David Lafrance (b. 1976, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu) received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia University in Montréal (2001), during which time he was awarded the Guido Molinari Prize. Over the past fifteen years, Lafrance has participated in important exhibitions in Canada and in Europe. In 2012, the Musée regional de Rimouski mounted a solo exhibition of his work, Ouvert la nuit, which won the prize for “Best exhibition outside of Montréal” at the AGAC’s Gala des arts visuels. Based in Montréal, Lafrance’s work is represented in several public and private collections such as the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec, the CPOA of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the Cirque du Soleil, and Lotto Québec. He is represented by Galerie Hugues Charbonneau.
David Lafrance’s art practice reveals mythical representations of the world, in which our perception of objects, space, and time are questioned. Lafrance seeks to understand interactions that may possibly occur between humans and their environment. To do so, the artist creates antagonistic works where the romanticism of landscape is tinged by a sphere of evocative visual elements.
Painter, sculptor and sound installation artist, Lafrance creates unusual works where an exalted natural world clashes or merges with traces of human life. Through the creation of Edenic landscapes, Lafrance explores his own psyche and awakens his sensitive spirit to test the limits of expressionism. Within the artist’s practice, where basic subjectivity is laid bare, expressiveness is used to explore human cognitive reflexes and reveal specific points of view. By doing so, the artist uses art’s expressivity to confer critical value upon it. Indeed, Lafrance’s enigmatic work generally revolves around dissenting themes such as escapist pursuits, industrialization, nature, or individual and collective identity.
Among the depicted scenes, symbols from popular culture, often found within Lafrance’s work as ornamental motifs, become cultural clues in themselves. The folk art objects inscribed within these turbulent landscapes offer a glimpse into our industrialized society’s relationship with nature. Indeed, the troubling yet seductive environments created by the artist through the amalgamation of anachronistic objects become cathartic tools that express the paradoxical impulses that govern our lives. These dichotomies, where symbolically charged objects cohabit in one or more natural yet nearly impossible to identify spaces, trigger a narrative discourse that foregrounds the complex relationship that modern humans have with their environment. In Lafrance’s creative work, nature and civilisation meet to revisit preconceived notions of reality.