Panache (détail), pine root, more tan 6 feet wide, private collection. Panache (détail), pine root, more tan 6 feet wide, private collection.

The Amazing Carvings

of Michel Lajeunesse

Forms, Volume and Space

The text you are about to read may be short but it took some time to write. Why? Because the man I met wished to ascertain it left a pleasant impression, much as a plant would want to be photographed during its flowering period. He is the first interviewee to ever ask if he could read what I’ve written. Hence, shall I weigh every phrase, every word even! Like him, I want to make sure that this article does justice to his immense talent. I want this written page to be magical so that going through it, as through Alice’s mirror, means discovering a fabulous world on the other side.

Michel Lajeunesse‘s spiritual nourishment is provided by nature, the animals, and the forest. His father, also an artist, initiated him at a young age to drawing rather than to hockey, thus predestining him for the arts. Talent is clearly hereditary, although the son later attended the School of Fine Arts.

In his adult life, our man first engages in commercial endeavours, doing lettering, calligraphy, graphic design and illustration work to be able to feed his family. He introduces wood signs with gold leaf embellishments in Québec. A discipline for which he wins international awards, adorns magazine covers, receives media coverage including being featured on television shows. Around that time, he learns how to use gouges, studies the proprieties of wood fiber as well as a thousand and one sculpting techniques that will prove essentially relevant in future. “One cannot improvise himself as an artist. An artistic career must be forged.”

His greatest influences come from Alfons Mucha’s era, when ruled the aesthetics of lines and the elegance of rhythms and colours. It was the Art Nouveau era (1890-1914). Among his contemporaries, Lajeunesse admires Hubbell, the multidisciplinary artist who builds organic structures somewhat resembling Gaudi’s creations.  Abonnez-vous au contenu de notre site internet pour lire ce texte. Subscribe to our Website content to read more

Text by Robert Lafontaine

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