“My calling as an artist … is to bring forth visions of resplendent beauty, to imagine wonderful other worlds and share them,” reflects Ysabel LeMay. The Canadian artist has developed an unmistakable technique for creating what she calls “Hypercollages.” In these digital compositions, LeMay draws from hundreds of images taken on her photographic excursions, and then puts them all together. She inserts individual birds, branches, or flowers with the most precise and meticulous editing. This creates a real world united with the realm of idyllic perfection.
LeMay’s creative process is painstaking, laborious, and highly intuitive at the same time. Her jumping off point might be a specific image, a color, or even an emotion. “The theme of the work reveals itself to me,” LeMay says. The nature lover relies on her instincts when selecting the first elements for a piece. Then she searches for other pieces that fit together, carefully building everything into a balanced composition. “I strive to capture the essence of each element I photograph — the appearance, but also the subtle energy each item is imbued with,” the artist says.
By now, Ysabel LeMay has collected thousands of photographs of opulent landscapes, and has an ever-growing palette of images, colors, and textures to choose from. Her photographic reservoir of new images increases in size with every expedition into the outdoors. The collages she produces have a baroque appearance, hinting at the artist’s roots in painting. LeMay spent eight years dedicated to oil painting after a decade of work as a graphic designer. The unique fusion of digital design and a painterly style is reflected in her work.
Looking at her pieces, we are astonished by their immense beauty and reminded of rococo opulence. We can feel a gentle, harmonious energy, and we become aware that every artwork is an homage to the all-powerful creative forces of nature.
Ysabel LeMay was born in Quebec, Canada. She studied art at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver and graphic design at College Sainte-Foy in Quebec. LeMay’s works have been shown in more than 100 solo and group exhibitions all around the world and in prestigious art fairs including Art Miami (2018). She lives and works in Austin, Texas.