MachinoÏd - Charles Leblanc’s latest painting series - is undoubtedly the artist’s most personal and challenging body of work to date. Further exploring his long-time fascination with cars and their inner mechanics - a subject that he has ventured in previously with the Artomobilia series, the latest works signal a phase of enlightenment for the artist, as well as a new-found direction. Following a heart attack occurrence in 2013, Leblanc experienced an out-of-body sensation that allowed him to unravel new meanings and connections among his passion for cars and human relationships, and ultimately, rekindle with aspects most dear to his heart: art, life and family. The outcome is a refreshing take on traditional abstract compositions, characterized by a dynamic color palette paired with a degree of minimalism.
Above all, this series reveal the intimate, codependent relationship between men and machines, which are continuously sustaining and fuelling one another. In “Machona” for instance, a human-like creature can be seen entangled with a stack of boxes, akin to the moment the artist woke up following his health incident, noticing the different machines his body was hooked up to. Then, in “Maclio”, this relationship is pushed even further, fully capturing one’s struggle for survival and, by extension, the resilience of human nature.
The dynamic tension encapsulated by this painting, and this series as a whole, illustrates a glorious journey taken by the artist. As viewers contemplate Leblanc’s paintings from up close, sometimes even touching the physical textures of the brushstrokes, they feel equally part of this emotional voyage. By experimenting with different art forms and subjects, Leblanc constantly challenges and reinvents himself to achieve bolder compositions, while seeking to convey an universal truth: acting in spite of fear.