Paintings by two of Canada’s most influential contemporary fine artists
Animals with Sharpies is a collection of paintings with hand-lettered texts. In each painting, Michael Dumontier and Neil Farber have depicted an animal holding a Sharpie, ostensibly writing a message. These messages are varied in nature: political and religious tracts, confessions, recipes, arithmetic problems, and more. Above all, these paintings are funny, but they are also startlingly poignant and jarring for the humanness of the suffering and longing depicted in these animals’ simple words.
Dumontier and Farber, two of the founding members of the highly influential art collective the Royal Art Lodge, have been collaborating on art projects for more than fifteen years. Their collaborative style is unique from that found in their individual works and is respected internationally: they’ve exhibited together in France, Switzerland, Canada, the United States, Belgium, Spain, England, and Germany.
Dumontier and Farber have a strong sense of the absurd, but they are also deeply insightful about the world in which their art is created. Animals with Sharpies is a mixture of new, previously unseen pieces and older pieces.
“[Constructive Abandonment] is like a children’s book full of unsettling adult seizures of existential realization.” —The Believer
“The book offers up often comic and sometimes moving scenes . . . The strength of the paintings is their naïve style coupled with the incongruous, and sometimes dark, captioning.” —Design Week