Alex Garant /   Alexandra Garant


Pop Surrealism

Alex Garant
Alexandra Garant
February 21, 2016
Art somehow explains a lot that's happening in the world right now. Feel free to contact me at

The eyes are windows to the soul, or so they say. However, the eyes in Alex Garant’s artworks are so much more. They will make you think about yourself, your youth, the choices you made, all of that while you feel like you’re walking in a hall of mirrors, and in all of the reflections is you. Paintings possess the certain autobiographical moments from the artist’s life, but they are also meant as a means to make the viewers think about themselves. Queen of Double Eyes is saturating her canvases in visual stimuli and is clearly overstimulating her audience, creating pieces which both excite and overwhelm all at once.

The artist creates pieces which excite and overwhelm at the same time

Alex Garant - Daydreaming I - Lost In Translation - Daydreaming II, new work, women shop in posts in 2016
Alex Garant – Daydreaming I / Lost In Translation / Daydreaming II

Realistic and Surreal

The way she creates makes her painting realistic, but surreal at the same time. Traditional techniques of making portraits are combined with graphic quality, making her artworks widely recognizable. The core of her work is the pattern, she will duplicate elements, use symmetry and image superposition, creating an almost perfect optical illusion. The figures are trying to escape themselves but are also given some of the artist’s soul. It’s a very distinctive version of combining two persons, using a model as a beginning point, but also enriching the artworks with Garant’s own feelings.

The paintings are enriched with artist’s own feelings

3 Flavors of Wrath (detail), new work, photography posts
Alex Garant – 3 Flavors of Wrath (detail)

Challenge the Viewers

The idea behind Garant’s work is for artworks to become an extra-sensory experience and to challenge the viewers to adjust and adapt so they could comprehend the pieces. Beginning with a regular portrait in pencil, the same portrait is added, and then the artist plays with superposition until the balance is achieved. The sketches are then transferred to canvas and Garant can start painting. She works alla prima, so the both images are painted at the same time.

Also, in the time when self-portrait (selfies) is a part of people’s daily habits, the artist wants to push the limits of portraiture in two-dimensional media. Applying her techniques makes something banal transform into extraordinary.

The artist is turning banality into extraordinary

Experiment in Green I - Neptune On My Mind - Experiment in Green II
Alex Garant – Experiment in Green I / Neptune On My Mind / Experiment in Green II

Between Hallucinations and Psychology

Her second solo exhibition (third coming in July in Portugal), called Wakefulness, is being held at the Spoke Art gallery. It will be on display until February 27th, so if you’re nearby, be sure to check it out. The recent work is placed somewhere between hallucinations and psychology. The idea of traditional beauty is somewhat twisted, as the viewers find the artworks undoubtedly beautiful, but just can’t look at for too long. There is a continuation is portraying only females, as she is keeping her work autobiographical to an extent. Garant is describing the paintings as deeply personal, and they are completely relatable, both to Alex and the viewers.

The idea of traditional beauty is twisted

Nostalgia's Got the Blues - The Longest Winter - Reply Hazy Try Again
Alex Garant – Nostalgia’s Got the Blues / The Longest Winter / Reply Hazy Try Again


Garant remembers her childhood when her mother drew faces so she could paint them with wax pastels. The artist recalls with those female faces with full lips and big eyes. Those memories, in combination with the idea of self-portraiture, marked her career. She studied Visual Arts at Notre-Dame–De-Foy College, just outside the Quebec City, where she graduated in 2001. Unfortunately, she had a heart attack in 2012, and that really made Garant open her eyes and realize that life is too short. So, she decided to do what she loves and what fulfills her, and that is painting. Now she leads a healthy life, goes to the gym and does what she loves – paints. Actually, the gym has become such a big part of her life, allowing her to reset both physically and mentally and helping her to channel the energy positively. Queen of Double Eyes is a nickname given to her by a friend, after seeing some of her works.

Heart attack made Garant realize that life is short

Across the Universe - Milky - Let it Burn
Alex Garant – Across the Universe / Milky / Let it Burn

Let the Journey Begin

It was very unfortunate that Alex Garant had a heart attack, but she survived and came back stronger. Something wonderful came out of it, as she decided to completely turn to art, and question the standards of beauty. Her unique pieces make the viewers have a hard time focusing on a face of each figure portrayed. By simply looking at her paintings, a journey begins. The journey that will make you get to know yourself, but also the artist. Sure, it is difficult and overwhelming, but don’t get discouraged. Just open your eyes and look.

