• Way Up by Alex Garant

  • Unique as a Snowflake by Alex Garant

  • The Secret by Alex Garant

  • End of the Tunnel by Alex Garant

  • Summer Dreams by Alex Garant

  • Into the Wind by Alex Garant

  • Interference by Alex Garant

  • Birthday Wish Study by Alex Garant

  • A Warrior’s Journey by Alex Garant

This week on Tory Daily, we’re seeing double — again and again. But no one does double vision quite like Canadian artist Alex Garant, whose portraiture plays with elements of symmetry and the surreal… to intoxicating effect. Just check out the slideshow above. Garant talks to us about her art and process here.

The art bug bites when…
I’m randomly letting my mind wander, sometimes in the middle of the night, sometimes while I shower, or sometimes when I walk the dogs. Rarely while staring at a blank canvas for hours in the art studio.

My art influences…
They come from so many places. There are some types of images I am attracted to, such as early ink printing, vintage pop surrealism, baroque tapestries and retro kitsch. I have also always been obsessed by the raw imagery of Francis Bacon.

The idea behind my signature double-vision style…
I want people to view my art and access a different part of their mind while looking at it. I want people to enter a process of analyzing and visual questioning. I do not want to just paint “something pretty” — it needs to be more than that.
It has been suggested that human beings are not awake until wakefulness occurs via over-stimulation of the senses and full activation of the mind. A recurring brain state of consciousness in which an individual is conscious and engaged. I try to initiate reactive responses to the external visual stimuli offered through the superposition of figurative elements and vivid colours.

And how it became my signature…
I was always fascinated by patterns and symmetry. I first experienced such imagery while in art school in 2000. Anything that makes the eyes travel over an image repeatedly. As I played with duplication of elements, I found the vibrating effect created by overlaying images so positively stimulating. Some elements naturally come back when you are exploring mediums and concepts; instinctive creative decisions will always lead the overall process, which leads to an artist’s “style.” It took me years to be able to perfect the idea. Meticulously calculating and carefully planing a new image is still my favorite part of the process.

And what it is about the eyes for me…
My focus is always the eyes and face. This is how the message is communicated with the viewer. I also like to think that portraiture is a way to immortalize humans in space and time. If you look at portraits from 500 years ago, 100 years ago or five years ago, it will give you significant clues on the potential story of the subject. Portraiture is basically a visual thesis on the human condition seen through the vision of its maker.

The women in my portraits are…
My dear muses. I often use specific models who have become my muses by now. That said, some of the colors, patterns and expressions I choose to represent truly express a specific emotional phase of my life regardless of who is literally portrayed. Creating is a very personal experience and I believe each piece can be seen as a type of self portraiture.

When I get the artist equivalent of writer’s block…
Often it is important to keep working and sketching. Most of the work made during an artist block will end up in the garbage, but it pushes you to keep working and overcome it. Sometimes I feel it is liberating to experiment in another medium just for fun as well. BUT, my best remedy is something completely non-art related: the gym. I love lifting weights. I hit the gym for an hour at least five times a week. It’s how I meditate.

As an artist, I could never be without…
Art supplies. I have been known to hoard way too much paint, brushes and canvases.

The two sides to my personality…
Make me one intense, overachieving weirdo. Half of me is a laid-back, going-with-the-flow, smell-the-flowers, head-in-the-clouds space cadet and the other side is an overly driven marketing-specialist over-achiever. I like to schedule my art time in between the madness; I basically make time to relax and be creative. It’s all about balanced excessiveness.

The key to balancing work and life…
Commit to everything. Be stubborn about what you want to do. Balance will happen on its own. Kinda. I’m still working on this, hahaha.

Left brain vs. right brain…
I would expect many to say I am right-brain dominant as they see me excel at expressive and creative tasks. However, I can be incredibly objective and analytical. There is a very formula-driven aspect to my art as well. Saying I am right-brain dominant might be an over-generalization; however, I can see it would be a logical assumption. I’m sure I could find a trustworthy test online somewhere. ;)

My zodiac sign…
Aries. But I don’t believe in astrology. I don’t like the idea of something or someone dictating who I am or who should be. I don’t like the idea of a destiny I would not have control over.

What’s next for me…
I always have a lot on the go. The shows I have in the upcoming months:
LAX/ORD show with Vertical Gallery, Chicago, curated by Thinkspace Gallery (September 3rd to 24th)
Beautiful Bizarre Magazine Invitational, Modern Eden, San Francisco (September)
Small Works, BeinArt Gallery, Australia (September)
Bad Dads, Spoke Art Gallery, New York (October)
SuperSonic Gallery Launch!, supersonicart.com (October)
The Brand Library and Arts Center, Glendale, California, curated by Thinkspace Gallery (November 5th to January 6th)
SCOPE Miami Beach Art Fair, Miami, curated by Thinkspace Gallery (November 29th to December 4th)

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