By Artists For Artists

Lucas Ouellette: Down The Rabbit Hole

Method To His Madness

Everyone wants to be accepted, to be heard and be part of the herd. Some are courageous enough to be unique and true to themselves but the stereotypes and stigmas in our society make it hard to breathe. Growing up everyone faces the question – “who are you?” The emerging abstract artist Lucas Ouellette is answering this question with his creativity.

"Wading Through" by Lucas Ouellette, oil on panel, 2017

Lucas Ouellette, the 22-year-old abstract painter, is breaking new ground in Queer Art by portraying self-identity and experiences to evoke empathy and understanding in the audience. His artworks are an open discussion about gender identity crisis, racism, body image issues, mental health, etc.

“I hope that people feel the intense experience of my work and a way to place themselves alongside my content; in solidarity and in understanding.”

"On Intimacy" by Lucas Ouellette, oil on panel, 2017

His journey started in Vermont, where in twelfth grade the art teacher spotted a charcoal sketch in his hands. Baffled by the talent of a boy that didn’t take a single art class, she convinced Lucas to take the advanced Art course and helped sum up a portfolio for him to apply to art colleges.

"Escape to Freedom" by Lucas Ouellette, oil on panel, 2018

Madness To His Method

Ouellette keeps exploring himself and his art with realism and abstractionism. He supports his idea of queerness and proudly displays it too. His artwork raises the question of what identity means for the artist and the audience and at the same time answers it.

"Disappearing" by Lucas Ouellette, oil on panel, 2017

“Despite the cultural climate across the United States, it is extremely rewarding to stand in solidarity and to create work that analyzes, undermines and negates the effects of the oppressive system we live with. Nothing could tear me away from a practice that I consider nonviolent resistance.”

"A Moment Elsewhere" by Lucas Ouellette, oil on panel, 2018

Although abstract, Lucas’ work looks systematic and purposeful; it displays sheer self-confidence. Solid objects, geometrical shapes, and even huddled figures all have a strange rhythm creating an orchestral symphony on the canvas. Oil on canvas is a technique he uses most, with a vivid palette of colors. The geometric objects and lines depicted in Lucas’s work are blurring the lines of conformity. He is creating unity in diversity challenging the enormity called normativity.  “I work almost entirely intuitively and draw inspiration from the queer experience. I spend most of my time mixing colors that both work together and create absurd color conversations that speak about identity as it deviates and opposes the system of heteronormativity.”

All images copyright of Lucas Ouellette

You can view more work by Lucas on his Instagram and website.

Article written by Abeer Khan

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