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Check Out Edie Beaucage’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Edie Beaucage. 

Hi Edie, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers.
I am Edie Beaucage; I live in Venice Beach, my art studio is in Inglewood, and I have gallery representation in Downtown LA. I am connected to the Los Angeles art community in many ways, especially to my artist’s studio friends at the Art Complex 1019 West Manchester. I moved here from Quebec because I could see this city as an incredible creative platform. I am a painter and video artist. Painting, for me, is a very “natural” activity; in my nature, I know many academics’ hair will get raised with this idea. As soon as I understood how to mix colors in kindergarten that very day, I got cracking. I was five years old and thinking: D’accord, Je l’ai! (“I got this”): I will do a girl with a skipping rope, a boat, and an apple with a worm sticking its head out. I was making one painting after another while my little friends looked at me in astonishment. Fast-forward: I worked in advertising in Montreal and studied classical drawing in Florence, Italy. And best of all, I moved to Los Angeles and got a master of fine arts at Otis College. Ultimately, the time I have spent working in my studio has made me develop my paintings and videos into my own language. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
I think of the art world as a bullet train. You need to jump on, and it is fast-moving. You stay in as your work is relevant. Experimentation is necessary. I am a painter who wishes to invent new images and use my imagination. So, for me, the trip is full of trial and error, stop and go, but mainly a quest for invention. I tried to enter the art system after moving from Montreal to LA without success for years because I did not have a master of fine arts. Today, there is a perception that an artist needs an MFA to enter the global art market and exhibition system. I decided to get my master’s degree to find myself confused by it! 

The MFA just bewildered me; worst of all, I started overthinking everything I was making. And that is against my nature. It is very ironic. The tool of education that helps you situate your work in a meta-cultural conversation also creates a feeling of inadequacy. This is how it works: as a group, teachers, and peers in the program review and critique your art pieces; they make you look at the larger picture of the art world and society; it opens your thinking to a more significant issue than your own initial smaller vision of the world but simultaneously; the group is murking and distorting your creativity with too many questions, angles, and point of views. Then they leave you alone after two years of this treatment to figure it out. The MFA programs encourage students to address art with an utterly intellectual approach. The issue is that I evaluate that maybe 60 % of the MFA students do not process information and emotions that way. So many students cannot practice art after doing an MFA. The only way out of this is not to engage in an MFA and study critical discourse by yourself or work nonstop after your MFA until you figure back your voice. That is what I did. I was lucky to have exhibitions along the way and get feedback. My solution is to focus my work on a narrow slice of what comes naturally to me. (I expand on this below.) 

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I think what makes my paintings unique is my hand and directed improvisation. It is handmade from scratch with my imagination. I use childhood memories and include myself in my images. I create autofiction, and I play with historical art tropes. It is specialized because it takes a lot of experience and practice to do large portraits like the ones I am currently making. It is made without any tools or tracing ahead of time. I make more miniature paintings and use the sketch to paint the larger version. I finally figured out how to stop overthinking this whole process. I am making and repeating, and it is enjoyable! Pleasure is essential for making art, and I infuse positive energy into my work with colors. 

What are your plans for the future?
My big projects are my next two solo exhibitions at the galleries representing me. First at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. I am working on my show for March 2023. I don’t know if you have heard about the 7 years cycles in astrology. Every 7 years, star cycles reset themselves from the moment you start an important event in your life, like starting a relationship. In this case, it is a portrait I painted in September 2008. That piece is the beginning point of my exhibition. It is fantastic that since the day I made this piece, there were two times seven years before I realized that it was the start of my whole practice. After 14 years of trying so many approaches and ways of painting, I had it all figured out at the beginning of my MFA. Still, I missed that cue and took a long detour to return to that painting in September 2022. The exhibition will consist of a series of huge paintings. I am the same as when I was in kindergarten; I am doing all these characters one after another. I invite you to see these paintings at the Solo Exhibition at Luis de Jesus Los Angeles in March 2023. 

Concurrently, I will show more new works at the gallery Office Space Salt Lake City, which opened a project space in Burbank, Los Angeles. I am in the midst of determining this and am incredibly excited about this project as well. It will open two weeks after my opening at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. 

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