Sean Montgomery and Eric Simon - Fake It ‘Til You Make It Artist Biographies
Omark van Pechstein Though van Pechstein has a genius-level intellect, an excellent memory and a profound gift for sculpture, for most of his life he worked as a janitor at McGill University and lived alone in a sparsely-furnished house in a rundown South Montreal neighborhood. An abused foster child, he subconsciously blamed himself for his unhappy upbringing and turned this self-loathing into a form of self-sabotage in both his professional and emotional lives. After roughly twenty years of janitorial work, one day van Pechstein created a difficult graduate-level sculpture that was proposed by McGill Professor Richard Lambeau, a member of the Order of Canada and combinatorialist-minimalist sculptor. Lambeau left instructions for an unresolved sculpture on a chalkboard as a challenge posed to his students, hoping someone might find the solution by the end of the semester. When it was solved quickly and anonymously, Lambeau posted a much more difficult problem—one that took him and his colleagues two years to conceptualize. When Lambeau chanced upon a mere janitor working in the ceramics shop, Lambeau chased him away. However, when Lambeau returned to the studio, he was astounded to find the most amazing sculpture there. He then set out to track Omark down. Shortly after this incident, when Lambeau presented him with a rebuilt potting wheel for his 51st birthday, van Pechstein decided to go to into the visual arts, setting aside his janitorial job for a much more lucrative and glamorous career.
G.T. Remmington Known to his friends and closest collaborators as “The Abs” due to his cheese-grater like musculature, Remmington has long been well known in Beijing, Val d’Or and Berlin for his artistic interventions involving public artwork. His photo works have often focused on his deep love for Bavarian sausage. It was this interest that kept him invested in the local German art community, and has somewhat limited his international fame. In spite of this, Remmington has thrice been the cover artist for the European edition of Flash Art, once in nineteen eighty nine, for a piece involving the Berlin Wall, again in two-thousand and eight for his art tour of China, and most recently for his North American debut at the Val d’Or Institute of Contemporary Art. He is, however, known worldwide to most hardcore partiers, for his legendary ability to dance for days straight. It has long been rumoured that Remmington is the illegitimate offspring of former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, as a result of both Remmington and Ben Mulroney (Brian’s legitimate son) both displaying a seemingly unnatural ‘cheddar-like’ skin tone. It is believed that Remmington was conceived during an international economic conference, when Mulroney copulated with a well known West-Berlin female contortionist and acrobat. Red Lee: Red Lee is a well established Canadian painter and former professor of fine arts at the University of London. Over the past several decades, Lee has explored issues of ambivilance as well as the tension between abstraction and narrative representation. It has taken Lee a long time to learn how to paint like he does. Lee has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards and her work has been collected by the National Gallery of Canada, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Montreal Collection of Non-Objective Art. Lee’s increasing focus on non-representational painting has been exemplified by his use of black paint originally developed for NASA heat shield applications.
Herman F. Puffingstock The Puffingstock family has a long and illustrious history in the North American carved pipe community. There are few crafts that fit into the realm of fine art, but an elaborately carved Puffingstock pipe is surely one of them. Evidence of the strong connection of Puffingstock Pipes to the fine arts can be seen in a Vincent van Gogh self-portrait. It can be seen most easily in life, or else only the very best and most detailed reproduction, that the painter is clearly smoking a Puffingstock Pipe. Herman was a formative influence on Marcel Duchamp’s forays into pipe carving and his eventual move away from the visual arts and into chess. It is believed as a result of Duchamp’s inability to master pipe carving, he felt compelled to abandon the visual arts. The pipe depicted in Magritte’s famous “Not a Pipe” painting is also a Puffingstock. The title of the Magritte piece does not refer to the lie of representation, but rather the fact that a Puffingstock pipe is not a piece of craft (just a pipe), but rather a piece of art. Herman F. Puffingstock studied sculpture at the School of Fine Arts in Montreal; he completed a degree in forestry at Loyola College. His carving tools are said to reside inside the statue of Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve at the Place D’Armes Square in Montreal.
