Currently on view at Thinkspace Projects in Los Angeles, California is artist Sandra Chevrier’s must see solo exhibition, “Cages and the Shadow of the Colors.”
The Montréal-based Canadian artist creates work that explore identity as a locus of competing imperatives and complex contradictions. Drawing parallels between the assumed invulnerability of the superhero and the impossible demands placed upon the contemporary individual, Chevrier creates literal and metaphoric masks by combining comic book imagery assembled from found and imagined sources. Her dystopian spin on the iconic figure of the superhero looks to reveal the flaws in the staged extroversion of the superficial veneer.
The artist examines gender identities and roles, exhibiting a male-dominated world where Chevrier’s subjects denounce the role given to the female counterpart therein, refusing to play the part of seducer or victim. In the greater body of Chevrier’s work, the images represented range from scenes of conflict, triumph and defeat. They delve into social limitations, which corrupt what truly is beautiful and lock women into prisons of highly-codified and narrow identities. In this, her subjects become nothing short of superheroines.
Chevrier paints masterfully detailed portraiture, making her women seemingly emerge from a surreal world, onto the canvas, wherein a dance is performed between reality and imagination, truth and deception. She chooses to highlight the fragility of the superhero, their struggles and weaknesses, and exposes the humanity within the superhuman. Despite all the playfulness of the superhero trope, she emphasized that superheroes are also fragile, all merely human men and women, all entitled to our flaws and errors.
“To paint is to play with colors, to let them dance with each other, to intertwine to become one or more, an infinite chromatic circle. To paint is to take everything that nature offers us and make it yours. All those hues that are only available to us because our eyes and brain work together to translate light into color. An apple is not red. Color exists only in the mind of the beholder.”
Ever inspired by color and its influence, Chevrier has incorporated color shading into her reference photoshoots over the last couple years, playing with blues, ambers, yellows, and reds on the skin. She has found each one tells a different story and embraces that in this new body of work.