Nicolas Fontaine in front of his paintings
Nicolas Fontaine was born 1985 in Montreal Canada.
Painting, as always, played an important role in his life since both his grandfather and great-uncle were painters.
At an early age he started to attend painting classes with his grandfather and later he turned more to his great-uncle, cofounder of the geometric movement “Les Plasticiens” in 1955.
After high-school, Nicolas rented a studio where he worked and developed his artistic language.
He took part in numerous exhibitions and performances during these years of self-taught practice.
In 2006 he enters Concordia University in Painting and Drawing where he also takes video art classes, which bring him to a more diversified practice. In 2008 with the help of the DAAD grant he arrives to Berlin in the Kunsthochschule Berlin Weissensee and pursues his studies with prof. Werner Liebmann.
Glittering Thing, 2011, 80cm x 100cm, glitter on canvas
In 2009, under the pseudonym Paul Jakar, he started composing music for his own films or performances and also commissioned pieces for Fashion shows and dance pieces.
He now lives and works in Berlin with the artists constellation of the T-10 Studios that he co-founded in 2010. His works are mostly questioning a modern spirituality based on spiritism doctrines by Allan Kardec and oriental religions.
Psychedelic, kitsch, post-punk, humour, grotesque, baroque and sarcasm combine themselves into a celebration of forms, colours and nature, revealing a calculated harmony of bad taste driven by love and otherness. “I try to create artistic psychotropics that lead to transcendence and happiness.”
Albero brillante, 2012, 190cm X 190cm Glitter on canvas
So Nicolas, let’s start with the questions, the first is by the artist Matías G. Martínez:
M.G.M: Which artist influenced you the most?
NF: That I knew personally I will of course say my great uncle, Jean-Paul Jérôme and also André Butzer that I had the chance to visit a few times and with whom I correspond sometimes.
Otherwise at the very moment I look a lot at Henri Rousseau’s work and Chris Ofili’s blue and silver series.
Orchide, 2012, 50cm X 60cm Glitter on canvas
GUSMEN: What’s the first thing that you do when you get up in the morning?
NF: I try to remember my dreams, the images I saw and the atmosphere.
My dreams are often a big source of inspiration.
Close-up from Jungel geist
GUSMEN: Can you explain a little bit of the process that goes into making these glitter art pieces?
NF: The glittering painting process is really meditative. The technique resembles the sand mandala technique which can be really transcendental by the viewer and the maker. I choose more or less natural motifs like jungles and plants as a celebration of nature. I also try to transcend materiality by using a “kitsch” material such as glitter and sacralizing it throughout a seriousness of composition mastery.
Botanic Garden, 2012, 80cm X 100cm Glitter on canvas
GUSMEN: What’s the last thing that really surprised you?
NF: I saw what was maybe the most beautiful exhibition I ever saw 2 weeks ago in Paris, it was the drawings from Raquib Shaw.
Wald am Nacht, 2012, 50cm x 60cm, Glitter on canvas
GUSMEN: What are you focusing on at the moment?
NF: I am now working on the glitter paintings and my new website. When I will get about 30 or 40 pieces done, I will then start to promote it more. I’m also preparing a big piece of 7×2 m for a show in the summer. Apart from this, I work on a movie and soundtrack that hopefully will be finished this summer.
Dry Jungle storm, 2012, 70cm X 90cm Glitter on canvas
GUSMEN: What do you want to achieve in the future?
NF: I would like to work a lot with architects and make a lot of public art projects, fountains, massive sculptures and frescos. I would like to get more and more involved in social and humanitarian causes through my art.
Jungel Nest, 2012, 70cm X 90cm Glitter on canvas
GUSMEN: What would you ask the next artist that we interview (without knowing who it will be)?
NF: What kind of legacy or message, do you want to leave behind by the making of your art?
To see more of Nicolas Fontaine’s work, visit his blog.[/wide]