About the artist
Paul Fortin was born in Montreal in 1961. He graduated from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) in 1987 with a Bachelor's degree in graphic design and a certificate in plastic arts. He has since devoted himself to broadening his creative potential, without limiting himself to a single medium of expression. Over the past few years his works have been presented in exhibitions in Montreal at the Daylight Factory Café and the Atelier Francine Labelle, as well as at the Save the Date event. In addition to pursuing his work as an artist, Fortin currently is the artistic director at Autodesk, a large software publishing company.

About his art
Fortin's work is characterized by spontaneity and visceral momentum, evident in his technique and, especially, in the disturbing strangeness quickly apparent in his works. He paints in response to that which life dictates and which we do not understand. Like Francis Bacon, Fauvists and even comic book artists, Fortin does not aspire to create exact representations of the subjects that inspire him. His movement is born of risk, presenting us with the "outre-visible" [beyond the visible] (Yves Bonnefoy). His figures are naked, raw, and fix us with a penetrating stare that seems to say, "Why are you looking at us this way?" We continue to observe them nonetheless, fascinated by the intensity of their presence, their fear, sensuality, melancholy, and their weak yet strong humanity. Alfred Hitchcock did say, after all, that the greatest special effect is a close-up of a human face. Fortin's paintings of flamboyant colours turn us into voyeurs but also reveal us to ourselves; they evoke in us "l'angoisse de regarder au fond de ce qui [nous] regarde" [the anguish of looking into the depth of what is looking at us] (Georges Didi-Huberman).

From a portrait Paul Fortin creates a sculpture, a destructured mask, a digital drawing; he explores form, always increasingly fragile (masks) or precise (digital drawing), through which he discovers what he is looking for in the Other, and perhaps also in himself.

Version française