10 OCT — 24 OCT 2012
Yves Laroche Galerie d’art is proud to present Montreal-based artist, Jonathan Bergeron’s new solo exhibition Lueurs. Propelled by an evolving style, Jonathan Bergeron’s early success began with his painted documentations of the personified calavera, a skull-shaped character common in the Mexican celebration of Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos). Since then his work has been showcased in important American and Canadian galleries and has appeared in numerous magazines. This is a unique opportunity to see the artworks of this unconventional artist here in Montreal.
– ARTIST STATEMENT –
I have been creating my art for over twenty years. The themes of my pieces have been continuously changing as I experiment with diverse media. For as long as I can remember, I have been drawing: from street art, to vintage art, to Hot Rod culture and California Lowbrow, each style has its own place in my artistic production. My most recent pieces in the Lueurs exhibition include graphite and chalk drawings on tinted paper and oil paintings on panel. These pieces retain all or at least some of these influential styles, while each remaining unique parts of a cohesive whole.
In this exhibition, my pieces depict the resilience of the subject within a life that might previously have appeared hopeless. The visual language lies somewhere between a landscape of fantasy and surrealism. I chose to depict the somber themes of my work with vibrant colors, demonstrating the hope that can emerge from a situation that, at first glance, seems irreparable.
– LUEURS –
In his new exhibition, Lueurs, Jonathan Bergeron proposes a universe in a surrealist landscape – with certain pieces strongly influenced by the work of Salvador Dali – while depicting its subjects in a hostile, precarious environment. In these works, nature slowly repossesses control, making way for strange amalgamations between nature and culture, all within a space where the eminent beauty of hopelessness leaves no space for cynicism.
Lueurs is, in a way, impregnated by the current political and economic context that has come to reflect an entire era. With this new opus of highly personal work, Jonathan Bergeron gestures towards, quite simply, the right to cohabitate harmoniously with nature and reflect on what our values are as a society, but foremost as individuals.
Born in 1973 and raised in Montreal suburbs, Jonathan Bergeron grew up feeding on skateboard art, punk rock album covers and graffiti. Propelled by an evolving style and character, Jonathan Bergeron’s painterly documentations of the personified calavera has gained this artist wide acclaim.
In 1993, Bergeron started applying spray paint on walls and trains under the name “Zen” and by 2000 started working under the “Johnny Crap” alias. He kept that name to sign posters and paintings that were filled with pin-ups, tikis and hot rods. In 2008, he left the hot rod themed art to concentrate on developing his own surrealistic world and went back to using is real name, Jonathan Bergeron. Crap’s work appeared in numerous magazines, including The Horse Backstreet Choppers, Car Kulture Deluxe, and Ol’ Skool Rodz. Many of his illustrations have also been picked up by various American and Canadian papers. He also work on merchandise for bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Black Label Society and Slayer.