Pauline Gagnon is originally from Quebec Canada, but she has travelled extensively throughout Asia, thus influencing her artistic style. Although she focuses mainly on painting today, she has been very versatile in her interest, studying silkscreen, steel sculpture, jewelry and theater in Montreal; and stone sculpture in Italy. As to her painting, after spending two decades in the nonfigurative style, she has adopted the portrait as the major genre of her work. The artist has had over 40 exhibitions in various international continents.
Pauline’s work appears in the collections of many private individuals worldwide, as well as the corporate collections of Air Canada, Banque Royale du Canada, Bombardier Transport, Chubb Insurance, IBM Canada, Pennsylvania State University and the Wharton Business School in New York.
Pauline Gagnon’s process is very specific. She first takes hundreds of pictures of her models, then goes on to work on her approach, her angle and structure. The artist explains: “ I do not paint from the model in a classical way, but I take a series of picture of him/her, one hundred, two hundred, which I reframe on the computer, I print a few copies that I enlarge to a square. A centimeter square of the photographs becomes ten centimeters square of the canvas. With this grid traced on the canvas as a guide, I paint with large strokes the face or the silhouette and then freed from the constraint of representation, I paint in between the lines”.
To paint the body, the face of another, brings beyond the apparent simplicity of the action, a number of questions. What kind of relationship is established between the painter and her model? What links them to one another? What is the place of Desire? Seduction? Why has the body been an unavoidable theme in the arts since the beginning of its time? Why is it still such a fascinating theme whichever medium is chosen today?If the relationship between the model and the artist faces us with many questions, the relation with the observer is by the same token also to be defined.