palette knives

I believe in things that exist. When I paint a table of objects or a flower, they exist in light. So when I paint a magazine, it already exists. My looking at it, noting it, scrutinizing it, changes it. This has always been my subject. I don’t invent, I look. Things are transformed by looking. The observer changes the thing observed, as I believe Einstein said. Oil paint on canvas is a literal transmutation of ink on paper. The beauty of a photograph is its mechanical truth. The beauty of a painting is its touch. 

The beauty of a painting is its touch.
— Robert Lemay
Robert Lemay studio brush on canvas

When I was younger, well before the internet of course, I used to buy Vogue, Interview, I-D, and The Face. Vogue, besides fashion and beautiful models had a profile of an artist in each issue, as well as a feature on someone’s house in Europe and articles on books and music. No one from before the internet age can really know what that was like. It was the only connection someone from the suburbs of Edmonton had with a wider culture.

One used to buy Rolling Stone magazine and read album liner notes and study every picture because that was all there was. So now, I realize the images of Linda, Cindy, and Claudia, stayed as markers of that generation.

My paintings are an attempt to reclaim and understand this, not just as nostalgia, but as a reconnection and reinterpretation in painting.