Artist invites interpretations of his Charest Cinema mural

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Photo: Cassandra Kerwin

Artist Phelipe Soldevila is currently painting a colourful narrative piece on the 80-metre-long wall of the Charest Cinema in Saint-Roch. Weather permitting, he’ll be painting there until the first week of August.

The QCT recently met with Phelipe Soldevila to talk about his latest art project. Soldevila is painting one of the remaining walls of the demolished Charest Cinema in Saint-Roch. The scope of the project looks overwhelming: the painting covers the entire 80mX10-m wall.

 Soldevila is painting a narrative work sans text or captions. He has depicted a man on top of a windowless house, three ships, one of which is a longship, on which is a house with a fox. “I painted this ship in Montreal for the 2014 Mural Festival,” he said. “I wanted to paint it differently, and I wanted to bring it to Quebec City.” Beneath the ships, a marlin nearly as long as the wall and a white bear swim through a colourful pattern.

 “I don’t like sharing my interpretation of my art, because I want people to imagine their own. There are certain things that are obvious, sure,” said Soldevila. “When people do bring me their interpretations, I am fascinated. 

“People often try to find things they recognize instead of accepting that they are facing something new,” Soldevila added. “Just because there’s a house on a longship, people immediately think that I am painting a representation of Noah’s Ark, when I’m not. There are so many other ideas, other ships and arks that have existed.”  And yet, “A piece works when people question it,” he maintains.

 Five days a week for eight weeks  – until early August  – Soldevila can be seen at work using paint rollers, brushes, and spray paint. He covers hard-to-reach areas with the help of an extension pole, a ladder, and a rented Skyjack. 

 Soldevila’s art covers walls and bridge pillars across the province and beyond. He is the artist behind the now-hidden piece on the corner of avenue Cartier and boulevard René-Lévesque, and he has left his mark in Mexico, Germany, Spain, Madagascar and the French Île-de-la-Réunion (east of Madagascar). He displays his portfolio on www.phelipesd.wordpress.com, and some of his pieces are available for purchase.

Ultimately, Soldevila says, “I paint wall art because I love it. I get so much from it. I paint to escape reality; I take every reasonable opportunity that I can.” 

To follow Soldevila’s progress, visit his Facebook page, www.facebook.com/phelipesd.