Francois Alfred Mignault |  A man and his neon lights

Francois Alfred Mignault | A man and his neon lights

Multidisciplinary artist François Alfred Mignault has been making neon lights for almost 40 years in Montreal. He has been collaborating with visual artists from Quebec for years, exhibiting his many works along the way. But it is as a performance artist that he stands out. He poses for photographers with his neon lights, integrating elements of butō, the famous Japanese performing art, into his practice. Here is a preview in photos of this singular artist.

Posted at 11:00 a.m.

Martin Chamberland

Martin Chamberland
The Press


PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, THE PRESS

Migneault brings alcohol to the master of Central Neon so that the doors of the workshop are opened to him, but all his attempts fail. He meets Gérald Collard, who hires him and gives him access to his studio. It was he who introduced him to the formation of neon lights and who taught him how to bend glass.


PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, THE PRESS

Six months later, François Alfred Migneault returns to Central Néon and is finally hired. This is where he goes from amateur to professional. From 1984 to 1986, he worked 50 to 60 hours a week, making commercial neon signs for shops and restaurants.


PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, THE PRESS

At the end of the 1980s, François Alfred Migneault began to create for artists such as André Fournelle and Armand Vaillancourt. It was at this time that he began to work in three dimensions and to exhibit his neon lights throughout Quebec.


PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, THE PRESS

In 1986, François Alfred Migneault left to live abroad for a decade: Guadeloupe, Louisiana, California, etc. A pilgrimage that culminates in a three-month solo exhibition at the Neon Museum of Los Angeles (MONA).


PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, THE PRESS

After his return and a slump, François Alfred Migneault felt the need to acquire related expertise in laboratory and architectural glassware, among others. From 2010, he resumed his artistic practice.


PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, THE PRESS

In the 2010s, François offers a performance of static poses to which he invites photographers, like a living model. It was on this occasion that he was pointed out to him the resemblance between what he proposed and the Japanese art of butō, theater of emotions and the unconscious.


PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, THE PRESS

Following this discovery, he undertook a process of incorporating butō into his practice of glassmaking. He offers elements that combine theatrical forms inspired by butō with his studio creations. He also gives conferences on his art and his approach as well as shows.

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