Original title: Guy Boudro
Energetic and expressive, Guy Boudro talks about himself with ease as he sits in his white studio surrounded by enormous colourful paintings. He speaks of his passion for New York, his desire to immortalize the hubbub of the city that never sleeps. Everyone is familiar with his yellow taxi paintings, and urban landscapes that were extraordinarily successful in the 1990s. He talks openly and serenely about how his work has evolved: the humour that has naturally seeped into his painting, the cartoons and icons of American culture that have cropped up in his canvases, initiating his Pop Art period. He has since created a number of series—the puzzle, stamp, bottle top, mosaic and comic strip collections.
Born of his experience in marketing and industrial design, his graphic consistency is everywhere in his work. He combines logos and characters without worrying too much about the rules of perspective, following an order dictated by the logic of the painting’s colour composition. For example, Tweety Bird might be chosen to add yellow to a composition, a Starbucks logo can offer balance with green, and KFC can deliver red and white. Although his works appear to be prints, they are actually all painted by hand. For the puzzles, he works on wooden panels, first tracing the design with a pencil. He then goes over it with a Sharpie, which rapidly penetrates the layer of white, finally finishing the outline with black paint and a paintbrush. While there is always a main character, his colour palette is made up of trademarks and cartoons. A dynamic, spontaneous ball of energy, Boudro expresses his personality through his work. Viewing some of his pieces gives one the same feeling of effervescence experienced in Times Square, when one is surrounded by a sea of giant billboards.
When asked what his dreams are, he answers that he is living his dream. He is proud of what he has accomplished in his years of painting: international success in markets like New York, San Francisco, Miami, Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Europe—notably France and Switzerland—and, more recently, Germany, Greece and India.
Boudro 360°— Pop and Fun is his latest exhibit, a retrospective of the last decade featuring some 20 paintings. Opening October 3, 2019 at Gallery MX in Montreal, the show will have several works from each of his collections, including puzzles, stamps, and of course, bottle caps.