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Kevin Cormier lives through paint 

Cormier paints intimate memories and moments from his sad-boy lifestyle.

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“I had this one really turbulent Tinder date where they decided ‘Let’s meet at your studio at 12 o’clock in the morning on a Friday.’ We had this big bag of booze and we were just tearing through my work and this boy was like ‘You’re Taylor Swift!’”

Kevin Cormier laughs, leaning forward in his seat at a downtown coffee shop. Cormier’s works—multi-perspective paintings with richly layered colours (“I always really gravitate towards having one intense colour, like a bright sap green or the blue from under the crack of a door at a certain time of day”)—are indeed autobiographical, but the similarities seem superficial when the depths of his practice become evident (sorry, Swifties).

“I like to paint memories and moments, so perspective becomes less important—or it needs to be warped—because I want to show every angle of the room I’m sitting tortured in,” he says. “What I’m making is really intimate. It’s always been a bit of a coping mechanism too: I love the idea of art to work through different trauma. And working autobiographically, you get to do that.”

He shows a photo of a current piece he’s working on: “That’s essentially my bedroom after someone came over for a hangout. My bed is destroyed and sad,” he says. “It’s painted on the cover of a Virginia Woolf book they left. It just says ‘Sorry I called you a fuckboy’—the least sincere apology.”

Lifting text from “my camera roll, my journals, social media even,” Cormier weaves a narrative you feel, even if you don’t know the details. “I always took a great interest in post-impressionistic painting and what it could really mean for capturing certain feelings and emotions.

“I like to tie in the sad-boy lifestyle twist,” Cormier adds, “and show how I’m living through paint, through a warped lens, where I’m taking certain fragments and embellishing on them.”
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Vol 26, No 17
September 20, 2018

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