Interview performed and written by Genevieve Fried.
Laurent Palardy is an artist raised outside of Montreal, where he now resides, having completed degrees at both Dawson College and Concordia University in fine arts. For the past few years his work has focused mostly on the interaction of space and light and how it makes people feel. Art is a window to the world, Palardy states, and his depictions of shapes are a window into his world: the way he feels when light touches a building or shade marks a wall.
Having experimented with portraiture, video, and painting, Palardy fell in love with oil and canvas early on. “The way oil works is like living matter. Acrylic looks dead after five minutes but oil lives indefinitely.” Of course, the medium brings with it a set of challenges. Every brushstroke is indelible; an amendment or reshaping takes weeks to execute, and so the process requires contemplation and patience. It’s mostly observation and thought, evolved naturally over time, sometimes over months. Yet the process is visceral: he knows a piece is finished when it evokes feeling.
Creating art is part of the essence of Palardy’s being, and similarly, the role of the artist cannot be narrowly defined. “It’s anything that makes you feel or think” he reflects, and the presence of the artist is not going away: so many people make art without even knowing it and thus the expression is salient, always.
For Palardy, the role of initiatives like Centerfold are highly crucial to the development of emerging artists as it gives them the confidence to display their work and also the impetus to learn how to describe it. And, in his opinion, Centerfold itself is highly relevant, too.The pop up art gallery followed by a party is very much aligned with Montreal’s ethos.