Louis-Bernard St-Jean – Musical Abstractions

Considering the predominant influence of music in the creation of my works, the idea of using musical selections for both inspiration and as a theme for this first solo show came to me quite naturally. It was however when I started looking at the different creative processes used in the composition of these songs that the “Musical Abstractions” exhibition was born.

Each artwork in this exhibition originates from a musical piece selected according to three aspects of the concept of abstraction: first, the inspiration, for those that initially touched me by their musical colour, and whose sense of belonging with the text has given me an extra boost to creativity; second, the interpretation, where the general audience massively misinterpreted its meaning in a certain way, the songwriter’s intended meaning being quite different, and thirdly the improvisation, for the musicians who constantly reinvent their songs at the whim of the moment.

As I attempt to capture the essence of these musical pieces and reinterpret them as another form of visual and sculptural abstraction, a parallel is being drawn between the song and the artwork, keeping an equivocal thread in the composition so that the subject of the artwork remains sufficiently recognizable without any prior knowledge of it.

This exhibition thus explores the notion of abstraction, its role in the musical creative process and the link between the two forms of art that are music and painting; with the propensity of the mind to resolutely find a more familiar basis that would give meaning to such chaos, making each person “see” something different when confronted to any abstract concept, attempting to interpret the hidden meaning of a song or an artwork, and creating an interesting quid pro quo where the theme of abstraction lends itself to the play of interpretation.