May 26 to September 3, 2012
The best known works of Knowlton sculptor and painter, Marc André Jacques (MAJ) Fortier are probably the four bronze statues of legendary Montreal Canadiens hockey players on display outside the Bell Centre in Montreal. Those giant figures by no means represent the entire oeuvre of the artist. Throughout the summer, he will be showing his work at the Yvonne L. Bombardier Cultural Centre.
For 25 years, MAJ Fortier has been painting and sculpting a fanciful, colorful universe peopled with personalities whose faces are both human and robotic and whimsical, inanimate objects that look as if they could move at any minute! When you stop for a few seconds however, and really look at his festive paintings that are set into undulating frames all askew, you quickly detect an element of irony and sometimes sarcasm. Behind the masquerade that would seem to spring from the imagination of a child, is a much deeper message.
Through his work, Fortier criticizes the values of today’s society, condemning globalization, overconsumption, superficiality and the established order. His still lifes illustrate his point of view – a pile of shoes; the pursuit of a dream that is never realized unless one puts 50 cents into a mechanical toy and which lasts only a couple of seconds; a domineering woman controlling a male puppet.
The main subject of a painting is often depicted as a three dimensional bronze figure as well – an even more startling way for the artist to get his message across, which almost always provokes a reaction in the viewer. L’art de la satire, a veritable celebration of summer, runs from May 26-September 3. Children will, no doubt, enjoy the whimsical aspect of MAJ Fortin’s art, but adults are sure to reflect on its deeper message.