Born in Montreal, Quebec, Heidi Taillefer began drawing at the age of 3, and was brought up in a family rich in creative talent. Always attracted to the bizarre and unusual, she was fascinated by strange animal specimens and haunting turn of the century side show oddities. As a child she continued her pursuit with ten years of private art lessons, where she developed skills in watercolor painting. Taillefer has been influenced by a number of sources such as nature and quirky thrift shop objects and obscurities. She is also influenced by all manners of artistic genres from surrealism to the abstract.
After pursuing a degree in Humanistic studies at McGill University in the early 90’s, Taillefer began taking numerous trips to developing countries which turned her focus to the more universal issues of the human condition within the context of modern society.
Taillefer’s tastes range from the ridiculous and the absurd to the sacred and sublime. She pursues the deeper meaning of things while possessing a strong sense of humor. Taillefer paints mostly about philosophical observations on life, which are drawn out of personal experience, and parlayed into an exploration of more universal issues. (bio)
About The Work
Heidi Taillefer’s work is an original creative fusion of classical figurative painting, surrealism, contemporary realism, and mythology combined with popular figurative traditions ranging from Victorian romanticism to science fiction. It is consonnant with some of the early 20th century surrealists such as Max Ernst and Giorgio DeChirico. Taillefer painstakingly paints subjects comprised of precise, seemingly incongruous objects characterized as symbolic, forming a complex composite of various elements and adds a contemporary spin to often classical icons. Depicting mechanized subjects placed in natural settings, her work has acts as a nostalgic embrace of the past, as seen through the lens of a culture racing forward at high speed, fitted with massive technological advancement.
While using a language of mechanistic imagery, she address eternal issues on the human condition borrowing from mythologies throughout different eras and cultures. Taillefer’s work is an attempt to combine subjective philosophical experience with the more absolute and calculable elements espoused by traditional science, merging biology with engineering through a discrete assembly of concrete elements. She uses mechanism as a language, mirroring the ubiquity of technology in the world, in an effort to marry primordial human essence with the explosive expansion of the “machine.”