1xRun Thru Interview
Black Jack by Heidi Taillefer
1xRun: Tell us a bit about this piece, is the original still for sale?
Heidi Taillefer: This piece is no longer for sale. It was purchased by Guy Laliberte (co-founder and CEO of the Cirque du Soleil) in 2003 during my first official solo show at a small art venue called O Patro Vys in Montreal. He showed up with a colleague of mine to see the show by surprise and bought three large pieces within five minutes. He’s actually one of my biggest collectors.
1xRUN: What materials was this piece created with?
Heidi Taillefer: The original was painted in 2003 with oil on canvas.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about…
Heidi Taillefer: The idea came about originally because I was working with a dealer who had access to show original artwork in the Paddock club during the Grand Prix. The other artists he brought with him were showcasing F1 cars, but I when was asked to contribute I decided to depict the emblem of Ferrari instead. Hence the horse, with Ferrari components and sponsors, and a Black Jack is apparently the name of a triple win in Grand Prix racing. From start to finish this piece took me about a month to finish.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece compared with some of your other work?
Heidi Taillefer: One thing that is unique about this piece is it’s completely tailored to Formula One which is huge in Montreal. Guy Laliberte bought it and reportedly placed it in a new garage he had built for his Ferrari collection, though I of course like to say he had the garage built for the painting.
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Heidi Taillefer: This print is particularly special because it depicts one of my works which has had very little visibility given that it was purchased within an hour of it’s initial public display. However, the original artwork was also exhibited in 2011 as part of the Cirque du Soleil’s collection of artworks featuring horse depictions, sharing the spotlight with works by Marc Chagall and Picasso.
1xRun: Describe this piece in one gut reaction word.
Heidi Taillefer: Majestic.
1xRun: Bring us up to speed on what you have been up to since your first print run with us?
Heidi Taillefer: I recently finished a solo exhibition with Copro Gallery in Santa Monica, CA, and am currently working on a continuing image archive of Cirque du Soleil shows (they commissioned 30 in total now), and am presently negotiating image designs with a large toy company.
1xRun: You mentioned you have been working on some different mediums, how have things been going with your new work?
Heidi Taillefer: My new work has been amazing to produce, but it’s a complete departure from my usual comfort zone. There is actually quite a bit of interest from a number of Montreal galleries to now show this series of doll sculptures I produced, which were originally meant to be reconfigured as children’s toys. I have a very helpful colleague who will be presenting them to White Cube in London as well, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
1xRun: Do you feel this new work is complimentary to your paintings or is it a completely new vein?
Heidi Taillefer: It’s a completely new vein I think, though in some measure they are complimentary in their design being ball-joint dolls, which are pretty mechanistic in and of themselves. They contain the symbolism that much of my work has as well, so they remain well within the range of my line of thinking.
1xRun: Any other big plans the rest of the year?
Heidi Taillefer: I always have plans, some I can’t divulge yet! Others are ongoing, but one thing I’m really exited about is an evolution in my style of work. I’m really interested in symmetry, also fractal art, and if all goes well there will be a happy marriage of the two in which I also incorporate my signature hybridizations of organic and machine.