Born in Maniwaki (Québec), Etienne Gélinas pursued college education in “visual and media arts” at the College de l’Outaouais in Gatineau, followed by a Bachelor’s degree in art and design from the UQO, and later graduated with a master’s degree in project management from the UQO.
Etienne explains the work by saying, “Architecture, and the standardization of humankind’s living space and style, are subjects that fascinate me. These concepts are directly opposed to the valorization of individualism in our society, illustrating in my view, an undeniable paradox. My research in painting is based on the opposition of different codes: I strive to make the pictorial and scientific worlds coexist in a single space. This is my way of denouncing society as an overly-structured and conformist environment, bound by protocol and in which the notion of intuition and tailored case by case approaches have lost their place. The extremely rigid protocols of our social systems tend to hide the individual within the mass, refusing to perceive him as a unique and sensible being. In the networking era we live in, social networks are a perfect example of standardization within which each individual seeks to distinguish himself through a pre-designed and mildly customizable interface. In my work, I integrate sewing patterns, photos of gearing systems, architectural plans, anatomy drawings, and a form of technical drawing involving engraving in paste. These items model and standardize the world around us. In my work, I insert them in a pictorial universe that is born out of providence.”