Exhibitionists·Video

This introvert artist likes being alone — but her epic murals put her in the middle of the crowd

While Montreal artist Sandra Chevrier might like the solitude of the studio, her powerful works are in demand in the streets.

Sandra Chevrier might like the solitude of the studio, but her powerful works are in demand in the streets

(Sandra Chevrier)

Most of the time, Montreal-based artist Sandra Chevrier paints her larger-than-life portraits in the studio. She likes the solitude, explaining, "I was always a very shy and introverted kid. Creating images was my way to express myself — it was my language. It was the only way that I found that I was at ease to speak."

But more and more, her works — featuring women's faces blown up to epic scale and partially covered in pictures of superheroes that look as if they were torn straight out of a comic book — are in demand by mural festivals and public spaces.

Watch the video:

Artist Sandra Chevrier tells us about making art in public and the fragility of superheroes. Filmmaker: Pablo Aravena 3:21

In this video by filmmaker Pablo Aravena, sit in with Chevrier as she works to paint a massive piece for the MURAL Festival in Montreal, all on a pretty tight deadline. She minds the weather, tends to the particular demands of painting a dry wall and adjusts her introverted nature to the curiosity of crowds.

And it's all for good reason — these paintings of women's faces speak to fragility and resilience. She notes: "I think we all feel this pressure to be more than what we are."

(CBC Arts)

It doesn't seem surprising that the determination evident on her subjects' faces is reflected by her own tenacity, painting a mural on the side of a busy street in Montreal.

Follow Sandra Chevrier here.

See more of her work:

(Sandra Chevrier)
(Sandra Chevrier)
(Sandra Chevrier)

Watch CBC Arts: Exhibitionists on Friday nights at 11:30pm (12am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT) on CBC Television.

About the Author

Lise Hosein is a producer at CBC Arts. Before that, she was an arts reporter at JazzFM 91, an interview producer at George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight and a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. When she's not at her CBC Arts desk she's sometimes an instructor at OCADU and is always quite terrified of bees.