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Spring Reaction

When first looking at Canadian artist Marin Ouellette’s paintings, my thoughts were: “Generalized abstract, and I wouldn’t put it on my walls.” This can be such a common mistake, especially when viewing art on a constant basis, you tend to overlook great work. Three things factor into what goes on the walls of Serial Optimist’s Gallery: 1. Orignal Beauty. 2. Is it interesting? 3. Would I want this? Ouellette’s process is both original and interesting, and yes, I want it. He captures the beauty in found decaying objects, which sounds morbid, but looks amazing. Check out his work and statement inside.


Suicidal Leaf

There is something sacred in the profane, something beautiful and lasting in the fleeting moment of forgotten things that get thrown away or left behind. My paintings are inspired from macro photographs of decaying objects found in the urban landscape; details of worn out magazines, wires, rusted nails or wooden poles layered with staples and torn up paper. These mass-produced items are used to serve a momentary purpose then left to decay in their natural surroundings. In this transitional state, in this moment somewhere between glory and gloom, I find a new world that is a part of every day life even though we rarely notice it. Only upon careful consideration, are there layers and layers of worlds existing within each other that unravel. Time and the cycle of life of these objects are what I find fascinating. I see the aesthetics of decay – a natural decay of the objects – as one aspect. Then there is the period of time and history materialized; time forms a unique trace of its trajectory, influenced by its surrounding environment and climate. At the same time, these objects are naturally evolving and slowly decaying to its death.


My paintings are created by capturing that perfect moment. I design my compositions by dissecting multiple photographs of the same item. Leaving behind the unimportant elements by blurring and blending them into the background. I highlight an area by creating another dimension with textures, gravel, dirt, wax, plaster, and at times sculpting through the actual wood canvas. When I add an image, I like to leave just enough elements of its original self: a pixilated image of a pop icon or graphic key words in order to form an identity to these abstractions. The image teases the viewers’ curiosity and their need to give definition to what they are looking at. As a result, a personal interpretation is formed of the overall piece. -Martin Ouellette


In Between the Layers

Asian Fever

Pulp Fiction

No Tresspassing


SO Note: All images are owned by Martin Ouellette and cannot be reproduced. Find more of his work on his website here, and also check out his blog here.

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