Ysabel Lemay

Ysabel Lemay

  • Paradise garden
  • Introduction

  • CV

  • Exhibitions

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Ysabel LeMay’s Paradise Gardens

Fine blades of grass, colourful flowers, and graceful birds populate the fictive paradise gardens of Ysabel LeMay. Their glory unfolds in soft pastel tones. In the background, mystic white swirls of light explode, illuminating the beauty of nature. LeMay captures her unique, utopian still-lifes in circular images, offering keyhole glimpses into the garden of Eden. The images are given titles such as “Bliss”, “Delight”, “Grace”, and “Rise”, words that carry distinctive religious connotations. The images of LeMay do more than praise nature, they also portray a divinity, an unspoiled paradise, removed from the troubles of everyday life, a comforting vision.
“My artwork is a tribute to nature”, explains LeMay. A Canadian citizen now living in Florida, she has dedicated herself to photography since 2010, developing a unique technique that she refers to as “photo-fusion”: The lengthy process involves taking hundreds of photos and then bringing them together in a single composition, adding light and highlighting individual components. Like a painter she integrates each individual detail into a composed whole, creating the effect of a hyper-realistic painting – a single work can take from four to eight weeks to complete.
An instantly recognisable feature of LeMay’s works is their play with art history and a classic painting format of the renaissance: The tondo, or “circular image”. In arguably his most famous composition, Michelangelo’ Tondo Doni is used for religious allegory. Religion also comes across strongly in the titles of LeMay’s works, while the colourful and carefully constructed flower and animal images support the abstract nature of the allegory.
The works display LeMay’s training in classical painting, following which she worked for many years as a graphic designer in the advertising field. She first became internationally recognised as a painter, with over 30 exhibitions in the United States, Canada, and Italy. After painting she began to concentrate on photography, without forgetting, importantly, the painter’s approach. Instead, she merges the two mediums into one, creating an artistic technique that is completely unique.
Through her complex photographic compositions LeMay creates fascinating new worlds and submerges herself into the “paradox of nature”, a paradox she is, in her own words, “re-discovering with great joy”. Through it, she is able to show that “it is often in the smallest details one finds divinity”.

Born in Québec, Canada
1983-1987Studies of graphic design at College Sainte - Foy, Canada
1986-1990Work as graphic designer in Montreal, Vancouver, Canada
1990-2002Art Director, Le May Studio, Vancouver, Canada
1998-2000Art-, and drawing class of Emily Carr
2002-2004Assistant at Carmelo Blandino in Montréal, Canada
Since 2004Freelance Artist
Lives and works in Naples, Florida, USA


Awards (Selection)

2011Winner Rising Stars, Kipton Art, New York, USA
2010Selection 2010, Open Portfolio New York, Chelsea Museum, New York, USA


Collections (Selection)

Chevron Corporation, Calgary, Canada
Bacardi Corporation, Miami, USA
Wasmer Schroeder & Co Financial, Naples, USA
Devmon Corporation, Montréal, Canada

Exhibits (Selection)

2012Realisme 12, Amsterdam Art Fair, Artitled Gallery, Netherlands
2011Secret Garden, Denise Bibro Fine Art, New York, USA
2011Spring Has Sprung, Cirker´s Fine Art Storage, New York, USA
2011Group Show, Hublot, New York, USA
2010Open Portfolio, Chelsea Museum, New York, USA
2010Kipton Art, Rising Stars 2011, New York, USA
2009PLG Art Gallery, Naples, Florida, USA
2009Wallace Gallery, Calgary, Canada
2008Judith Liegeois Designs & Gallery, Naples, Florida, USA
2007Land, Sand & Time, Trudy Labell, Naples, Florida, USA
2004Montréal Museum of Fine Arts Gallery, Montréal, Canada


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