Marijke Bouchier is an illustrator and interdisciplinary artist, originally from New Zealand, now based in Toronto, Ontario. After graduating from her BFA at Massey University, Wellington (NZ), Marijke relocated to Montreal in 2007 to complete her MFA at Concordia University. Over the years Marijke has moved fluidly between a variety of mediums, such as performance, video, sound, writing, sculpture, painting, and drawing, but now focuses most notably on painting, drawing, and illustration. She is passionate about art and image making, and loves the challenge of exploring form, composition, humour, and meaning in her work.
The WALLPAPERS, which began as performative/temporal wall-works, are an ongoing series of paintings that explore of the strange, sometimes uncanny, nature of pattern and replication by superficially mimicking some of the formalities of repetition and mass production, but disregarding any actual pattern structure. Each painting utilizes a grid-like layout, but contrasts this with an intentional randomness and asymmetry, and select disruptive elements. From afar its uniform nature seems apparent, but upon closer inspection the treads of order begin to unravel, and the many small, but noticeable, inconsistencies begin to reveal themselves.
PARADISE IS NICE (New Work) - The various motifs in these new creations are inspired by a surrealist painting by Salvador Dali, of a dusky nigh time desert, where a giraffe on fire walks languidly toward the mountains. This painting has always felt dark and mystical to me, and the notion of a flame-retardant animal was too intriguing not to explore further. The first motifs were created for an exhibition entitled Skins, which contrasted the comic troupe of a slippery banana peel (skin), against animal hide (skin). The ever expanding collection of motifs in this body of work draw from a kitschy tropical inspired aesthetic, a love of visual puns, a dark/off-beat humour, and an adoration of the ridiculous. (Because nothing is more ridiculous than life itself, and at its best I think art is a reflection of that.)
The WALLPAPERS have been part of my art practice in some form or another for almost a decade, and while the specifics of the motifs are always changing, the essential conflict of uniformity and disorder remain, and invite your eyes to wander aimlessly. My love of color and humor is always leading me to surprising new visual concoctions, and the playful chaos of Surrealism, the whimsy and visual ridiculousness of Dada, and the saturation of Pop Art are a constant inspiration in these works.
SEXUAL FRUIT is a project that celebrates sexuality, desire & inclusiveness. While addressing sexuality, especially female sexuality, may be an uncomfortable subject for some, that very discomfort is what makes this project, and the larger conversation it is a part of, so important. Historically women have almost exclusively been depicted as the object of sexual desire - specifically the object of male desire - but rarely as it’s subject and/or provocateur. Even now, depictions of female “desire” in contemporary mainstream media are most often simply distortions of the male gaze, and do not in reality capture much of the true nature of female sexuality. These works, though light, colorful, and playful in nature, are an earnest attempt to normalize female sexuality, and include women in a larger discussion around sexuality, sexual agency and desire.
The Nookie - 827 College Street, Toronto, ON Canada
Elephant in the Attic - 1596 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON Canada
O's Clothes - 150 James St North, Hamilton, ON Canada
Labour of Love - 223 Carlton Street, Toronto, ON Canada
TKVO - 1450 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON Canada
INSTA - @marijkebouchier