Guy Duguay was born in 1955 and died prematurely at the age of 41 in 1996. He completed his studies in visual art at the Université de Moncton in 1978. Later, he learned filmmaking with Robert Frank and Jean Pierre Lefebvre and sculpture under the tutelage of Henri Murail in France. He had an accomplished career as a visual artist, draughtsperson, and graphic designer.
Hommage à Guy Duguay
Staying faithful to his historical approach, Mario Doucette uses a genre from French art history to pay tribute to Guy Duguay. When a renowned artist died in the nineteenth century, it was customary for a colleague to paint their portrait surrounded by other artistic personalities to demonstrate their admiration for the deceased master.
As Henri Fantin-Latour had done in homage to Delacroix in 1864, Doucette has composed a painting focused on one of Guy Duguay’s works, Pink Boys (est mal pas mal), a silk-screened photograph dating from 1996, the year of the artist’s death. Subversive by virtue of its homoerotic subject matter, this piece is representative of Duguay’s contribution, and was recognized at the time for having transgressed the artistic limits of Acadie.
Mario Doucette at work during a preparatory photo shoot for Hommage à Guy Duguay (2018). Photo : Catherine Arseneault
This painting-manifesto, anchored simultaneously in the past and present of Moncton's artistic community, testifies to the strength of the bonds that unite this community.
Mario Doucette is a painter who reveals the shortcomings of the historical colonial discourse as told by the victors. Nourished by research on the history of the Acadians, he imagines alternative discourses to the usual stories (such as that of Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie (1847) by the American author Henry W. Longfellow) that have been perpetuated by many artists since. His compositions, inspired by neoclassicism, borrow from the codes of cultural propaganda (from both ancient and modern history) and go back and forth between reality and myth to expose the ideologies that govern the official historical discourse.
A native of Moncton and represented by Division Gallery in Montreal, Doucette was a finalist for the Sobey Art Award in 2008. The work of this self-taught artist has been included in exhibitions such as the Canadian Biennial, Oh, Canada: Contemporary Art from North North America, The Painting Project: A Snapshot of Painting in Canada, and 150 Years | 150 Works: Canadian Art as Historical Act. His work can be found in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.