Yoakim Bélanger's art is centered on human bodies. He is fascinated by movements, expressions, plasticity and their universality. Across various media (painting, drawing, photography and video) Yoakim Bélanger sublimates the physical appearance of humanity and celebrates its strength, passion and grace.
In his paintings, through a work of scrap, sanding and alterations on metal plates, Yoakim reaches a vibrant and textured brushwork that merges abstraction and figurative, order and chaos, shade and light. With this work, the artist reaches his ultimate goal of portraying both body and soul.
Bélanger superimposes paint by layers, adding and/or removing material; then he sands, scrapes, and alters it in a work of construction and deconstruction, to highlight its epidermal nature. Then he plays a game of transparency and opacity through which the paint meets the emotional load of steel sometimes in the form of a plastic extension, sometimes as a deletion or resistance. In the guise of abstraction, the vibrational energy of the plate impulses rhythm to evoke the imperceptible and the unintelligible and reveal the emotional charge of the pictorial flesh.
Bélanger's work is evocative and exciting. He attempts to capture the essence of a person and pose. I find his work moving, the images raise questions, forcing the viewer to develop a narrative and interact with the works.