Mika, painting in 3 Dimensions

Ephémère, Oil on canvas, 91cm x 122cm

Richard Thibault, also known as Mika, was born in Montréal in 1963. His work handles abstract art and hyper-realistic representations, reproducing faithfully classic themes as wild-life, landscapes or portraits, sublimating them with bright colors and abstract art technics.
He explored multiple technics as oil painting, watercolor, pastel and even color pencils during his youth, but quickly adopts aerography or air brushing as his favorite technic at a time when most of pictures were manually printed and edited.
As a multi-disciplinary artist, Mika began to produce small creations for a recognized advertising studio which allow him to become a freelance artist as soon as he was 18, working as an illustrator and air brush expert. Thanks to networking, independently from his job, he also illustrated some book tales, realized drawings for various advertising companies, etc. The advent and then wide-spread use of digital technologies although made the illustration demand decrease. That’s why in 2009-2010 the artist decided to develop his relation to art and updated his actual knowledge of contemporary art by visiting some galleries and museums as well as studying theoretical books, which helped him enhance his technic.
All this work results in a mastered combination of abstract art and hyper-realistic technics, realized with an approach of bright colors and movement which gives the whole a very personal touch.

Frénésie, oil on canvas, 91cm x 122cm

Rebelle, oil on canvas, 91cm x 122cm 

The artist is now testing a new technic, allowing to paint some images one can then visualize in 3D with the help of shutter glasses. He is systematically working with a main character edited on Photoshop to correct color and exposure and then copying it. This process, according to the artist, is letting some incidental part to happen; resulting in a creation always deviated from the initial idea. After the painting has been composed, he sketches it on a canvas and highlights the background shapes, in order to enhance them, with a palette knife and brush; a technic directly influenced by abstract art. He gives birth to the main character by applying oil painting in sepia-shades, playing with transparency and blackened color to create his own lights and shadow combination. The 3D effect is capture with brush, wearing shutter glasses. Finally, the composition is varnished and harmonized to avoid superfluous reflection.

Le soldat, Huile sur panneau de bois, 61cm x 91cm

La balerine, oil on canvas, 92 cm X 92 cm

The 3D technic lies in the Anaglyphs: the artist gives relief to an image by adjusting two dedicated filters in front of the audience’s eyes. The process is based on the stereoscopic effect our brain is producing, using the gap between the eyes to visualize in relief. Like the technic for the 3D movies, the brain has to calculate the binocular interval to capture all the illustration details when the audience is putting the glasses on. Anyone can noticed the artist is frequently using primary colors as red, blue, yellow but also green, as they in fact send fake signals to the eye. Indeed, the eye is capturing images in backward: the 3D sensation is only the misleading effect of the color, giving the creation its depth. Consequently, the experience needs the two eyes to send those fake signals to the synapse retina which thereafter send the info to the brain for decrypting.

Lévitation, oil on canvas, 91cm x 152cm

Mika has kindly sent me one of those special glasses and some of his canvas printings so I could appreciate the effect of changing to 3D, which is outstanding. As a matter of fact, the subject – which is already aesthetically pleasant without the glasses – takes on another dimension and nearly comes to life, as if it was jumping out of the frame. But maybe the most incredible aspect of the technic lies in a perfect and accurate rendering. Contrary to what we can expect through our actual experience with 3D movies, the picture is clear whether you wear the glasses or not, which allows to discover the image in a complete new way. The 3D felt like the character was independent from its background and support. Like a mirage, the image seems both unreachable but nearby the audience, giving the impression one could explore it more intimately. This is a totally fascinating experience and I strongly advise the reader to try, as those kinds of glasses can easily be found.
Once you got your glasses, visit the artist website, print one of his creation and put the glasses on. You won’t believe it !

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