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|
|1983-1987||Studies of graphic design at College Sainte - Foy, Canada|
|1986-1990||Work as graphic designer in Montreal, Vancouver, Canada|
|1990-2002||Art Director, Le May Studio, Vancouver, Canada|
|1998-2000||Art-, and drawing class of Emily Carr|
|2002-2004||Assistant at Carmelo Blandino in Montréal, Canada|
|Since 2004||Freelance Artist|
|Lives and works in Naples, Florida, USA|
|2011||Winner Rising Stars, Kipton Art, New York, USA|
|2010||Selection 2010, Open Portfolio New York, Chelsea Museum, New York, USA|
Chevron Corporation, Calgary, Canada
Bacardi Corporation, Miami, USA
Wasmer Schroeder & Co Financial, Naples, USA
Devmon Corporation, Montréal, Canada
|2012||Realisme 12, Amsterdam Art Fair, Artitled Gallery, Netherlands|
|2011||Secret Garden, Denise Bibro Fine Art, New York, USA|
|2011||Spring Has Sprung, Cirker´s Fine Art Storage, New York, USA|
|2011||Group Show, Hublot, New York, USA|
|2010||Open Portfolio, Chelsea Museum, New York, USA|
|2010||Kipton Art, Rising Stars 2011, New York, USA|
|2009||PLG Art Gallery, Naples, Florida, USA|
|2009||Wallace Gallery, Calgary, Canada|
|2008||Judith Liegeois Designs & Gallery, Naples, Florida, USA|
|2007||Land, Sand & Time, Trudy Labell, Naples, Florida, USA|
|2004||Montréal Museum of Fine Arts Gallery, Montréal, Canada|