Courtesy: Joëlle Blouin
Joëlle Blouin: the city, its source of inspiration in street art
“The moment my painting catches your eye, a new journey has begun” – Joëlle Blouin interview
Text by Mónica Vázquez in collaboration with Briana Prieto F.
Translation by Briana Prieto F. in collaboration with Paula Villanueva
Joëlle Blouin is a Canadian artist. Attracted by design, architecture, painting and geometric figures of a city, she has done works with styles that she defines as “Urban Cubism.” Her work has been recognized nationally as well as internationally. This year is the first time she will attend Spectrum Indian Wells Art Show, where some of the best artists and galleries of the world will meet. At ALL CITY CANVAS we interviewed her about her current and future projects.
For Blouin, art is life and she’s living that life!
How do you see current street art?
I think it’s cool and necessary. It’s where artists express themselves for the public to see and be a part of. Street art used to be taboo but now more and more you see murals on buildings. It’s now become part of our neighborhoods and our communities. It engages reaction and it’s also a reflection of people who live in these communities and of the urban culture surrounding us. It’s the pulse of the people!
How do you view street art in Canada and the U.S.?
I feel that street art in Canada and the U.S. is somewhat the pulse of the art world at the moment. More and more graffiti artists or street artists find themselves being very much a part of the art world and exhibit and sell their art successfully in galleries.
In 2015, a jury selected her piece Without Hesitation as winner of the 37th edition of ArtExpo New York. Her artwork was presented on the official poster of the event. Shortly thereafter, she was named one of the “Top 40 Artists to See” by Art Business News Magazine.
What does your piece “Without Hesitation” mean to you?
The significance for me is to not let yourself be intimidated by the city. And to not hesitate in life; to take risks and to move forward. To be bold is OK!
How would you describe your style?
My style is known as “Urban Cubism,” which combines influences from cubism and urban art.
I’m entirely self taught and have developed and pioneered my own unique style of painting. My signature technique features the unconventional use of paint knives to create impasto-textured cubes thickly layered.
The strokes of my palette knife give the artwork a three dimensional quality which allows me to express my responses to the energy and soul of the urban environment.
Why is playing an important roll in society important to you?
I fuel on positive vibes and if my art can bring happiness to people and help spread love then my roll in society has been accomplished!
Where does inspiration come from before painting?
The energy that a bustling city or urban environment releases is undeniable. I have always enjoyed observing the nature of urbanity. Taking a moment to analyze the style of architecture, the way the light reflects on the different materials, the textures, the surroundings and how people interact have always intrigued me. Every country, state, province, city, town, village and neighborhood has its own identity and this is primarily what I try to capture. Generally, a few sketches and key words accompany a series of photographs.
Leaving room for the imagination, imperfection and abstraction are present in my work to show that aesthetic beauty can emerge from a simple environment. At times chaotic, serene or mysterious, each of my works should be viewed differently. The moment my painting catches your eye, a new journey has begun and beauty shall prevail.
What role do architecture and design play in your work?
I earned a college degree in Interior Design, but followed my true calling to pursue art in 2008. I’m passionate about architecture and design and both serve as inspiration for sure. Hints from my training in Interior Design can be seen in my architectural perspectives and my love of capturing city skylines.
I also enjoy following the trends and I love integrating my art to exceptional architectural settings! It is a facet of my profession that motivates me immensely.
How do you feel about participating in Spectrum Indian Wells?
This will be my first year participating in Spectrum Indian Wells. The spectacular venue at the Renaissance Hotel and the gorgeous desert surroundings makes this the perfect opportunity for me to share my art with the people of this magnificent artistic community that has recently become my home. I relocated to the Coachella Valley last May.
What kind of music inspires while working?
I enjoy reggae music, so Bob Marley radio is my favorite. I also enjoy listening to solo piano from time to time; it really depends.
What future projects do you have coming up this year?
I just had a baby girl and can’t wait to travel with her so I can show her the beauty of this world and all its cultures. I plan on opening my own galleries but also continue to exhibit at art shows and galleries worldwide.
What phrase defines you:
Founder of “Urban Cubism;” artistic innovator who is energetic and a go-getter and has the capacity to transform her dreams to reality. Boom!