A beeswax smell welcomes us when we enter at Stephan Lemay’s workshop. An art piece is leaning over a large wooden table while performs a few alterations. We shake hands before he turns his torch.
On the walls, dozens of works are exhibited. All were made through an original method called encaustic.
“Spontaneous approach is required since the wax freezes almost instantly when in contact with the medium,” says Stephan Lemay.
Encaustic is an ancient technique in which the main binder is natural beeswax. “The wax is soft, so it melts rapidly, making it difficult to handle. This is why one adds damar resin secreted from one kind of Asian characteristic tree, which gives a certain solidity while allowing flexibility to keep, “says the artist who makes his own medium.
“This paint does not dry; it solidifies at room temperature and liquefies under the effect of heat, which is why I use a blowtorch. It is a wonderful material to make the foundation, characterized by the use of different materials to create volumes. ”
Counteracting against the culture of “extreme consumption,” where everything is made not to last, Stephan Lemay incorporates recycled products in his paintings. Tools, materials, pigments, for this artist everything is a material for the creation, who even uses his morning coffee to embed into some of his artworks.
Using spirals is another characteristic of Stephan Lemay’s work. “Everything is constantly moving so I find that the spiral represents the infinitely large and the infinitely small dimension of the universe and the human being is on the border between these two worlds. This conception of things transcends art since life is cyclical.” concluded Stephan Lemay.