The rich and famous are waxy and well in Montreal now that Parisian waxworks sculpture pro Grévin has a new, glitzy home in the city, complete with life-like sculptures of movies stars, sports figures and world changers, as well as an impressive number of Quebec celebrities and historical figures…
The three-dimensional, sculptural artistry on display at Grévin Montreal goes beyond what might spring to mind upon hearing the words “wax museum” – not only are the 120 sculptures extremely lifelike, having been carefully crafted by a team of artists, sculptors, moulders, costume designers, make-up artists, wig makers and hairdressers, but they are located in a space designed to give visitors a hint of their worlds, from film studio to centre ice to red carpet.
Who would have known that when waxworks company Grévin Paris began over 130 years ago, the brainchild of a journalist and an artist, we would today find ourselves inundated by images of famous figures in magazines and newspapers, on screen and on billboards, and yet Grévin’s “art of the real” creations still captivate, in an admirably uncanny way.
And, let’s be honest, even if it might seem a bit silly, it’s kind of awesome to get your picture taken next to your favourite (wax) celeb: we’re talking George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Nicolas Cage, John Lennon, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and many, many more, and, of course, Céline Dion along with various Quebec stars such as Maurice Richard, Roch Voisine, André-Philippe Gagnon and Mado Lamotte, as well as major historical figures, making Grévin Montreal a glance into Quebec history too.
While celebrities of time past and present are undoubtedly the highlight of Grévin Montreal, the exhibition also features some impressive, high-tech interactive features. Right from the beginning, we find ourselves transported to another place and time: The Palace of Seasons, a beautiful interactive multimedia environment of colourful video projections in a mirrored room, created by the brilliant minds at Montreal new media company Moment Factory.
Further into the exhibition, EIDOS-Montréal invites visitors to become video characters, trying motion-capture technology and face-projection software. And, proving that education can be fun and cool, the Grévin Workshop lets visitors learn more about the waxworks by putting themselves – at least virtually – through the process of rending reality into wax.
Grévin Montreal, Montreal Eaton Centre, 705 Sainte-Catherine West, 5th floor
Photos by Susan Moss