Claire Boucher, better known as Grimes, can now call herself a New York gallery artist. The Canadian electro-pop singer opened a showing of her visual art March 23 at Audio Visual Arts. Press and fans lined up to see the drawings and paintings that Boucher created in the span of several years. The collection included the cover art for her recently released album, Visions. The gallery was small, cramped and could only fit about 10 people at a time; however, this was the perfect setting for Boucher’s work as it only spanned one wall and was presented in a very tight manner that worked for the small, intricate pieces. Boucher was present at the opening, so we decided to ask her a couple of questions about her artwork and inspiration.
Boucher’s work reflected the comics and mangas that she claims to be inspired by, and she lists Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron by Daniel Clowes as her favorite. Her pieces were just as dark as her music, with skulls being one of the main objects represented. She says she contributes the ideas of death and images that have no beginning or end to her recent obsession with Hieronymus Bosch.
With most of the paintings and drawings being black and white, those that stood out were the ones that contained pops of basic colors: red, green and yellow. Boucher says that the colors she chooses for her paintings are economically driven, usually buying black since colored paint is more expensive. The most recent of the work displayed was the Visions cover, and Boucher says that it only took her about $7 to make, using India ink and watercolor paper. This piece, with its gory imagery, demonstrates a recurrent theme in Grimes’s covers and art, and with the Visions cover she says she wanted to represent “humanity being ripped open” in agreement with the music she says comes from a horrific place.
The art exhibition also included work from Alexandra Mackenzie, Dan Rocca and Lux Xzymhr, whom Boucher chose herself as she also made her debut in the curatorial arts. The works in the gallery all complemented each other well as the artists resembled a style of technical painting and drawing that Boucher says she has not yet defined. From all of the works shown in the presentation, one was chosen to be auctioned off by Refinery 29, and all proceeds went to Sisters In Spirit, a charity of Boucher’s choosing that assists Aboriginal women in Canada.