Art Spot: Mario Croteau

Art Spot: Mario Croteau

Mario Croteau’s photographs are on display at the Wolfville Memorial Library, 21 Elm Avenue, throughout the month of January.

WHO:
I was born and raised in Quebec City. Ater visiting Nova Scotia 6 years ago, I moved here to fulfill my dream of doing fine art photography.

Digital photography is my dream medium. I’m fully in control of every aspect of my production: from finding subjects and taking the pictures, to editing them on a computer and then printing them on fine art paper, I’m doing all steps, which is very gratifying.

How did you come to this style?
I’m not sure I chose a style. I just let my emotions and feelings dictate the way. Since I did my homework: learning photography theory, learning to work on a computer and how to print out pictures, the technical side of it all just come to support my artistic vision instead of being a showcase for what I know, what I own and what I can produce. It’s all about passing emotions from my mind through the camera to get to touch people in a personal way, without hiding.

WHEN:
At what point did you define yourself as an artist?
The way I see it, I’ve always seen myself as an artist, but it was only 6 years ago that I decided to finally make the jump and put my energy into learning it.

At what time of day do you work on your art?
I don’t have any specific time of the day to be creative. It’s about creating a moment were I’m mindful and focused on what I’m doing. Most of the time, it’s done by putting on the right music that suits my mood or the mood I want to put in my work. On second thought, the best time of the day is when I put on the music of the Cowboy Junkies!

WHY:
Why art?
Since I was a kid, I’ve always been attracted by art under just every form it takes. The process of seeing the world through the eyes of someone else, or feeling emotions through looking at images is magic to me. I never feel as well as when I see people living new emotions in front of my works. That gives me a meaning for living in society.

Why your art?
Storytelling through pictures is the best way I found to get in touch with people. Photography asks for a lot of personal investment, both in money and in time. If one does not necessarily get rich out of fine art photography, it’s the best way I’ve found to connect with people and to explore the real world and my inner world at the same time.

Why the Annapolis Valley?
The Annapolis Valley has been at the centre of my creations for more than six years now. Having at the same time the ocean on one side of the North Mountain and rural communities on the other side gives me endless possibilities for finding subjects that will mean something to me. And you know, on some days the Valley can be all sun and warm, while on the Bay of Fundy side the sea will be furious and the wind chilling. I love the contrast between the water and the ground.

WHERE:
Finding subjects is done in many ways, including reading books and the news, and by word of a mouth, but my main way of finding subjects is by wandering around Nova Scotia, exploring new places.

My photographs can be seen through local exhibitions (they are on display at the Wolfville Memorial Library in January), and can be bought directly by contacting me. I’m represented by Round Hill Gallery in Annapolis Royal and by Blue Mind Gallery in Bear River. My works can also be seen on my website: mariocro.com