Heidi Taillefer

Heidi Taillefer


Heidi Taillefer was born in 1970, and lives and works in Montreal, Quebec. She attended weekly art classes as a child at the La Palette art school in Beaconsfield, Quebec, focusing on watercolor and various types of mediums. By the early ’90s, Taillefer began working as a commercial illustrator in tandem with her fine art projects, but by 2004 she devoted her time fully to fine art, exhibiting internationally in both gallery and museum venues.

Her paintings often depict subjects comprised of seemingly incongruous objects characterized as symbolic, which form a complex composite of elements and add a contemporary spin to often classical icons. Taillefer’s work highlights our growing hybridization with technology, in which she depicts “machine-like” constructions. Her approach is to infuse primordial aspects of the human condition into these hybridized humans and animals and seeks to remind the viewer of the inescapable nature of our being despite our increasing merger with technology.

Artist Statement

My work reflects some of the early 20th century surrealists such as Max Ernst, Giorgio de Chirico, and Paul Delvaux, and 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.

I have always been drawn to the bizarre and unusual, while maintaining a wide variety of interests, from the ridiculous and the absurd to the sacred and sublime, and all throughout these interests have encompassed ideological concerns about the environment and the impact of technology on society. In the late-80’s I began depicting mechanized subjects placed in natural settings, which acted 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.

My paintings are meant to denounce or celebrate technology and the changes it either promises or threatens, as a projection of what we are becoming with both the appeal of the familiar and the jolt of where we are headed. By using “automatic” mechanical motifs instead of today’s current digital trend, the notion of technology is maintained against the ubiquity of miniaturization and the invisibility of electronics, remaining anchored firmly within our field of perception.

In more recent years, I have painted about philosophical observations on life which are drawn out of the personal experience and parlayed into an exploration of universal issues common to everyone. Using the original language of mechanism found throughout my work, I explore eternal aspects of the human condition while portraying a growing hybridization with technology despite our immutable human nature. In this way, I examine the new relationship between artificial enhancement of the body and daily life, combined with the primitive fundamentals of our human character