On a beautiful day, when you go to the Alpine Bakery to get your traditional coffee-and-muffin, you might notice how good-looking the food is.
This is the work of Maxime Deschesnes, the "food artist" of the bakery. He is also a visual artist who is becoming more and more well-known in the artistic community.
He is a designer, a photographer and an illustrator. His work is organic, sometimes symbolic, sometimes abstract.
The use of superimposition in his images gives an impression that they contain a multitude of details, from many dimensions, all put together in the same image. The result is an attractive patchwork.
French Toast a the chance to catch up with Deschesnes.
FT: Do you have a main medium?
MD: At the very beginning, I used to be a drawer, I did illustrations by hand. But when I did my art studies at the college in Rivière-du- Loup, I moved on to digital art and then I began to do illustrations with Photoshop. My interest lies mostly in digital art now.
FT: According to the images in your work, the trips you took inspired you. You seem to be inspired by places...
MD: Most of my work is made from travel pictures: the places I've been, the nature, and the animals.
FT: Before ending up in Whitehorse, you were living in the Northwest Territories. Why the transition?
MD: I was in the Northwest Territories for three years. When I left, I spent eight months in Québec, but I couldn't find a place I was comfortable in. It didn't have the mood of the North.
I decided to come to the Yukon because it was a good compromise for me: Whitehorse is accessible but it has also this spirit of the North I knew from Yellowknife. From Whitehorse, you can decide to go to Alaska for the weekend, or to Dawson, or Atlin. In Yellowknife, you're pretty much stuck there.
FT: Did particular artists inspire you?
MD: I'm inspired by my artist friends. The first one is from Québec City: Fred Jourdain, who is a drawer of famous people.
He used to do portraits of Johnny Cash, Plume Latraverse, et cetera. He inspired me in the colours he used; I think we have a similar way of playing with colours.
Marie-Claude Landry is another artist friend I find very inspiring. She is a photographer who plays with photo-montage, like me.
FT: Can you tell us about the techniques you use for your work?
MD: I do superimposition of pictures. I have two ways of working with this technique: The first one is a kind of collage with my pictures and I place the images in order to create a story.
The other technique is a montage-photo where I mix the movements, the images and the colours of many pictures in order to create an atmosphere. We can say that the first one is concrete and the other one is more abstract.
FT: Last spring, we had the chance to admire your work at the Umbellula Café, the Centre de la Francophonie, and the Yukon Riverside Arts Festival. What is coming up next for you?
MD: This fall, I'm creating the trophies offered to the winners at the Gala de la Francophonie. It's nine pieces of art representing the Francophone of the Yukon.
This is just a tiny glimpse of all that Maxime Deschesnes is doing. Because an image is worth a thousand words, I invite you to visit his website at www.mxdeschesnes.com
Virginie Hamel is a regular contributor to What’s Up Yukon who keeps tab on events in Yukon’s francophone community.