Montreal-based painter Sandra Chevrier has long been exploring the role of the heroine in pop-culture. Those ideas, manifested as strong female faces with superhero details making the bulk of the facial structure, also began to be explorations in the role of women in art. There was strength but also a conversation of absence that she was challenging. Years into her career, Chevrier has prepped some of her best works for Cages and the Fallen Flags, a new solo show on view at Mirus Gallery in Denver from October 18—December 21, 2019. Below, Maia Jackson wrote a mini-essay on Chevrier’s work, highlighting some of the concepts that went into Cages.
“The post-apocalyptic series, Cages and the Fallen Flags, comes with both a warning and a challenge. The lack of love for our planet today is not completely our fault, for it was fostered by a popular culture that demanded special powers and a cape to make a change. What were just comics and cartoons as kids, have become complacency on the morning commute. We rarely dare to reach outside the boxes we have built ourselves.
“The antics of our mass-produced modern world have seeped into the very core of our identities. Can we be nothing more than a store-bought identity that dictates our lives and our agency? Sandra Chevrier’s defiant heroines refuse to be cast into the narrow roles they were given by the very comic-book narratives they are emerging from.
“Like us, these women have been wrapped in the alienating package of media and expectations. With no superpowers to see through the constant influx of societal suggestions, a cage of external monologues creeps into our psyches. Chevrier has had enough. She exposes the flimsy statues of archaical standards for what they are—torn and ripped aside by the powerful gaze of her protagonists. Perhaps it is our own humanity: our capacity for sorrow, fear, compassion, and hope–that will make a change. The choice to be a hero is ours.” –Maia Jackson