Robert B. Gougeon
The essence is authenticity, the humbling goal is intensity of simplicity and the signature is minimalism and energy. The conversation with the canvas, more like a dispute, is always intense. Stories are told, while a positive vision invariably prevails.
Using a spatula, I layer and sculpture exciting acrylic paint and gel. A composition frantically emerges, made up of rich textures floating in essential space. My modern palette evolves continuously. Three distinct series (Urban Scape, Landscape: S-Scape and In Motion) are currently in play as I walk the fine and unforgiving line between representational and abstract expressionist art.
Art and a vivid imagination sheltered Robert Gougeon during a childhood of poverty and insecurity. He would draw futuristic cities on scraps of paper and build them in sand on a beach too rarely available to him. Not even ten, rather than play in tough back alleys and streets in his concrete neighbourhood, Robert would stowaway on the tramway that once served Ottawa centre and get off at Elgin Street to slip into the ‘old’ National Gallery. For hours he would immerse himself in the exceptional collection crowned by great masters and of course, the Group of Seven. Today, armed with countless art courses, he visits galleries in many countries. No longer to escape, but to express, he continues to shape cities, but with paint.
He has shown in solo and group exhibitions as well as at an international contemporary art fair in the Toronto and National Capital regions, and was featured in the 2016 Spring/Summer edition of the magazine bravoart.org. He is now one of 11 artists in the spacious and modern Galerie Côté Créations in trendy Westboro (Ottawa).
In 2017, the Canada Council for the Arts approved Robert’s ‘Artist’ profile, which means the Council accepts him as a professional artist, which it defines: ‘…he is recognized by other artists working in the same tradition as a professional artist of superior achievement or potential...is committed to their artistic vision, retains creative control and is committed to the creation and/or promotion of original work...’
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