VIVIANEART is pleased to present I Feel Real; a two-person exhibition featuring accomplished Canadian artists, Janet Werner and Sandra Meigs. A powerhouse pairing, this exhibition realizes the artists’ long-held desire to work together, each admiring the work of the other for its honesty and rigor. Enticed by the quirky combination of their respective voices, when they first sat down to discuss the show Werner and Meigs talked about dolls, mannequins, vintage toys, the construction of characters and scale. They then returned to their studios, each taking her own unique path, to create these works.
For Sandra Meigs, the process began with her memories of the paper dolls she used to play with as a child. She created 3-dimensional miniature models using fruits and vegetables and painted them “from life” onto gessoed paper. These were then cut out. For Meigs, this was a very exciting part of the process, “I like them because as soon as you cut them out they seem to come to life”. She then set them against painted backdrops borrowed from various art historical references.
In her paintings, Janet Werner continues her exploration of what she calls, “the fictional female portrait”. Mining imagery from magazines and catalogues she uses collage to create characters that she then recreates in paint. Her pared down backdrops often include evidence of this process with overlapping pages and post it notes.
Taken together the paintings for I Feel Real effectively challenge traditional ideals of beauty and display in art history and popular culture with distinctive humor and intellect.
Janet Werner’s work appears courtesy of Parisian Laundry, Montreal.