ZACHARIE POTVIN WILLIAMS | WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUMAN #3

Born in an art-oriented family, Zacharie Potvin Williams was introduced to drawing and clay at a very young age. Originally from Farnham, Quebec, Zacharie moved to Montreal at the time he started his arts diploma at CEGEP Saint-Laurent and has never ceased to widen his horizons since. Currently a Concordia University student, he has started both a major in Studio Arts and a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies in Sexuality. "I've been developing this style, but in every project that I make, all I'm looking for is something new. Right now, I'm driven by the need for experiment." Moving to Montreal made him discover a world full of artistic possibilities, waiting for him to take the plunge.

While Zacharie has always had a strong creative process to back up his projects, he used to think more of the final product and how it would be rendered rather than thinking about the process itself. Subsequent to his two years in CEGEP, his work has greatly evolved. Very comfortable with illustration as he's been doing that for the longest, he doesn't have a preferred medium, although he takes great interest in the human body anatomy, a recurrent subject in all of his work. His first experimentations with realistic body representation relied on two main books: one was about anatomy and the other one about dissecting notions. "I would spend twelve hours straight drawing without sleeping. I would mix the anatomy, which was more realistic, with completely improvised textures in the middle. The abstract forms I drew inside the body's outline were physical representations of what the soul would be." It was like layers of meaning you could peel back one at the time.

For Fresh Paint Gallery's exhibit, Zacharie Potvin Williams produced a huge wall painting and a mixed media sculpture revealing a social criticism of humans being too much connected to technology and ironically disconnected from the world. "The big part of this work," he says, "is really the pure white and the pure black." Mixing shadows and textures with organic shapes, he explains, "the shadows become the skin's texture and make it feel like the piece is moving [...] depending on the thickness and the repetition."

As a 19-year-old artist, experimenting and creating interactive installations isn't all he's juggling with. "You're an 'artist', but you're tons of other different things. I'm also learning to live, to be good in a relationship, and to have good friends. The best way to create art is when every single day you take in what happens to you in your experience and think of ways to make art with it. That's how I work." Meaning what's most important to him at this moment in life isn't what he puts up on the wall. Alternatively, Zacharie believes in creating collaboration opportunities and connecting with different artists face-to-face to gain greater experience and figure out who he is as an artist. As a human.

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