“With my brush, for a brief moment of a painting, I celebrate the right to live, to love and to be loved...” — André Desjardins
André Desjardins was born in Hauterive, Canada, in 1964. His fascination with art, history and geography goes back to early childhood when he would spend hours upon hours drawing, tinkering about, building, creating. Another favoured activity was leafing through atlases and encyclopaedias of the family’s extensive library. He was constantly on the lookout for anything new to feed his boundless curiosity: books, music, magazines, comics. At twelve years old, his young world came crashing down with the sudden loss of his father. Coping with the family grief as best he could, he found solace in the peaceful tranquility of the Magog family’s large basement. This haven housed his very first large-scale creation: a miniature city. Four years from start to finish: he was now sixteen. Nothing was missing: houses, stores, schools, parks, a port, a railroad. Every building had electricity; the train meandered through the town and its surrounding valleys. His teenage mind already had an exceptional grasp of spatial organization.
At eighteen, Desjardins left the family home in the country and headed for the big city. He studied graphic design at the University of Québec in Montreal. He devoted his spare time to painting, technical and artistic drawing, as well as designing and building furniture for his first apartment. He also explored interior design and architecture. Each discipline fuelling his creativity.
After completing his Bachelor’s Degree in 1988, he opened his own marketing firm and poured his energy and talent into building a successful business. A few years later he was at the head of a very lucrative enterprise with an enviable reputation and many employees; a dream come true. But after fourteen years of hard work, his heart was not in it anymore. Desjardins decided to sell the firm, leaving behind the world of marketing to concentrate on his true passion: manual work.
This major turning point coincides with his meeting Hélène Bélanger-Martin, the young woman who would become his muse. With a background in gallery management and a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History, she looked at Desjardins’ artwork with knowledgeable interest. Her involvement, observations and questionings gave the artist the impulse to reinvent his work, to search, to re-examine, to dive deeper... From that moment on, creation became his main occupation. His only preoccupation. He painted daily. A first exhibition was held at the Monument National, in Montreal. Visitors were captivated by the serene and peaceful mood of his paintings, their sacred and spiritual qualities. The demand for his works and the list of collectors increased steadily year after year. His works were included in numerous prestigious public and private collections. Desjardins was now dreaming of making a name for himself in the United States.
In 2008, he presented his works at ArtExpo New York where the response exceeded his expectations. Not only did he sell 26 paintings, he was also approached by Masterpiece Publishing, a major name in the US fine arts industry. He worked with that agency for ten years. His works are now on exhibit in galleries throughout the United States and are part of numerous private collections.
Desjardins started to explore sculpture in 2010. With a deep understanding of objects, space, tri-dimensionality and human anatomy a majestic eloquence is revealed through this new medium. His portfolio now holds close to thirty sculptures, including “Recevoir Héroïque” the limited edition of 8 monumental sculpture created in 2013. Measuring over 11 feet high, this impressive work stands in private gardens in the US and Canada.
Today, Desjardins is celebrating his career’s 20th anniversary. He is presently working on his second monumental sculpture. His daring and atypical journey is testament to his great inner strength and his insatiable thirst for creation. He paints and sculpts characters in state of plenitude. Through every texture and delicate shaping, his human representations break free from the chaos, surrounded by a powerful aura of serenity. His works have healing power. They give pause, a brief respite against the tumultuous violence of our world.