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Larochelle, Sébastien

Larochelle, Sébastien

Medium : mixed media

With startling energy, Sébastien Larochelle brings us into a stampede arena among free horses: fiery, spirited, and beautiful. The artist tames these wild animals. He draws and paints them with quick movements that are spontaneous and controlled, in perfect harmony with their strength and elegance. His paintings are a modern take on the cave paintings of our ancestors. He developed a singular style in just the first ten years of his artistic career, and continues to make a significant impact in the contemporary art market.

Sébastien Larochelle is, above all, passionate about drawing. In university, he swapped his lead pencil, which he had used since childhood, for liquid acrylic paint. He began to draw quickly and accurately using slow dripping paint, which became his personal signature. He started to step away from painting portraits, nudes and ballet dancers that he used to draw, and found inspiration in the art of early civilization. He discovered cave paintings and bestiaries, especially those of the horse, a dominant figure in Paleolithic art. For over 10 years, Sébastien Larochelle has depicted this mythical animal with fierce and intense complexity, which has allowed him to fully release his creative energy. With remarkable skill, he brings these expressive horses to life. With a combination of lines and brush strokes, he captures the essence of the beauty and spirit of these magnificent creatures.

In cave paintings, the landscape or setting is non-existent, and symbols and geometric signs represent various rituals. Similarly, paintings on canvas by Sébastien Larochelle feature a very contemporary iconography: brand and product logos, small graffiti, and many signs that encourage a closer look at the details of the work. The painter has modernized this type of art, while maintaining respect for its sacredness. Each painting conceals a sort of ritual. For example, to build his pictorial surface, he assembles pieces of raw canvas by sewing them together with a sewing machine, giving symbolic familial importance to each seam. Once the canvas is finished, he affixes the initials of his beloved mother, a seamstress, who passed away a few years ago.

Born in Hull in 1974, Sébastien Larochelle first studied visual arts at the Abitibi-Témiscamingue CEGEP, and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Québec in Montréal. Soon, his works were presented in Montréal galleries and in Western Canada, where numerous private and public collectors from Canada, the United States and Europe acquired them. In 2013, Cavalia, a company that puts on incredible horse shows around the world, chose the works of Sébastien Larochelle to be part of its travelling art gallery.

Collective Exhibition:
October 2007, La Nocturne des Galeries, Galerie St-Dizier, Montréal.

Solo Exhibitions:
August 2013 Equus Libertas, Espace galerie B8, Québec; August 2004 Be mute but speak loud, Resto-café Le Barbare, Montréal; December 2004 Cheval-esquisse, Restaurant Le Souvenir d’Indochine, Montréal.

Media Coverage:
Magazin’Art, Fall 2009 edition, p. 104-107; Parcours Summer 2007, edition, p. 56-57. Parcours, Spring-Summer 2009, 'Une fois quatre à la galerie Beauchamp', p. 50-51.

Public and Private Collections:
Intact Financial Corporation, Fidji Communications, Uni Sélect Inc., Rocky Mountain Chocolates, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Clinique vétérinaire de Papineauville Inc., Clinique vétérinaire des Vallées Inc., Convectair.

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