VANCOUVER, BC – The Dark and the Wounded, the newest series from Canadian artist James Picard, will kick off its global tour on May 5 in San Francisco at Alcatraz Prison.The Dark and The Wounded is an experiential art show that travels to the world’s most troubled and controversial places. This multimedia event features paintings by Picard, along with a custom soundscape designed by world-renowned composer Jeff Danna. It will be filmed for a documentary, which will be released in late 2016.
In the contemporary art world, white cubes and spare spaces abound, providing a blanched background for the artwork. Forget about all that. Canadian artist James Picard’s new series is a radical, stunning departure from that tradition. That work will debut in Picard’s global art tour, which kicks off in his hometown, Vancouver.
VANCOUVER, BC – Renowned artist James Picard will unveil a profound new direction in his upcoming show, “State of the Art,” at the Terminal City Club in downtown Vancouver on April 2, 2015. The exhibition will include works from every phase of his renowned 40-year career. It showcases his immense talent as a painter, letting viewers see first-hand his extraordinary range and definitive style.The “State of the Art” exhibition will include more than 125 works by Picard. This exhibition will also introduce pieces from his newest series, The Dark and The Wounded, which is currently on tour in North America.
Fundraiser for The Dark and The Wounded Exhibitions and Documentary Film
Please be part of funding the continuation of this project that is helping people to heal through art!
Saturday November 9, 2013 – 8pm to 11pm
at VIVO Media Arts Centre at 1965 Main St. Vancouver
Fundraiser will include the premiere screening of the documentary trailer; live cello music; original art; limited edition t-shirts for sale, and more. If you’d like a drink, you can buy one at the bar.
Tickets are $30.00 each.
With each ticket purchased, you also receive an original Picard lithograph (valued at $500.00)
Please contact James Picard at 778 882 9885 or at email@example.com to purchase your tickets. Credit cards accepted.
Thank you for your support.
By John McGie
Sometimes it is the whisper amongst the screams that carries the message.
Within the Dark and Wounded exhibition artist James Picard has encapsulated art as a conduit that bears witness to the unsaid, the unheard and the unwanted.
It invites us to look at the horrors held within the folds of murky memories of not just others but also ourselves.
The art inhabits the space (Riverview Hospital – an abandoned mental institution) with a familiarity and intimacy usually reserved for long lost friends. Music laments through the hallways serenading decades of decay. It all comes together as one great canvas under the stroke of the artist’s brush.
For some the canvas is a haunted house, for some a sanctuary, for some a memorial and for others a torture chamber.
At its best it overwhelms without making you numb as you to look long into the faces of pain and see yourself – as an inactive participant and an addle onlooker .
It asks not for empathetic complacency but rather a non-intellectualized humanity. The raw, visceral ugly that binds us all together on the deepest, darkest levels of our shadowy emotions.
It is guttural. It is unapologetic. It is honouring.
It is art as an active ingredient – for change, for healing, for evolution.
It is a peek behind the curtain that one day, I hope, will be fully opened.
I’m happy to announce that as of October 2013, my work will be featured in the Fazakas Gallery. LaTiesha Fazakas has a keen eye for cutting edge art. She especially appreciates the range of styles and mediums I work with. The Fazakas Gallery will feature pieces of mine that range from beautiful serene landscapes and realistic portraits in oils to more emotionally charged portraits in either paint, watercolour, ink, or pencil.
The Fazakas Gallery is located at 145 West 6th Ave in Vancouver.
Call 604 876 2739 for more information.
Check out their website at http://www.fazakasgallery.com/
Stay tuned for upcoming exhibitions and collaborative projects with the Fazakas Gallery!
by Seehorse Creative Media
James Picard’s exhibit ‘The Dark and the Wounded’, held at the abandoned ‘Riverview Psychiatric Hospital’, was more than an art show. It was a transformative event. I’ve spent decades pondering what art is, what it could be, and finally, what it should be. German Post-War conceptual artist Joseph Bueys said, and I paraphrase, that ‘art should be a real means to go in and transform the structure of society.’ Bueys believed art could do this, and so do I…although I also believe that it very rarely does. The vast majority of art does not contain the relevant ingredients to ‘transform society’, and the art that does is usually cloistered away in National Galleries that the public dares not enter, written about in difficult essays published in magazines the public does not read, or are simply stashed away in some unknown artist’s studio into oblivion. ‘The Dark and the Wounded’ exhibit is one of those rare examples of everything coming together to produce an art exhibit that can contribute something to help ‘transform society.’
