LOOK AT THIS is a weekly series featuring the work of Canadian artists, designers and creators of all sorts.
Name: Andre Ethier
Born: Toronto, 1977
Lives and works: Toronto
These paintings: Ethier creates riotously colourful portraits and landscapes in oil paint, with subjects ranging from cartoonish gnomes to still lifes overflowing with flowers. A reviewer in the New York Times wrote that his "funny, faux-naïve paintings resemble the works of a self-taught, semi-talented high school stoner steeped in heavy-metal music, fantasy novels and the visionary arts of the French Symbolists."
Why his name might be familiar: If you know your Canadian indie rock, you probably know The Deadly Snakes, a bluesy garage rock band that Ethier sang and played guitar in. "Music and painting are related, in that there is craft that stands between the artist and expression," Ethier, who also plays under his own name, told Strombo.com. "You have to negotiate with tools, and the tools inform your work. The struggle to master the tools is reflected in the way I play music and paint. I'm not sure how the subject matter of my paintings and the songs I write relate, but they probably do."
A song endorsement: "Once upon A Time" off jazz guitarist Sonny Sharrock's Ask the Ages. "It sounds almost like Neil Young and Crazy Horse jamming the freest melodic jazz."
Ethier's work will be on display at an upcoming exhibition at Paul Petro Contemporary Art in Toronto, from Jan. 17 to Feb. 15.