It was a cool February morning in downtown Manhattan when Antoine stopped in front of the Javits Convention Center with over fifty of her most recent originals. Within 12 hours over 300,000 square feet will be filled with the highest standard of contemporary artwork from over forty countries and the excitement was already building in the air.
From the first day that I arrived I knew that this would be an exhibition to remember. As everyone was setting up I could already sense that the quality of the artwork was better than I had ever seen before. The current economical challenges caused only the best of the best to be able to afford exhibiting at such a prestigious show.
The first two days of Artexpo, the largest of its kind in the world, was only open to galleries and art dealers. It was during this time that Antoine’s work was picked up by a renowned Canadian Art Publisher, six new Fine Art Galleries across the country as well as a number of Antoine’s returning galleries and dealers from previous years. The reaction of the traders to her new body of work was extraordinary and before the show even got underway, Antoine knew it was a success.
As an artist, putting yourself out there can really be a challenge. I spend months in my studio out of the public eye creating, during which I allow myself to forget about the rest of the world and simply turn within. It is also during this period that my canvasses become an integrated part of my emotional journey and expressing what moves me most. Often I get so involved in my work that I find it hard to maintain perspective or to even distance myself. It is quite the contrast after such a time of hibernation to suddenly put myself out there in front of more than 40 000 visitors.
The weekend when the show opens to the public, is the true highlight. Collectors travel in from all over the globe creating a dynamic atmosphere in which Antoine’s work truly stood out and got the recognition it deserves by collectors and art enthusiasts alike. It was therefore only just that Antoine was awarded the Solo Artist Award by Eric Smith, Vice President of the International Art and Framing Group.
I was speechless. Receiving such a big award from such a renowned person caught me completely by surprise and I was both honored and stunned. However the highlight of the week was the public’s reaction to my recent body of work. It was the first time ever that I publicly displayed my photography and I was almost sold out on the first day. Furthermore hearing people talk and connect to my paintings moved me deeply. I am aware that my work is not ‘mainstream’ and often only a small percentage of people are really able to connect to what I create. My aim has always been to visualize the moments I am experiencing, the chapters playing out in my own life rather than creating what is asked of me. But seeing a large number of people connect at such an intense level was an unforgettable experience.