Rock Therrien was born in 1970 in Armagh, near Montmagny, and currently resides in Montreal. Therrien stood out from other art students at a very young age, having won several drawing competitions. Self-taught, he has been painting for nearly twenty years. Today, he primarily creates paintings featuring rotund characters in amusing and wacky situations in which viewers can often recognize themselves.
For each painting, Therrien conceives a situation that he sketches on canvas beforehand. He then works the materials and colours using a painting technique that he developed over time. Sanding his paintings creates a highly textured surface and reinforces the idea that Therrien’s characters live in a bygone era.
Being a true admirer of curves, Therrien engraves circular motifs that he embellishes with signs and touches of colour. Each painting consists of superimposed layers of paint, as Therrien likes to leave traces of his collage work, sketches and even applications of cement so as to reveal certain stages of its composition.
Therrien draws inspiration from fragments of his life, music and his many travels. His works are conceived as messages to be unravelled, and for him each painting tells a story. In viewing each of his pieces, one discovers clues on how to interpret the scene.
At first, Therrien tries to capture the viewer’s attention with the subject of his work and the colour palette. Then, he attempts to make the viewer smile by adding humour to complete his scenes. Therrien explains that all these elements inspire and motivate him to constantly push his limits.
“Painting never seemed obvious to me, but when it catches hold of you, it pushes you to go further and to enter into the matter.”