Alex Garant studied Visual Arts at Notre-Dame–de-Foy College, just outside Quebec City. After graduating in 2001, she ultimately settled in Toronto, Canada. She decided to truly commit to her passion for art after suffering a heart attack in 2012, forever changing how she would see the world.
We chatted with this inspiring artist and asked her a few questions about her artistic process.
As a pioneer of Contemporary Figurative Op Art, Garant establishes herself as one of the leaders of analogue Glitch Art by using patterns, element duplication, image layering and symmetry as key elements for her imagery. Her oil paintings offer a graphic quality, combined with traditional portrait techniques, and reflect human duality—the battle for self-definition between one's inner self and outer persona.
Represented by galleries in Canada, the United States and Australia, her works have also been shown in several museums, including the Museum of Art and History (MOAH) and the Fullerton Museum Center in California, the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum in Arizona and the Honolulu Museum of Art in Hawaii.
She has been featured in Hi-fructose, Juxtapoz, Beautiful Bizarre, the American Art Collector magazine, as well as on multiple online platforms including VICE, The Huffington Post, Buzznet, and many more.
D: What does creativity mean to you?
Creativity is the source of all inventions. Music, architecture, visual arts, and even science. I feel like the entire process of coming up with new ideas is based on someone’s ability to harvest their inner creativity. This is the main reason why I respect all artists so much. It doesn’t matter if you are an art student that is passionate about acrylics, a clay sculptor, a paint-by-number enthusiast, a textile hobbyist, or a fine art professional, all of these creators are trying to make their world a more beautiful place, and it should be celebrated. Creativity, to me, is the ultimate happiness generator.
D: What purpose does art serve in your life?
Art has always been a huge part of my life. When I was a child, my mother used to draw those beautiful faces on paper, and she would let me colour them with wax pastels. It was such a magical experience. I think, from there, my passion for creation and material exploration just grew. She used to take me to DeSerres to look at supplies and my little universe became such a stimulating world of possibilities. After art school, I took a bit of a detour and entered a few years of more traditional and corporate jobs. Sadly, when I turned 30, I suffered a terrible heart attack and it truly changed my priorities. As I was lying in my hospital bed, I thought about all the things I didn’t have a chance to experience, and all the things that were still on my bucket list. At the top of my list was art. Just art. Taking the time to fully immerse myself in the world I grew up loving. Since then, I have been focusing on this passion, and never looked back.
D: What is your favourite social media platform for expressing your art, and why?
I really like Instagram, mostly because I found such a supportive digital community via this platform. I am a strong believer in the power of social media as a tool for artists. The goal is not to “make it big” on the internet while trying to be an artist, it is to be an artist USING social media as a resource.
Instagram has helped me network with fellow artists, understand artist rosters and curation in art galleries, as well as share with emerging artists looking for mentorship and support.
D: Can you describe a key moment in your artistic journey?
After my heart attack, I basically locked myself in my makeshift basement studio to create. For me, the most important part of this exercise was to eliminate external sources of influence. I didn’t want to see what other people were doing, I didn’t want to be aware of art trends, I didn’t want to be affected in any way by what already existed. I wanted to find my own unique voice based on my experiments. I started sketching, painting and exploring in order to come up with what truly became my unique visual statement. This experiment, combined with my health recovery, lead to such a breakthrough in my career. I was now more confident, I tried to eliminate the fear of rejection, and I started reaching out to galleries and actively pursuing representation. Once I eliminated doubts, I was ready to conquer my dreams.