During the last lockdown, Corinne Asseraf, owner of Galerie 203 in Old Montreal, opted to forge ahead and found a new lease on life through creation: the strength to present her own works of art. From June 18 and July 4, the exhibition Reflections is the result of her collaboration with artist Sylvia Cohen. Together, they came up with a series of breathtaking canvases, all hand painted, featuring 40 pop culture icons.
Men and women, larger than life, through whom the duo Asseraf-Cohen catches us off guard with cheeky humour and a lucid feminine look on these last decades which still resonate even in these pandemic-stricken times.
“After organizing and hosting thousands of artists over the past 12 years, I was finally able to take some time for myself this year and think about what I am and what I still want to do, and that’s to create art.” — Corinne Asseraf
Born in Casablanca, Morocco, in 1964, the following year, with her family, she moved to Montreal. As a teenager, Asseraf was inspired by artists with strong personalities such as Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. These iconic figures embody a style and vision that stuck with her and that paired perfectly with her love for abstract art.
In 2011, her passion for bringing people together, her love for art and her business experience led her to open Galerie 203, near Notre-Dame Basilica in the heart of Old Montreal; whose great vernissages I and the Best Kept Montreal staff have had the pleasure of covering several times over the years. After having developed this creative and dynamic space, dedicated to contemporary art, and the careers of some twenty artists that she represents; Corinne Asseraf finally presents her own exhibition in collaboration with long-time friend and talented painter, Sylvia Cohen.
“My goal is to create paintings that are striking and intriguing. When I start working, I no longer care about the beauty of the image but rather how it speaks to me. I think of these works as studies of characters rather than portraits.” — Sylvia Cohen
With Reflections, these two women make the portraits of celebrities like Édith Piaf, Basquiat, David Bowie, Sol, Robert Charlebois, Twiggy, Jack Nicholson, Madonna and many others speak. These paintings, mixed media on canvas, all have messages that can be read loud and clear in these uncertain times with quotes from these stars who marked their times in the form of collages.
On June 14, 15 and 16, red-carpet preview events will be held to mark the launch of Reflexions. These great vernissages, by invitation only, will be an opportunity to celebrate again and to reunite after months of COVID-19 blues. Galerie 203 will be dressed in its finest assets and will host Ferrari racing cars; a nod to the Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend which used to party in Old Montreal.
Here is what you need to know about the Galerie 203 Reflexions Exhibition:
Location: Galerie 203 | 227 Notre-Dame St W, Montreal, Quebec H2Y 1T4
Date: Invitation-only vernissages: June 14 and 15
Fund-raising event for Love Marnie: June 16
Exhibition open to the public: From June 18 to July 4
Website: www.galerie203.com | www.sylviacohen.com