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Question 16: Do you think an artist has a specific role to play in society? If so, what is it?


Well these are not questions that I sit and reflect upon seriously, too much. It’s true that for artists, people like to have you play a role, people like to place you: This one is this and that one is that. Certainly with my painting I’m not trying to do something harmful. My mother told me once… we had gone to the country to visit some friends and I had gone into the barn and there was this horse that just lifted his tail and shat. I was immediately fascinated by that, because it was really a huge huge horse, and it was really fascinating and I was filled with wonder, as I like to think that I’m always fascinated by life in general, there’s always something that’s fascinating. Anyhow, I ran to the studio and I made a painting of that horse. I think it was pissing too. Well my mom looked at it and said, My Lord, Yvon, did you have to paint that? Of all the things to paint, did you have to paint this? At the same time it’s as if I have a magnifying glass on the world. When I get an exhibition and place paintings on the wall, well it’s like a mirror of the people who visit: they’re going to see themselves in those paintings. So I don’t know if that’s the role I play, if I have to give myself a role. I would like to give myself the role of reflecting what people are like. If I see… in Montreal there were lots of people injecting stuff into their veins, hidden behind some bushes, and for God knows what reason, I was passing by at that moment and saw this. Well I painted that. That’s the way things are, it’s my fate.