French Canadian Painter Michel T. Desroches | Neo-Expressionism | b.1970
The intensely expressive artwork of Michel T. Desroches arises from the artist’s desire to communicate and represent that which has no physical form. While Desroches’ paintings are visibly faces, they are not portraits of people but rather visages of hopes, dreams, emotions and other ephemeral concepts.
The lines that Desroches lays on canvas with a proprietary brush and technique are done rapidly and with the intent of capturing the emotion he wants in the painting rather than forming the features of the face. The broad bands and fields of vibrant color aren’t an attempt to realistically portray the human face, but rather to communicate fleeting and transitory emotional concepts.
Desroches settled upon faces as the evident subjects of his paintings because humans instinctively engage in emotion detection upon seeing faces. We learn early in life that an individual’s emotions are most obviously portrayed in their facial expressions and the detection of those emotions becomes innate and intuitive. Thus, Desroches triggers the viewer’s emotional receptiveness by roughly shaping his depictions into the form of a human face.
Desroches’ desire to portray intense emotions originated largely from his work as an Art Therapist with people suffering from mental and emotional illness. In their faces, he often saw a rapid cacophony of intense naked emotion — both simple and complex – as well as the simultaneous dichotomy of suffering and strength exposed in their countenances.
Though Desroches’ style originates in Art Brut and is heavily influenced by both Symbolism and Fauvism, it is entirely unique, defying simplistic categorization. This is very much by design as the artist seeks to challenge artistic and stylistic norms in his work in favor.
Born in 1970, Michel T. Desroches is a native of Montreal, Canada. He began his artistic career as a self-taught artist, later pursuing a degree at the University of Quebec at Montreal. He has participating in more than two dozen exhibitions since first showing his work to the public in 2007 and on December 2017 presented his work at the Louvre in Paris, France as part of the prestigious Salon des Beaux Arts.