SOL sat down with Montreal-based Artist Hermann Lacroix.
Hermann’s paintings influenced by the great Art-masters as Soulages and Motherwell quickly gained the love from SOL and we knew we had to get to know more about him.
Hermann spoke to us about his journey in the art world, what the great Abstract Masters mean to him and how Leonardo Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi perfectly sums him up.
Did you always know you would end up in the world of Art?
Yes, absolutely! I knew at a very young age. It is an intuition that has always pursued me. The first form of art that inspired me was music. I was a drummer for several bands. Thereafter I was enamoured by philosophy and poetry which led me to a lot of reading. It is only later in life that I developed an interest in painting.
One of your earliest memories that hugely impacted you and pushed you to your vocation?
I was born in France in a small village in La Lorraine. La Lorraine is known for the first war. When I was a young boy, I used to adventure into the forest and in the underground trails and caves. All these places that had been so harshly affected by the war told a story. I am inspired but this distant and chaotic beauty that is linked to my past memories.
As an Artist aesthetics plays a vital role-what does it mean to you both a professional and personal level?
In a vital role, I think art is a way to galvanize one’s soul and Existencet. I find that the majority of the time people like a painting not necessarily because they appreciate the work but rather because the artist has attained some form of popularity. You can see this also in fashion when people like a specific article of clothing only because of the designer, not necessarily because they appreciate the quality. Art and the Art Industry are two very separate worlds. It is very satisfying and a privilege to share one’s art in museums and art galleries however What counts on a personal level is the authenticity of our passion, the discipline and the capacity to astonish and touch people.
You are inspired by the great Soulages and Motherwell-what do they represent to you as an Artist and how have they influenced your work?
In Soulages, I find the somber colours intriguing, black is very omnipresent and its this archaic dimension that inspires me. He’s an elderly man filled with wisdom and a master who will always be a legend. Soulages is a pictorial power, radical and elegant. His art is laborious and artistic. I can identify myself through his authenticity and durability.
Motherwell is a universal artist. His numerous travels and his love of philosophy is revealed enormously in his paintings. In Motherwell it’s his diversity in styles and techniques that inspire me and that’s what I like to do. I aspire to have this total freedom and creativity one day.
What inspires you on a daily basis and where do you go to find it?
For me art is everywhere, everything is through our vision and our hearing. Inspiration for is is attained by removing myself from the noise of society and distancing myself from people. Reading, listening to music and taking long walks by myself leads me to my creativity. Its enough for me to photograph these emotions at a different level in my soul . Thereafter I get the enthusiasm to paint.
Motherwell stated that Abstract expressionism was the first American art that was filled with anger as well as beauty. Do you agree? And what is your take on that concept?
I completely agree. Motherwell is a true original. Paul Valéry used to say “Nothing is more original than to be inspired by others.” Motherwell himself was influenced by oriental art, Matisse and Picasso. He was a scholar as well as a non-conformist. In his time, he knew how to break the confines and create a true evolution in the era of abstract expressionism. I believe art is a way to esthetically channel our vengeance. When channeled properly, anger is a necessity in the process of creating. This is what makes a painting magnificent and strong.
What is your rapport with colour in your work?
I often compare my work with the men who worked the mines. For example; the charcoal I like to use is indicative of coal. My colours are usually related to earth and stones but also mineral shades. Copper and Burgundy are colours that I like as well. The transparency that I find in my paintings are a reminder of the depths of the earth. When I use gold for example, this is to enhance a sophisticated look.
What do you think is the future role of the Artist?
The more we remain loyal to oneself, the less we must anguish over the future. To me the goal of being an artist is to always continue doing what we love. It’s normal however that we can have some doubts in regards to the future. In regards to our entourage, we either like or dislike. Passion and honesty always lead us to the right road. What counts above all is our love for art.
Where can one creep on your work?
I live in Montreal, Canada. For all information and questions you can refer to the following sites:
Finally if you could be summed up in a painting-yours or someone else’s which would it be and why?
It would be the painting Salvator Mundi by Leonardo Da Vinci. The saviour of the world. A veritable work of art. An apparition of Christ redeemer in a dark background that invades us from the gaze. This is what I look for in my work, a magnetic animated perspective. This magnificent painting to me evokes the image of a hero and a reconciling force.