Jukebox Time is today featuring artist Antonin Gauthier. The multi-faceted artist has worked in various professions such as molecular biologist, farmer, and handyman. But the call of sculpture was so powerful that he decided to burn his diplomas and scientific papers, renouncing his past to devote himself fully to his artistic passion!
Q. Welcome to Jukebox Time! With anticipation building around your exhibition at Saint-Denis by L’Original Galleries, can attendees look forward to witnessing any shifts in themes or innovative use of materials distinct from your earlier pieces?
Not this time, I would say. I recently moved back to Montreal from another province. When I left Montreal, I was in an entirely different profession. I simply wish to introduce myself to the local art community. My work is quite different from the mainstream and often difficult to photograph. I just want people to see some of the works up close.
Theme wise, I was always all over the place! I am pushing the limits of minimalism with my most recent work. Then again, it has been my goal all along.
Q. Recycling objects to create your sculptures resonate with a global push for sustainability. Was this an intentional choice or did it naturally emerge from your personal artistic process?
When I started making sculptures, people would bring me metal things, old tanks, and stuff like that and ask me if I could use them. I always found something I could use. It was at first a convenient choice. Then it became intentional. It is a nice challenge to see a discarded part and create something elegant or funny out of it.
We are killing the planet with our consumerism. There is nothing wrong with recycling, reusing materials. On the contrary.
Q. Are there any iconic sculptures or artists that have deeply influenced your artistic philosophy or approach to your craft?
I am one who gets goosebumps when I see real art. Rodin is one who can move me anytime. The emotion is visible in all his work. Camille Claudel, one can feel her pain just by looking at her work. Kathe Kollwitz, the father and the mother grieving, for example, is another example of work that stirs a great deal of emotions.
A Dali, a Picasso will do that for me too, seen up close. It’s there! Goosebumps.
Big shiny stuff doesn’t do it for me at all. When it requires a full page description to tell you what it is, I don’t see any art other than in the descriptive. When it needs to weigh several tons to justify its price, I call it a waste of material.
If I had to name an artist who I can say really influenced me, it would be Gary Larson!
Q. You describe yourself as a multi-faceted artist. How do you balance the scientific precision and the spontaneous creativity that is so evident in your works?
The laws of physics apply everywhere. The laws of biology apply everywhere. I think that my training in science helps me with the suspension of disbelief. I have to get it right to fool you into believing that a couple recycled metal parts are suddenly transformed into a funny critter that you recognize.
Creativity is a mystery. My head is a mystery to me! I play with a part or two and something happens. I rarely plan ahead what I will do.
Q. Your decision to renounce your past by burning your diplomas and scientific papers is profound. What emotions or realizations propelled you to take such a dramatic step in committing to your art?
It was a bit more mundane than as rephrased by the art gallery. I had no use for these. I was cleaning up at the farm. It’s just a couple of pieces of paper. It’s what you do with the knowledge acquired that counts. I had a pretty good part of the training required to clone a horse in 25 trillion parts (cells). I downsized that to about 25 recycled parts. Dramatic enough?
Q. Lastly, do you have any thoughts or ideas you would like to share with the world and our readers?
I will ask you two simple questions. Think of a simple answer.
How many people can invent the four hole button?
The second one.
How many people can reinvent the four hole button?
As a sculptor, I reside in the adjustment you just made to the first answer.
Have fun creating.
Be kind to your neighbors. Maybe they will do the same to their neighbors.
For more details visit: www.agauthiermetalart.com
Antonin Gauthier’s current solo exhibition at L’Original Galleries unveils his captivating world of artistry where welded recycled objects take on new life as sculptures. From August 20 to 27, at 4455 Saint-Denis, visitors can immerse themselves in these unique and thought-provoking creations. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to explore the innovative mind of this artist through his transformative works.
Check out: www.loriginal.org