OPEN FORMAT: You just had a solo show wrap up at Nino Mier and it seems like you’ve been totally slammed since you arrived in LA last year - are you going straight into work for another show or will you be able to take some time off to recharge the batteries?
CINDY: Haha, yes my schedule has been super busy since I moved to LA. I’m having a great time! I usually try to take a couple weeks off after the opening of a solo exhibition to regenerate, travel, reorganize, and then start the new research that will inspire my next project; the installation I would want to create and the new series of painting or drawing combining in the space. My work is very inspired by discussion, experience and discovery, so I take a moment to read, compile images, find inspiring trinkets, seek new material. Right after my recent solo Merged Without Edge, my best friend from Montreal visited me and we explored LA together, I went on a road trip to Arizona to see the Grand Canyon and Vegas with my partner, which was very inspiring for new ideas. And I’m preparing my marriage for September, which will be a fun party with my friends from Canada visiting! I also have a couple of art fairs and small projects happening until the end of this year, so I’m back in the studio working and thinking about my next solo exhibition.
OF: Can you give us a little insight into your paintings and how you developed your style?
CP: I’ve been thinking recently about the norms that constrain us and about how we, as individuals and collectivities, still manage to express ourselves within it. Investigating our relationship about navigation, exploitation, and transformation with environment and biodiversity. Developing an imagery of figures pulled from mythology, folklore, and nature: kings and queens, monsters and spirits, sportsmen and children. The way I translate these concepts into my paintings usually begin by digital collages, the imagery is pulled from a variety of sources and becomes deformed into various degrees of abstraction. I then project them on the linen and trace the contours of the figures and shapes, using pareidolia—our tendency to see figural elements in technically abstract stimuli—to keep the gaze engaged. Topographically, the surfaces of my paintings range from untouched linen to pastel to thick, heavy impasto. I think that the transparency about the process creates space for the viewers to complete the picture with their personal stories, memories and anecdotes.
OF: You start with photographs to create your compositions, but many of the characters in the paintings come across as creature-like. Can you talk about the feeling behind this expression?
CP: The multiple photographs are gathered into a collage and the configuration of these creatures reflect a new sense of collectivity by their fragments. The fragments that compose themselves makes me think about a collection of precious particles assembled together which generate a new collectivity. I develop an imagery of monsters that pays heed to a fruitful acquaintance with experience, personal, and memory. The construction of these subjects invokes a social relationship of kinship where the force relations signiﬁes a boundary breakdown. Fragments of animals, insects and plants embody matter and generate a rhizomatic structure that aﬀects the ﬂourishment of their ﬂuidity. A power of aﬀect relinquishes by the potential of these bodies and the patterns disintegrate their association with anthropocentrism.
OF: Do you see the work as chaotic or is there an order to it?
CP: Both. I follow a set of rules in order to create chaos.
OF: You moved to Los Angeles from Chicago almost a year ago -- do you think living here has had an influence on you or your work and what's one thing you really miss about Chicago?
CP: While my time in Chicago, my paintings started to shift toward a deeper interest to depict outside scenery; Honey Farms, tropical forest, volcanoes, ocean, etc. but definitely living in Los Angeles and its surrounding allows me to experiment different landscapes flora, insects and it does inspire my ideas. One thing that I do miss from Chicago is the bike culture and how it is accessible to navigate the city safely. I used to bike for all my journeys, which is impossible in Los Angeles. And also, now that I have been living in the US for four years, I miss even more the bike culture in Montreal haha, which is very friendly and safe. The majority of the roads have bike lines and divided lights for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. The car culture from Los Angeles had not inspired me to depict it at the moment haha.
OF: Do you have a favorite record or mix to throw on in the studio?
CP: I actually have been listening to a lot of surrealist and dystopian audiobooks; Fledgling, Ender’s Game, Station Eleven, Snow Crash and podcasts about the universe, philosophy and death; Unexplainable, The Partially Examined Life, My favorite Murder. I’m also part of a horror movie group with my best friends from Montreal so I always end up being in the studio while we watch because of the time different haha. My favorite still at the moment is The Shout (1978) by Jerzy Skolimowski.
OF: What are you looking forward to next?
CP: I’m excited about some new art projects I want to develop! I have an animation idea in mind and I want to elaborate further on some sculptures. Otherwise, I’m just happy to enjoy the summer and all its possibility, and looking forward to having all my best friends visiting this September for my wedding.
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