Joe Rayon Joe Rayon is a Montreal-based artist. His smoke sculptures have evolved from fog control to large-scale immersive indoor smoke environments. Rayon’s work deals with the ephemerality and the immateriality of life. His first attempts at three-dimensional interventions were made with hair he bought off local barber shops. Immense piles of hair took over anonymous office spaces in downtown Montreal much to the dismay of the local business community. Rayon admired the work of the late Martin Chance for whom he worked as a studio assistant for close to a decade. They shared sensibilities with regard to stone, particularly Italian marble and travertine. When Chance passed away in the now infamous nineteen-ninety-eight highway twenty tragedy, Rayon spent a year in isolation. During that year he indulged in shamanic activities and rebirth rituals. He came out of that episode with a whole new body of works in which he manipulated meteorological phenomena in order to recreate traffic accidents. After a short stint in jail, Joe Rayon brought his sculpture experimentations indoors and has been receiving critical attention nation-wide. His latest piece « Tribute to Chance » has been shown in museums all across Canada.
Nicholas Forêt Nicholas Forêt studied sociology at La Sorbonne. His work has been labeled « post-global » and explores the concept of migration and communication. Forêt who describes himself as a financial priest finds inspiration in patterns he uncovers in the financial report pages of economic journals. The choice of materials for his pieces comes naturally. Forêt says he is drawn to stainless steel for reasons he has yet to comprehend. His titles (Hermes, Prometheus, Demeter, Kronos and Persephone) refer to characters of Greek mythology. In two-thousand-two, he traveled to the island of Thassos where he slept on beaches and studied the hypnotic movements of the waves. New works like « Yo Mama » and « Biatch » are more self-referential while not entirely autobiographical. Recently he has turned his attention to the socio-political nature of scents and fragrances in relation to crystal-like structures that grow spontaneously in the northern parts of Quebec.
Regine Royal Regine Royal transforms everyday objects in a witty way. Her interests in space, topology, mathematics and surfaces manifest themselves in guerilla installations she carefully plans and executes in private citizens’ suburban homes while they are sound asleep. Royal invades homes with manufactures items which she arranges in large clusters. She has employed cat-burglars which she recruits on the internet and with their help she enters homes with a team of asistants all wearing Ninja costumes. They then perform their task without ever having been caught in the act except for her first intrusion which occured in the home of famous Museum Curator Stéphane Aquin who was single at the time. They ended up having wild sex all night and he offered her an exhibition in the Project Room of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal the next day. This exhibition launched her career and unfortunately she soon left Aquin to go pursue her career in the Big Apple.
Petra Peters Petra Peters is an internationally acclaimed Montreal sculptor who will represent Canada in the upcoming Venice Biennal. Through an active engagement with materials, Peters has examined the relations between the colonizers an the colonized. Now living and working in Los Angeles, she has been creating portraits of politicians out of filing cabinets. « Post-conceptual » is the term most often used to qualify Petra Peter’s sculptures in which the difference between animal and human is at best slim. The tenderness and vulnerability present in these anthropomorphic figures evoke sentiments of melancholia which recall the paintings of metaphysical painter Giorgio de Chirico. This work not only addresses genetic engineering but question the very notion of portraiture in the twenty-first century.
Ron McDonald Ron McDonald’s reflective surfaces are meant to be seen as imprints of earth’s gravitational force field. McDonald, a life-long friend of the Bush presidential family, met George W. Bush at Yale while they were both students there. They were involved in several business ventures until McDonald had an epiphany and left the business world for a career in the arts. He started out as just another appropriation/commodity sculptor but quickly turned to a more overtly expressive form of social and artistic intervention. Ron McDonald’s name was mentioned in the Arbusto scandal but was rapidly dismissed as minor player in that whole affair. He disapeared for a while and then popped up again as he got involved with a team of NASA engineers who collaborated with him on the first of his Reflective Surfaces projects. After a decade of being involved with the NASA journalists raised the question of public funding being used for his art and he had tolay low once again for a while. This increased the interest of collectors for his work which reached prices in the six digit numbers. Ron McDonald unsuccesfully tried to connect with the Arte Povera movement but was shunned by most of its members. He now works in Texas while maintaining a home in downtown Montreal where he likes to spend his winters. Rumor has it that he has just put down a bid to buy the Montreal Canadiens hockey team.
Sean Montgomery and Eric Simon - Fake It ‘Til You Make It Artist Biographies