Archive: Jul 2013
As a child, Baudoin sees the aura of trees and is aware of rhythms all around. It will be years before he realises that everyone does not share his antennae. Today, still propelled by the energies that permeate him, Baudoin Wart explores them, dressing them in pictures, sounds and gestures.
Such is the story of his quest, in pictures, but also in music, in poetry, in body language and social action. He crowns his Art studies at University of Montreal with a happening, vibrant with every form of expression then available: painting, dance, poetry, video, sculpture, music, serigraphy, photography and interaction.
Since then, all his actions and achievements, both artistic and professional, get through this prism, whatever the field he is engaged in. But painting stands firm as his base, his practice, his visual anchor.
At 12, he fills up notebooks with drawings of such obvious talent that he is given canvas and oil paints. At 14, he wins a drawing contest. Afterwards, each one of his artistic revelation allows him to conquer new areas of freedom.
Discovering Pellan, he liberates himself from realism with utter relief, at the very moment he masters photography. From Riopelle, he learns freedom of the gesture, which will become a staple of his paintings. At a Picasso exhibition in Berlin, he is amazed by the variety of media used by the artist: from canvas to iron, bronze, wood, and ceramics, any matter becomes material. From Beuys, at last, he discovers relational art: proximity and interaction with the public.
A punk at the time it meant rebellion, he is involved in the birth of the mythical Foufounes Électriques; he creates happenings, plays the drums in concerts, is part of Peintures en direct (“Painting Live”), innovates in catering, contributes with many artists in music, visual arts and dance; he records dozens of hours of soundtracks and videos, takes hundreds of photographs, designs giant paintings, creates and puts up posters for his shows and those of his friends…
Just then, everything stops.
He gets eaten up by the poster.
“Cappiello transformed the street into an art gallery. Art was coming to the passer-by.” Éditions Romaines, 2010
In fact, nothing stops at all. Baudoin Wart keeps painting, dancing, writing poetry, exploring shamanic rhythms. But the artist gets out of the limelight, disappears from the public eye. He has become a gallerist.
His gallery: Montreal’s construction sites’ billboards, upon which he and his accomplices become the best. Baudoin treats each poster as if it were his own. He demands order, harmony, a true mise en scène. With passing years, every artist, author, musician, dancer and actor in Montreal has an opportunity to be seen on these billboards and be moved by them. And when the time comes to have this wild fly-posting legalized, the entire cultural milieu of Montreal firmly supports Baudoin, their own posting angel.
Twenty-five years later, in 2012, this huge corpus of artwork is the object of a book and 15 exhibitions. As a matter of course, the gallerist also became an archivist, first by preserving with care all the posters that came under his wing, then by depositing them at the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec.
Meanwhile, with his business in good hands, he goes off to build another social happening, which he calls “The Green Wolf”: a country Eden, a kingdom of greenery, a collective healing space in harmony with nature. Purchasing lot after lot alongside a river, he of course ends up owning a mountain. A magical one. Eight years have been devoted to this dream. The narrative of this amazing utopia will too, someday, end up in some publication and exhibition.
“A painting isn’t finished when you put down your brush – that’s when it starts. The public reaction is what supplies meaning and value.” Banksy, 2012
In 2011, when Alejandro Jodorowsky is a guest at Montreal’s Université de Foulosophie, Baudoin Wart is back in town. Like every year, he helps François Gourd and Armand Vaillancourt with the logistics of their fanciful event. So, he gets to be Jodorowsky’s driver. It takes no time at all for “Jodo” to ask his driver to show him his paintings. Under a flash of inspiration, Jodorowsky gives an instant title to some 20 pictures, and, most importantly, he convinces Wart to come back to the public, to get the artist out of the closet.
In June 2013, the public exhibition of the paintings titled by Jodorowsky marks Baudoin’s return on the scene. But of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Other exhibitions and publications follow, with several collaborative and collective projects.
Beyond Beuys, the artistic work of Baudoin Wart is contemporaneous through his interplay on every media. In the flesh as on the web, he includes members of his public: artwork is created that everyone can relate to, we are greeted inside immersive spaces, the artist is there, and our interactions create new artwork of which we become authors.
An artist is back among us. From now on, we have the chance – as shown by Jodorowsky –, to seize the visions of Baudoin Wart, so that they lift us off the ground.
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By Bruno Boutot (www.boutotcom.com)