Wow ! Valet parking, a guest check list at the door, security and hors d’oeuvres by Bice greeted guests at Amel Chamandy’s solo show Scene Scape Through the Artist’s Eyes. Her contemporary art space, Galerie NuEdge Fine Arts International, is a beautiful, recent addition to Montreal’s famed Golden Square Mile. Amel Chamandy’s works are totally urban: simple scenes in the city. Their optical originality comes from the artist’s vision as she suggests new ways of seeing the day-to-day: the banal becomes beautiful. Her large images (69’’ x 50’’) show a reality twice transformed. The originals were captured in black and white film (!), photos taken in 1998 when Amel was studying at Concordia University. Using today’s technological tools, she then digitally altered the originals. The result? Splendid blurry and coloured works: some more abstract than others. Each is unique.
I loved the pigeons! These common, grey bobbing birds are coloured with a wash of pale red, thanks to the magic of PhotoShop. In another photo, Notre Dame Street is recognizable – and yet not. The street’s elements – cars, steps, architecture – have been decoded, and deconstructed. Beaux-arts façades stand high in superimposed silhouettes. You can ‘feel’ the moment in Old Montreal. My favourite though, was 54th floor, which she featured on the invitation. The Habitat 67-style image showed different buildings, cut through and stacked precariously, with a lone lamppost soaring over stoplights. The photograph is the perfect feel of a city: energetic, and alluring. Just like Amel Chamandy’s art. The day of the chic vernissage, there were gathering groups of photo ops outside the gallery. People were posing on Marie & Jean, a fiberglass George Segal-type couple created by Amel Chamandy. I had to smile. The lady is looking into Amel’s gorgeous gallery!
Scene Scape : until September 18, 2010. 1480 Sherbrooke Street West. 514-934-3343
WHEN IN THE AREA
EAT WELL! Two minutes walk. Try Il Cortile. A fabulous Italian resto in a courtyard, full of flowers. Opera is the music of the day here. 1442 Sherbrooke Street West. 514 843-8230 (no web site)
STAY AT: 5 minute walk away. The 106-room Meridien Versailles 1-866-716-8101