The origin is without a home, it has no place; it is nomadic. Some carry this origin within them, this sense of belonging outside of time and geography, upon this weight dons their freedom. Perhaps this black magma is the earth that Jean-Michel Cropsal's shoes carry like a ferryman of another shore.
François Xavier Marange (translated)
Jean Michel Cropsal was born in 1947 to a French father and an Armenian mother. After spending his childhood in Morocco, he emigrated to France where he studied and worked in theatre in costume and set design. In 1975, Cropsal moved to Montreal where he collaborated with the Théâtre de Carton, the theatre Enfants du Paradis, Théâtre UBU and Danse—Cité. Later, he designed and created clothing that he exhibited and sold at the Salon des métiers d'art du Québec and at the One of a Kind Salon in Toronto.
Throughout these years, Cropsal painted, drew and engraved, but has only been exhibiting his work since 2001. In 2005, he spent three months in West Africa, namely Ghana, Burkina Faso and Mali. He returned, moved by this trip and his repeated visits to the Musée des Arts Premiers du Quai Branly. Since 2006, Cropsal has returned to Morocco anually where he spends three months of the year. He also has a studio in Morroco, and exhibited in the country for first time in 2011. Cropsal has had group and solo exhibits in galleries in Canada, France, and Morroco, and his work can be found in multiple public and private collections throughout Canada and France. Cropsal has also been a member of the Workshop Circulaire in Montreal for 20 years.
ADAPTED AND TRANSLATED FROM TEXTS BY DANIEL CANTY AND VICTORSILVA
Oscar Antonio Machado, originally from Venezuela, has been living in Quebec for twelve years. Machado graduated from Marsan College of Photography in Montreal in 2019. While Machado has been taking photographs for most of his life, he began working professionally as a marketing photographer seven years ago. From early on in his childhood, Machado recalls that one of his aunts adored taking photographs of family members and events, and that it was thanks to her that he got his first taste for the Arts. So, Machado took the first opportunity he had to study photography, and embark on a journey to professionalize his lifelong passion. The instant that Machado is inspired to take photos, he enters his own little world. To get away from the hassles of everyday life, to relax, or simply to explore, he finds amusement in the clichés, whether he's taking pictures of landscapes, people, or city life. Recently, Machado had the opportunity to work on a series of photos on the theme of waterfalls and rivers in Quebec, a project that has been stimulating for his visuals arts career.
Now, for his exhibition “The Explorer”, Machado invites us into his world through a series of cityscape photographs that all began with a simple detour in his everyday life. When the Hyppolite-Lafontaine Tunnel was closed for construction, Machado's routine drives from his home in Longueuil to his workplace in Laval were interrupted. Machado was forced to take a detour via the Jacques-Cartier Bridge with all that this entailed: traffic, noise, and bustle. This near century-old bridge now allows millions of motorists and cyclists to cross the St. Lawrence River every year. So for a few days, Machado was irritated by this change of route, but then he decided to see things differently. Instead of subsuming himself into the crowd, he took notice of the bridge's structure, trying to capture its shapes, its geometry, and its beauty. His pictures depict the magnificence of the busy bridge that, when overlooked, is just a headache in the middle of rush hour, but can just as easily reveal its richness, its hidden angles and its charm to those who appreciate it.