Remi Labarre

Easy Living by Remi Labarre
Piano Man by Remi Labarre
When the lights fall low in a famous cityscape yet the night’s still young in its ambition, many sophisticates and music lovers head to the jazz bars and lounges to take them through to the smaller hours still, in the company of like-minded, culturally and musically-aware and appreciative people. And it’s in these once smoke-filled, atmospheric environs that characters emerge with romance, tale-telling and merriment on their minds and in their heart of hearts. Of course what this evocative yet melancholy mix then requires is the emergence of an artist worthy of capturing the time and the place in a defined and classic visually documented fashion. Step forward a certain exponent of contemporary figurative art and a rising star of the hard-fought genre, Remi Labarre.

Old-world cafes, piano bars, et al provide Labarre with all the creative fuel that he could ever need to blaze a trail of creative pomposity the timeless like of which is rarely repeated in the strictly modern era, where ultimately Labarre’s ‘painted songs’ hold court as much as the songsmiths, raconteurs and silver-tongued lounge lizards themselves do right in the epicentre of the twilight action.

Thetford Mines in Canada was where Labarre hails and was born in 1977, from day one adjudged and admired as a prolific drawer and painter brandishing a fierce talent for the canvas world. Self-taught, Labarre made it his while to master the technicalities of his art so that he could place these reasoned skills and attributes alongside his God-given gift and natural flair. At one point in his formative years, a friend of Labarre’s urged him to experiment with paperboard as a medium, which ever open to new ideas, he did. That was in September 1994, and no sooner had the paint dried than Labarre’s mind was made up, that he was going to seek to become a bona fida artist. Today based in Montreal, Labarre’s hallmark artistic style and design language as such owes much and more to nostalgically-re-mastered time of yore, when jazz was in full swing and Martini glasses rattled and poured. Deriving much of his inspiration from Montreal’s still-thriving jazz scene, Labarre has also paid his respects to some of the music’s original heritage, with visitations to New York, San Francisco and Paris all under his belt to date.

Unreservedly influenced by the works of John Singer Sargent primarily, there’s also recurrent visual tributes paid toward Richard Schmid, Fabian Perez and Jack Vettriano to boot, portraits or still life are approached and administered with the same pleasing degree of gusto and graphical nods and winks to yesteryear’s famously hushed and sensual environs. With fans and collectors stretching across the globe and clamouring for Labarre’s work as and when it’s produced and released, one such recipient happens to see his own familiar face starring back at him from his wall whenever he chooses to stop and take a look. Famed singer/songwriter, Leonard Cohen’s enigmatic original portrait (as painted by Labarre) just so happens to hang from famed singer/songwriter, Leonard Cohen’s very own walls. Labarre himself notes this as one of his finest achievements and takes seeming pride from being in possession of this knowledge, whilst also taking much from the fact that many of his fans regularly suggest that they hear music playing when looking out upon one of his trademark compositions.

In terms of Labarre’s styling and it’s this ‘just about finished’ and almost under-worked look that so appeals to a cross section of contemporary figurative art fans, who take in this simplistic and rudimentary approach where less is very much more, and where often sparse brushstrokes ensure that there’s ever just enough background painted so as to complete the archetypal piece which we habitually describe. Yet essentially it’s this ease, unfinished visual symphony that fuses the study with life from the first glance, which affords us all our own individual narrative to accompany the evocative image which meets with our eye.

Labarre has showcased his works far and wide, while his compositions jostle for wall space in private art collections worldwide, with Europe and America in particular amongst his greatest advocates and supporters.

View All Art Works By Remi Labarre