in visual and media arts from UQAM – L’Université du Québec à Montréal. As a self-taught artist, Sandra Chevrier first fell in love with art as a kid. Art rapidly became a language on its own. Her interest began with sketching eyes and grew from there, with the initial obsession still highly visible in her present work, leading to her self-appointed epithet, the “gaze collector.” Her work is exhibited internationally and her artworks are now in the collections of art collectors all over the world.
Sandra produces work ranging over vastly fluctuating emotional enigmas and concepts that have set the standard of our modern communication, exposing the limitations of our world; our self-imposed expectations and the cages we have allowed to bar us from the fullness of life’s experience. With work demanding to be dissected beyond its surface value, Chevrier’s portraits are quite literally torn between the fantastical heroics and iconography of comic books and the harsher underlying tragedy of oppressed female identity and the exposed superficial illusion it conveys.