Variations on the Body: Joël Prévost at Galerie 240
Sculptor Joel Prevost found the perfect setting for the opening of his show, “Variations on the Same Theme” at Gallery 240 in downtown Ottawa. Prevost’s sculpted torsos, from clay, bronze, hydrostone and resin, show the beauty and imperfections of his male and female models.
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“I always explore the different kinds of sculpture but the main focus of my life is the human anatomy and, as a bisexual man, I sculpt both [sexes],” says Prévost.
Prévost’s sculptures are strategically placed throughout Gallery 240, where they become part of the comfortable environment rather than elements in an empty gallery space. The gallery is a renovated house from the 1870’s, and is the home, gallery and studio space of Brenda Gale Warner. Prévost approached Warner in 2011 looking for a gallery to show his work.
“This was the type of place Joël was looking for – a home type atmosphere so people could see how his sculptures look in a home,” says Warner. “He also likes to show his sculptures with abstract art, instead of landscapes or something more representational. His sculpting seems to be more akin to the abstract.”
Prévost concurs with Warner. He says his pieces are sculpted in a Neo-Classical style and transformed into modern pieces by cutting through the clay to create clean lines. The result is a finely sculpted torso bound by clean edges.
“The way I cut my work is to integrate it with modern art. When I do big pieces, which are more Neo-Classical, people are afraid of them, because they believe that a piece like that should be on a pedestal in a museum… it is just the way I cut the work which makes it more linear and accessible [to people]“, says Prévost.
Prévost works with live models, capturing their physical attributes in various media, but it is his clay sculptures with a metallic glaze that are his signature pieces. The glaze is unique and the result of years of research.
“I figured out how to finish a glaze with real metal – I use brass or bronze,” says Prévost. He uses fine metal shavings as a powder that he sprays over a piece to give it a metallic sheen. It is a technique that Prévost says, “broke the mould because I do not respect the traditional art of glazing.”
Prévost’s work is not for the frugal art lover, his pieces average around $1600, but for anyone who loves the idea of having a striking museum piece in their living room then Prévost’s art has to be seen. Prevost’s work is a unique combination of Neo-Classical and abstract styles creating stunning and thoughtful showpieces with perfectly detailed musculature.
Each piece takes the artist around 15 hours to complete. Prevost says each sculpture means something but once it is completed, there is no looking back, “ it’s not mine. I don’t create to own stuff, I create to express myself.”
Joël Prévost: “Variations on the same Theme”
April 1-30 at Gallery 240
240 Guigues Avenue, Ottawa.