Mance Lanctôt

Kullu-demarche_en

Statement

Traditionally reserved for the upper classes and wealthy, important people and their families, a portrait was a mark of social status. I pursue this social function, but paradoxically, I choose to approach it by painting the unimportant, the forgotten and the anonymous.

In pursuing my art, I quickly understood that my sole motivation was my perception of the notion of Otherness, namely the esthetic resonance the Other triggers in me. Diversity and otherness are the concepts that activate beyond the canvas-object notions of togetherness, intercultural dialogue and collective imagination. With my subjects and my peers, I feel a need to engage in fertile, beautiful relationships that allows me to grow. I learn to seek out the essential in an attempt to silence the endless human chatter. Some features of the people I paint are extremely detailed, while others remain incomplete. The only goal of the context is to formally support the subject. The 13-subject polyptych I produced after my artist’s residency in Inukjuak, Nunavik, contains as a context a single horizon line in graphite and steel powder that links the individuals to a common symbolic earth. In my last collection featuring the Hudson Bay Inuit, I applied to the acrylics paintings precious mineral powders prized in their territory: graphite, aluminium, silver, copper, zinc and gold. These powders, mixed with acrylic polymer, were rubbed and sanded to create a mica-type finish. The linen canvas remains bare in the zones I describe as vulnerable, several elements remain unfinished, simply sketched. I tend to explore pieces of the tale of the human journey and immerse myself in it.

For my models, to allow themselves to be observed, to turn within themselves in deep meditation where their body remains vigilant yet motionless, where everything is the centre and the subject of a creation, is an experience from which one does not emerge without having given or taken. My raw material is this, it’s this gift. While painting, I seek to accurately portray the truth, the authenticity and vulnerability that lie within my models. I tend to immerse myself in the pictorial identity of the return in force of gestural and technical virtuosity, know-how recovered.