Toronto-based artist Alex Garant paints stunningly surreal portraits of people who appear in double and triple vision. In a new series called Wakefulness, she continues this fascinating exploration–traditional portraiture with a bizarre twist–showcasing women out of focus. The mind-bending artwork is simultaneously beautiful and disorienting, with sunset colored, vibrating lines that create a dizzying effect as you stare at each image.
If looking at Garant’s paintings makes you feel uncomfortable, know that this is partially her intention. “Staring at her double-eyed figures can cause cerebral tension and even phantom visions,” Spoke Art Gallery explained in their press release. Garant herself says, “My latest series is meant to initiate reactive responses to the external visual stimuli offered through the superposition of figurative elements and vivid colors.” It’s this uncomfortable agitation that makes her work unforgettable–you’ll be thinking about the paintings long after seeing them.
Despite producing portraits of other people, Garant describes her work as being deeply personal. “I believe each piece can be seen as self portraiture. Some of the colors, patterns and expressions I choose to use truly express a specific emotional phase of my life.”
Starting Thursday, February 4, Wakefulness will be on view at the Spoke Art Gallery in San Francisco. It will be up through Saturday, February 27.