Similar to the work of Van Gogh or Monet, it only takes one look to recognize the art of Alex Garant. Based in Toronto, Garant is a visual artist known for her entrancing oil paintings marked by their duplication, symmetry, and superimposition. Her signature double eyes create a sensory overload that leaves viewers feeling hypnotized in an effort to find stability in her reverberating portraits. Garant says, “Humans instinctively attempt to connect with others by looking at them in the eyes. That’s how we understand emotions, how we relate, how we empathize. By forcing the viewer to search for that connection when looking at my works, I hope to create an additional involvement in the piece.”
Known as analogue glitch art, Garant’s work reflects a deep exploration of constructed identity. The duality of our inner and outer selves is seen in the naively curious eyes and the polarizing aura of her portrait subjects. Garant’s truly unique perspective is rooted in a life-altering experience she faced. In 2012, the artist suffered from a heart attack. Propelling a moment of awakening, this traumatic event is what made Garant decide to take control of her life and pursue her passions at full force. Garant now sees the world differently after this second chance and her paintings are evidence of that. There is an awareness in her art that echoes the understanding that our bodies are just vessels for an undefinable experience of conflicting emotions.
Garant says, “My goals are always to create an experience for the viewer, a balance between looking at something aesthetically pleasing and an overwhelming sense of confusion and vibration all at once.” Whether the viewer feels awestruck or unsettled, Garant’s magnetizing paintings elicit strong reactions that stimulate the conscience.
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