It starts with the paintings. James has always had a stunning ability to portray emotional and psychological pain manifested in disfigured faces and bodies. He identifies with the wounds he insists we all carry inside of us. He paints the afflicted, as well as the dark souls who dole out the suffering. By having his exhibit at the Riverview Psychiatric Hospital he gives these characters a context that adds to their existence. Instead of being dead artifacts on a clean white exhibition wall, they are living characters brought back to life in the kind of shadowy conditions that created them, and in which atrocities were committed. There are Nazi soldiers, Catholic Priests, school children, and dark creatures. Inner rage and torment is expressed in grotesque faces and figures. And you are in that space bearing witness. You are walking in haunted hallways, looking into caged ‘stalls’ where the patients were kept, and occasionally finding a lit painting of a suffering soul staring back at you. All this to the haunting soundtrack by Jeff Danna, which permeates and echoes through the halls. At some point you begin to identify with the victims confronting you. Your sympathy grows to empathy, and you realize you too are afflicted. You are an immediate witness. Picard’s paintings in the environment they are presented, remove the element of distance we usually afford ourselves from the suffering we know goes on in the world. This exhibit, this art, makes that suffering real.
I knew some people who had resided at Riverview. I worked with them. I heard horror stories, but I also heard Riverview alluded to like it was ‘the good old days.’ When I was there in the Riverside facility, confronted with Picard’s paintings, I found myself thinking about those girls that I knew when I lived and worked in East Van. To go from this cloistered, in fact caged condition, to the streets of Vancouver literally overnight – from a secure torture chamber, to a dangerous vista of drugs, prostitution, and serial killers. I thought about the lives those girls endured, and that it happened right under my nose. As I stand in a large hall with a series of almost floor to ceiling windows, caged in wrought iron, I wonder what congregations in this space must have been like when the building was full of the ‘mentally ill.’ Then as I follow the structural pillars through the great room, a painting of a group of school boys reveals itself. They could be Jewish children during the Holocaust, or Christian boys in a boarding school, or just a collection of boys that have been killed in recent school shootings. Or they could be the boys of the Riverside Psychiatric Hospital. They could be the boys that occupied the horse stalls up and down the aisles I have just walked. They are the afflicted. And I am the implicated. James has re-enacted the crime and made me complicit. Instead of merely showing me the paintings of the characters, he has recreated the experience so that I was a part of it.
In the grand sense we are all a part of it. It is all part of our shared collective consciousness. We each have our own personal tragedies that pile on top of the historic wounds we carry around in our hearts. Millions are afflicted in 3rd World and developing countries, and millions more right here in the ‘developed’ nations. It is clear that the system is not working. We are all being wounded, and James Picard’s exhibit forces us to feel and confront the darkness, to call out the demons, and to cast them from our midst…and from ourselves. It achieves this by asking us to go beyond the paintings, and to experience the inner condition they express, and the source of this pain. To really feel the Dark and the Wounded, and to identify that part of ourselves that is afflicted. This art exhibit is ‘a real means to go in and transform the structure of society.’ We are the structure of society. If we heal ourselves, society is transformed.
An immersive art experience at Riverview Hospital
By Aidan Mouellic, Staff Writer
I’ve visited art galleries and museums all around the world, but none of them has had as much of an impact on me as James Picard’s art show, The Dark and the Wounded. The show was held in the abandoned Crease Clinic building at Riverview Hospital on the night of October 27. It was less of a pure art show, and more of an art experience.
Picard, a Vancouver-based artist who specializes in dark and powerful oil paintings, used the symbolic space of the abandoned psychiatric hospital as the perfect place to display his paintings, which deal with the topics of pain, suffering, and hardship. Crease Clinic, where the paintings were displayed, was dark and spooky.
Having previously spent a lot of time there for work-related purposes, I’m familiar with what the decommissioned psychiatric hospital is like. But when the walls are adorned with Picard’s powerful and gory imagery and the halls are filled with the sounds of a haunting musical score by renowned composer Jeff Danna, you get a whole new experience—and that’s what Picard is hoping for.
The point of the show is to inform viewers of the types of tragedies that go unnoticed in the world, and to allow viewers to become more self-aware.
“You go through life wearing blinders and think that everything is beautiful, then you’re ignoring what’s really happening. When you stop ignoring, that’s when you heal,” Picard explained.
Healing is what the show hopes to achieve, and Picard is taking his art on tour throughout North America and soon to Europe in hopes of achieving that.
“When we don’t look at our wounds and think everything is fine, it festers because we’re not healing it and only putting Band-Aids on,” he said.
Picard’s show aims to heal by making us think about and confront the very fears that cause us to ignore the deeper rifts within society. In a way, he is on an ambitious mission to change and civilize the world—a grand task, but not an impossible one.
Picard realizes that there is a lot of bad stuff that goes on in the world and hopes that his show will be a critical worldwide intervention to open the eyes of people hoping to make change. We are all human and we all have the power within ourselves to make the world a better place.
The show that Picard created at Riverview Hospital attempted to effect change, and it did. The immersive experience of sonic, visual, and physical aspects transported the viewers into his ingeniously dark and powerful world.
Picard’s work is aesthetically moving and, more than that, it shares a message of healing and confronting stigmatized fears that society turns away from. This is important art.
Next up for Picard is a fundraiser and documentary trailer premier for The Dark and the Wounded on November 9 in Vancouver.