Artexpo New York 2021, taking place October 28-31, will feature hundreds of talented artists and galleries from around the world. The event, held at Pier 36, is bringing back its popular Spotlight Artist program this year, awarding six cutting-edge artists for their skills and achievements.
Meet Spotlight Artist Caroline Bergeron aka ARO.
Q: Introduce yourself — who you are and what you do?
A: I’m Caroline Bergeron and my artist’s name is ARO. Aro is a diminutive of my first name Caroline but mostly means Authentic, Romantic and Original. After graduating in administration and marketing, I did a minor in management at HEC de Montréal and continued at the École d’Entrepreneurship de Beauce, one of the best schools of business in Canada. It was during a creation workshop in 2017 that I returned to art, after a career as a restaurant owner. This workshop was a revelation for me. It changes my career path. I now present myself as an artist-entrepreneur, creating emotions. I do abstract art painting, mostly with acrylics on canvas. Several elements mark my journey since 2017, notably my meeting with Michelle Obama, to personally present one of my paintings to her, and my exhibition at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris. I also participated in group exhibitions which prompted me, very early in my artistic career, to exhibit in Canada, in the United States, France, Poland, and Turkey. From my early days in the art world, I won prizes and distinctions for my work. I have been the subject of several articles, reviews, and publications in books and trade journals as well as numerous television appearances here in Canada. I present several personal exhibitions over the years where the time and the emergency of living were the main themes.
Q: What is your background?
A: I am a self-taught artist. From the very beginning of my artistic practice, I use pure instinct. An ample gesture that expresses feelings and emotions on canvas. Each artwork has its own story. I draw inside myself and share my thoughts, what is inside me. I use knife painting tools for my creations. My mother was a ceramicist and I worked in her studio during my teenage years. My optional courses during my studies were art courses. I took a few white canvas workshops with the artist Suzanne Longval in 2017. In 2019, I took a drawing class session with the artist Sonia April. Finally, I took a workshop on the history of art at the National Museum of Fine Arts with HelenCaroline Fournier, art expert and art theorist, specialist writer, and critic.
Q: How do you work?
A: I do my artworks in successive layers. Dripping and knife all-over are found in my work, which sometimes falls at the crossroads between lyrical abstract and geometric abstract. I paint my life and offer my sensitivity. I create without limits, like when you throw yourself into a void without a safety net. My sources of inspiration are multiple. My relationship with others influences who I am and the way I create. Reflections on nature or on humans live in her and push her to create in her studio. “I listen, I let emerge, I try to understand, I make connections.”
Questioning begins the creation process. I conceive my work in the manner of a dance, where each step, gesture, movement, corresponds exactly to an interior melody which is expressed in colors on the canvas, thus revealing a state of mind or a state of to be. I’m doing one with my work. The structure of the painting results from the energy and the psyche that animate my body during creation. This ballet of expressed emotions is a testimony of the living body, in action, in movement. Art is a very powerful and unique emotional marker for me. Art provokes emotions. For me, painting is a stripping bare “a way of revealing oneself, of showing one’s vulnerability”. Painting is a liberation, a letting go. In this process of liberation, three acts stand out: being in the present moment, fulfilling the need to express oneself, and inspiring people.
Q: What art do you most identify with?
A: I identify my painting as contemporary abstract art. The TV news here in Quebec introduces me as the Riopelle of modern art when I present my first solo exhibition: the sum of my encounters.
Q: What artist(s) inspires you?
A: I’m inspired by Jackson Pollock and Jean-Paul Riopelle. I’m also inspired by Charles Carson, another Canadian artist.
Q: What is the best advice you’ve received?
A: I have few advice to change my life and mindset. The first one was from my mother: when you say ‘I don’t have time, change the word time by the word life. The second one was from Maya Angelo saying: People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. And finally, you need to believe that everything is possible if you want to fulfill your dreams
Q: When you are not working, where can we find you?
A: With my husband, Dominique of the last 24 years, with my daughter Sarah-Maude who studies to be a nurse, and with friends, sharing good meals and time. I also love to walk in nature and go to our cottage in Lac St-Jean for resting time.
Q: What does exhibiting at Artexpo New York 2021 mean to you?
A: It means the world to me. Doing my first international show as a solo exhibitor it’s a big step forward to achieve my goal of being represented by a prestigious art gallery in the world. I must be seen to be discovered…so here I am, with all my heart and joy! I will present the Pure collection of which one of the works is now in the private collection of Michelle Obama. I will also introduce pieces of my newest collection Introspection, that leaves no one indifferent.
Don’t miss ARO at Artexpo New York 2021. Booth #S608.