An Interview with Alex Garant

1. Hey Alex! You live in Toronto, Canada - What's it like there and did you grow up there?

I was actually born and raised in Quebec City, Quebec, a Francophone province in Canada. I moved to Toronto to explore more opportunities about 9 years ago. I love the multicultural fabric this big city has to offer.

2. What was your early artwork like? Previous to your "Blur and "Double Eyes" series your work still involved mirrored imagery and doubles, have you always been fascinated by these types of subjects?

I have actually, if I look at my early works from art school, there is always a very stiff, symmetrical composition, over the years I learned to embrace it and use it to push my visual concept further.

3. You describe your work as pop art, but I'd argue it's quite contemporary portraiture; Inspired by such things as double exposures, film or computer effects. Why do you consider your work "pop art"?

To me portraiture can be quite mundane, we are living in a society where self-portraiture and self- narrative, through mobile photography for example, is a daily activity. By applying a gimmick to the imagery, you suddenly transform the banal into an experience, you elevate the ordinary. I believe their is also a kitschy aspect to my art sometimes, via either my color palette, patterns, choice of model or overall composition.

4. I hear you're a fan of wrestling and keeping in shape? Do either of these inspire you in an artistic way?

The fitness thing is really important to me, it is almost a form of meditation, a way to reset physically and mentally. It also helps me channel my energy positively. I also believe there is a certain quest for an aesthetically pleasing image, like a long term self portrait sculpture. As per the wrestling, that is my love for cheesy, gimmicky, silly entertainment. Just a way to remind myself not to take everything seriously and just enjoy the ride.

5. Tell me about your working as a make up artist and does that still have any effect on what you do now?

Well, I only did that for a couple of years in one of my many previous life. It was an experience, I do not believe it is impacting my current works much. I could be wrong. I am sure my overall life journey is what makes me what I am now. I did have a lot of odd jobs here and there: make-up artist, flight attendant, clown, marketing and and advertising jobs etc. I will have to do some more introspection about that specific phase of my life to analyze if it was deeply formative.

6. Are you a spiritual person?

Not really. I do not identify with any religion nor believe in a higher power at this point. I do believe in having a strong moral compass and overall positivism. I believe in love and passion. That said, I am still 100% afraid of ghosts. hahaha

7. How would you describe the state your subjects are in? Are they being viewed by someone else and these viewers are seeing multiples? Or is it the subject that is experiencing this?

I like to think the protagonists are trying to escape themselves. Almost possessed by a distinct version of their own individuality. As per the viewers, they shall try to find that person, focus on making those multiples into one. My pieces are meant to engage the viewers into a image investigation process and hopefully enlist their senses differently while doing so.

8. What do you think of social networks and things like Instagram for artists?

I think every way to communicate with art lovers should be embraced. I love being to talk so easily with other artists, collectors , "fans" and even galleries. The world is getting smaller and every day , it is getting easier to reach out to the world out there. I try to embrace all of it. I do have some days when I need a little break from computers, phones, screens but as a whole, I do think social medias are a great way to bring the art community together and are an essential marketing tool.

9. Outside of art and the gym, what do you like to do?

If I am not at work, the gym or in the studio, I am usually walking my dogs, shopping for art supplies or spending some time with my boyfriend. And sleeping, I love a good night sleep.

10. Tell us about your release with People's Printshop and how you hand embellished it?

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about this print release. Each print was hand embellished with acrylics, pencils and metallic appliques then signed and numbered. They are all meant to be different while preserving the essence of the original composition.

Thanks Alex!

Learn more about Alex Garant on her website, and be sure to follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Alex's new hand embellished print will be available on 7/30/15 - stay tuned!