A brushstroke can impart so many emotions, and for Andre Desjardins, his paintings celebrate “the right to live, to love, to speak, to make love.”
He infuses the essence of life force with each stroke, texture and nuance in his paintings. His pieces attest to the mysteries of life, love and the universe itself.
His use of muted and subtle tones create a dreamlike state of the mysticism Desjardins himself channels.
Desjardins’ passion for life and longing to illustrate stories of humanity emerged as a college student, earning an art degree in his homeland of Quebec. While he discovered ways to transfer his fascination of telling human stories onto the canvas in college, these days, he devotes his time and energy to translating emotions “into images of timeless beauty and humanity” as self-proclaimed founder of “visual emotionalism” — an expressionistic and humanist style that “fuses the figurative with the abstract” while depicting stories of people he has encountered.
Desjardins, in fact, strives more to “touch the soul as it awaits the emotional reaction of the viewer” than to simply impart a story. Only when this occurs does he feel his painting is complete.
“Like the conductor of a great symphony,” he explains in his own bio, “Desjardins uses his hands to add both emphasis and nuance to his works, for each is a representation of humanity energized by the emotions of the artist himself.”
Like all soulful work, Desjardins continues to evolve. He fuses the influence of traditional masters, such as Da Vinci, with more abstract works of Jackson Pollock. He intensifies emotions by telling eloquent stories and painting passionate, soulful work onto canvases, with masterful technique. His implementation of crackling further emphasizes the fragility of life, as well as honors the old masters.
Desjardins doesn’t focus on finished pieces. In his studio, he believes, taking the time to create, or doing nothing, are equally important. He describes his workshop as a place to “simply breathe in … an incubator of ideas, a place where everything is possible.” His openness to solitude and introspection informs his ability “to reproduce particles of eternity,” he says.
Desjardins’ sculptures support his paintings and vice versa. As a result, the subjects of his paintings tend to “break free” from the canvas.
“I use brush sometimes, but I prefer to use my hands,” he says. “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.”
On the other hand, as he sculpts, he feels as though he’s drawing his subjects. In this way, both disciplines support his reminder of human origins and how “we come from the earth and we will return to it.”
Art, for Desjardins, makes him feel immortal, because he views it as a universal and timeless language. He strives to impart lasting pieces as his way to communicate everlasting emotions.
Through both sculpture and canvas, his central theme revolves around spirit.
“I speak of interior peace, of fulfillment,” he says. “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.”
— by kimberly nicoletti