VISAC Gallery – Artist brings pop culture to life in 3D masterpieces

Using poplar pop icons Angela Duclos twists the images together with a contemporary meaning to create printmaking 3D masterpieces.

You could be excused if you thought Angela Duclos’ art had a familiar feel.

Using poplar pop icons from the past, she twists the images together with a contemporary meaning to create printmaking three-dimensional masterpieces.

The Warfield resident and recent UBC Fine Arts graduate’s newest body of work beckons people to experience the familiar, cast in new times, this month showing at the VISAC Gallery in the Trail Community Centre building.

“She layers so much ink … people will come up and try to touch them. It’s almost like a 3-D effect, there’s so much colour and layering onto it,” said Laurie Merlo, the gallery’s executive director.

Duclos manipulates images digitally first, combining a very old printmaking technique with a very modern application. She plans the image out on her laptop, then transfers it via silk screen with an old fashioned squeegee to the paper.

The “extreme” colour is coupled with jagged edges and ripped seams — and sampled text and pop culture icons from the past and present — to transform the “ferocious and tragic into images of sublime beauty.”

Called “In the Tragic We Trust,” the show is a statement on the mindset of her generation, Generation X, filled with a burning desire to become famous.

“Anyone can be famous for anything and the mystery of the public figure is slowly dying, that is why I have chosen to focus on “celebrity culture” of the past,” she said in a press release.

“Public figures of the past are foreign to me. I myself did not experience these individuals at their prime.”

Using historical figures forces her to appropriate and combine second hand information in order to represent each person.

“I am obligated to investigate their stories and rewrite these historic events to the best of my knowledge,” she said.

Duclos’ work starts from the early 1960s all the way up to today with Lindsay Lohan, Anna Nicole Smith and any number of reality stars.

“It’s a comment on how her generation’s pop culture is obsessed with train wrecks, in the sense that everybody loves a good train wreck,” Merlo said.

Angela Duclos’ “In the Tragic We Trust” runs until May 25. On May 23, the gallery will present an artist’s lecture from 12-1 p.m., and on May 25, Duclos will close out her exhibition with an evening soiree from 6-8 p.m.