She is represented by Spoke Art Gallery in San Francisco, USA.

Alex Garant lives and works in Toronto, Canada.

Featured image courtesy of Spoke Art gallery and Shaun Roberts.

All images copyright © the artist.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Inaugural ShowBeinArt Gallery, Brunswick, VIC, AustraliaGroup
2016POW WOW Hawaii Art ShowThe Honolulu Museum Of ArtGroup
2016WakefulnessSpoke Art Gallery, San FranciscoSolo
2015The RoyalsARCH ENEMY ARTS, PhiladelphiaGroup
2015Gauntlet Gallery at Booth H15Scope, Miami BeachGroup
2015Small Wonders 4ARCH ENEMY ARTS, PhiladelphiaGroup
2015United NationsLa bodega Gallery, San DiegoGroup
2015Return the WildAuguste Clown, AustraliaGroup
2015Star Wars ShowCylinder Sounds Studios, TorontoGroup
2015Interiors Show with Copycat Violence CollectiveGristle Gallery, New YorkGroup
2015BEACONGauntlet Gallery, San FranciscoGroup
2015The 20/20 ProjectModern Eden, San FranciscoGroup
2015Transfigure, with Sarah Joncas and Kit & Corey PoppLast Rites Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2015Emoji Art ShowArch Enemy Arts, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2015Woman X WomenStation 16 Gallery, Montreal QCGroup
2015LVL UP, inaugural showNUVANGO Art Gallery, TorontoGroup
2015Libertine Art ShowGristle Tattoo, New York, NYGroup
2015Frida Art ShowLabodega Gallery, San DiegoGroup
2015Small Works Art ShowAuguste Clown, AustraliaGroup
2015Ghost StoriesPenumbra Art Boutique, PortugalGroup
2015Aries 27416 Gallery, TorontoGroup
2015TRIUMVIRATEGauntlet Gallery, San FranciscoGroup
2015Black Magic, Live Auction eventNo Love Lost Tattoo Studio & Art Gallery, Bowmanville, OntarioGroup
2015March ShowcaseArch Enemy Arts Gallery, PhiladelphiaGroup
2015Myth Magic and LoreBash Contemporary, San FranciscoGroup
2015Venus Art ShowLa Bodega Gallery, San DiegoGroup
2015Unbound, Art Show for the free spiritedCinecycle, Toronto, ONGroup
2015LOVE Art Show416 Gallery, Toronto, ONGroup
2015Ananas / Pineapple Art Show416 Gallery, TorontoGroup
2015Skateboard Show - One year AnniversaryLa Bodega Gallery, San Diego, USAGroup
2014New year's Eve Art Show416 Gallery, Toronto, ONGroup
2014Echoes of Perception ShowRed Raven Gallery, Seattle, USAGroup
2014EnamoredThumbprint Gallery, 3830 30th street, San Diego, CaliforniaGroup
2014Nightmare on Queen Street416 Gallery, Toronto, ONGroup
2014Copycat Violence Collective Art ShowThumbprint Gallery, San Diego, CaliforniaGroup
2014The Figurative ExhibitionArtist Resource Center of Toronto, Toronto, ONGroup
2014Grand Opening ShowNo Love Lost Tattoo Studio & Art Gallery , Bowmanville, ONGroup
2014ChimeraBack to the Fuchsia Gallery, London, ONGroup
2014Earth MothersAtomic Toybot Gallery, Toronto, ONGroup
2013The Devil is in the detailsAtomic ToyBot Gallery, Toronto, ONGroup
2013The Beaver ShowAtomic Toybot Gallery, Toronto, OnGroup
2013Monster vs RobotsAtomic Toybot Gallery, Toronto, ONGroup
2013ZombieLast Rites Gallery, New York, USAGroup
2013Passe-TetesAtomic Toybot Gallery, Toronto, ONSolo
2001Art CollectiveSt-Augustin Art Gallery, QCGroup
2001Snow Sculpture Performance & Exhibit , Quebec winter festivalQuebec City, QCGroup
1999Snow Sculpture Performance & Exhibit , Quebec winter festivalCharlesbourg, QCGroup
1994Snow Sculpture Performance & Exhibit , Quebec winter festivalCharlesbourg, QCGroup