Hyper-realism that makes you want to punch someone… or cry.

We can’t decide which.

Adam Giroux is a self-taught painter from Windsor, currently working in London, Ontario. Adam transforms figures into captivating stories of conceptualized thought. Adam Giroux slashes the idea of traditional portraiture, creating a cryptic story in his work. Fuse Profiles spoke with him about Pokemon, the year 2090, and possible oatmeal-covered VHS tapes.

How does being self-taught affect you in the art world?

I’ve always been an autodidact in most of my life, so art and painting have been no different. I enjoy learning at my own pace and challenging myself to develop my own creative ideas and technical practice.

realism oil painting face
“TAUT I 2014,” oil on canvas, by Adam Giroux

In some ways, I do romanticize the “art school experience” and the complete immersion into your craft, but I try to shape my life around that ideal without relying on an institution.

When did you begin painting?

I began painting when I was a young child and used to paint rocks with my grandmother every summer. The idea of creating something from just some simple raw materials was always thrilling.

realism oil painting - face and weeds
“THORNS 2016,” oil on wood, by Adam Giroux

I started taking art seriously shortly after obtaining a career in computer programming. Though the technical problem solving of programming and marketing is exciting, I realized the mix of creativity and the technical implementation of painting and other visual art is my ideal craft.

Do you prefer coffee or tea?

Tea. I try to avoid stimulants whenever possible. I enjoy drinking tea while working late at night and I drink water almost exclusively any other time of the day.

If you could live in any other decade (besides the ones you have), which one would it be?

2090?

“ARCHETYPE I 2015,” oil on canvas by Adam Giroux

Ideally in a time when the world has figured out how to treat everyone with equal regard. Once the world has come to terms with its effects on the environment and all the animals living in it. A decade when we’ll be interplanetary, innovative, and more philosophically consistent than we are now.

Where’s your favourite spot (in general) in London?

My favourite spot is anywhere I can stay focused and work hard. My studio meets those requirements nicely. It’s a beautiful space above the Arts Project with ample space for creative exploration. I also get to listen to people yelling outside in the middle of the night, which is always interesting to me.

“MASK 2015,” oil on wood by Adam Giroux

If I’m going to leave my studio, I truly enjoy the food and atmosphere of Plant Matter Kitchen in Wortley village. They are easily my favourite restaurant in the city.

What is your favourite childhood cartoon?

I enjoyed most of the typical cartoons that were popular for my generation (Pokémon, etc.), but my most striking memories are from watching Roadrunner VHS tapes with my grandfather. I also loved watching true crime documentaries as a child, but those don’t qualify as cartoons.

What is the weirdest item you own? 

Though I’m sure I own other weirder items, the first that comes to mind is my special copy of Harmony Korine’s Trash Humpers. It is an old Good Will Hunting VHS with Korine’s film taped over it. The case is covered in paint, dust, and (I think) oatmeal and was delivered in a plastic bag.

What’s your favourite piece that you’ve created?

Though I always enjoy the newest pieces, there was a pair of pieces in my last show entitled “The Affected/Effect” and “The Effect/Affected” which were a real culmination of a lot of the ideas I had been working on at the time. They depicted the same composition, with either the decorative elements or the figure removed. Creating this relationship between the two pieces was rewarding and the process of figuring out how to tell the story of the model was challenging and pushed my work in a new direction. “The Effect/Affected” was the first major piece I’ve completed in recent years without a figurative element, and reminds me that I can always attempt something new in order to communicate the story more effectively.

“THE EFFECT/AFFECTED 2017,” oil on wood by Adam Giroux
“THE AFFECTED/EFFECT 2017,” oil on wood by Adam Giroux

With a natural talent, we are baffled that Adam has yet to be nationally recognized. He is a true talent. Check out more of Adam’s work on his website, Instagram, and Twitter.

Fuse Profiles is a series created by Emma Marr to highlight the incredible talent and creativity found in London, Ontario (and beyond). These pieces span across all media and showcase some of the most interesting and promising artists practicing locally today. Stay tuned for more profiles, published every two weeks from now on! 

Feature photo of “HIDE 2015” by Adam Giroux. 

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