November 13, 2018 on News by steve
Born in Montreal, Canada in 1947, Gilles Charest studied education, literature and administration at the University of Montreal. He taught for a few years before changing his career in 1975 when, along with two associates, he founded an advertising agency and assumed the role of creative director.
An art collector and enthusiast, Charest has been devoting much of his time to painting since 1990. Today, painting is his way of life.
Charest’s technique and his search for unconventional textures find expression in his personal vision of still life. His mastery of colour enables him to create brilliant, fundamentally sensual paintings where harmony transcends. His purity of composition and unusual formats further enhance his ability to breathe more life into his subjects than nature has, herself.
In gallery since 1999.
WHO AM I? , MY STORY…
I had a career as an orchestra violinist when health problems followed by a bike accident forced me to put my violin on ice. From then on, I came back to my first love.
Indeed, when I was young, I had an aunt who lived with a professional painter, Marie-Suzanne Samson. When my parents brought us to visit, my eyes were wide with wonder at the artist at work. When the opportunity arose, I would bring my drawings to show her. These were my first art lessons. Can you imagine a better gift for a six year old than to receive a work created just for her? In high school, I did visual arts at the same time as my violin studies at the conservatory. A heartbreaking choice was made when it came time to choose a career. I graduated in interpretation with distinction from McGill University and worked in professional symphony orchestras. But, something was missing…
In 2005, I took my first classes with Mrs. Marcelle Simard-Dupuis and later with Ms. Ursula Kohfahl-Lampron. After 30 years of orchestra work, I had lost a little sense of wonder, this WOW! you feel at the beginning of your career when you perform a symphony for the first time, this same WOW! was rising from my guts when I was watching Marie-Suzanne paint. That’s why I took this first painting class. I left for Place des Arts with my paint tubes and my violin at my art classes. In the same day, I wore both hats. You will understand that my accident was finally happy and this new career has imposed itself.
Every painting becomes a WOW! in its execution. The colors and the light attract the child in me a little like when my father took us on a walk on the streets around Christmastime. The mystery of the colors and the light emanating from the houses explains without doubt my attraction for architectural heritage. In addition, because my father had done a part of his studies in architecture and drew the plans of our houses, I did the same. I know I’ve succeeded when I see the visitors flashing the same wonder in front of my paintings with stained glass. They go WOW! and I see the child in them. This new way of stained glass in my works in bas-relief has also earned me many recognitions (including several public favorites) as well as being part of public and private collections. Seeing the reaction of the surprised and amazed audience adds to my own wonder of creating with textures, colors and fills me with ideas to create more.