Culture & Conversation

Walking The BoulevArt

It’s difficult to sum up all there is to find in an art market as large-scale as FIMA’s outdoor vernissage, stretching along both sides of Ste-Catherine East, from St Hubert to Papineau. FIMA offers up the sublime, the surreal, the simplistic, the beautiful, and even the disturbing.

If you thought FIMA’s BoulevArt was simply stacks of oil-on-canvas pieces on display, think again.  FIMA has just about every form of visual art one can think of, and more — from oil to acrylic to resin to watercolor, from canvas, to fabric, to jewelry, and even skate deck designs. Passersby are welcome to browse: there’s surely something to appeal to everyone.

It’s easy to experience FIMA…all that’s required is the time for a stroll down rue Ste-Catherine and an open mind. FIMA wasn’t packed on its opening day, due to unfavorable weather, yet under rows and rows of pink street lanterns bobbing in pre-rainstorm wind, there was a sense of appreciative intrigue felt by those staring into the tantalizing eyes of François Fortier’s models, or at the twisted form of Joann Côté’s sculptured bodies, and the drips of paint running through the acrylic faces of Izano’s portraits, to name only a few striking examples of what there is to see.

Dozens of tents, thousands of pieces on display –luckily, the BoulevArt tents are pitched until Sunday. Here are Rover’s two top picks from our meanderings.

PROYECTILES: This team of artists from Buenos Aires, Argentina fuses creativity with delicate precision to create perfectly composed photographs, that, at first glance, appear as if they could be paintings. As their photographs are entirely untouched by computer altering, meticulous effort is involved in placing their subjects properly in order to partially blend them into an either solid black or white background. An image or a pattern of striking color is then projected on the naked body of the model, creating a fascinating, trancelike effect that is definitely worth seeing.

BELO: Montreal’s own, Belo is the creator of some of the most beautiful and mind-blowing pieces at this year’s FIMA. Belo paints a background on canvas, and then paints details on layers of netted fishing wire carefully weaved together. With great attention to detail, the artist pastes tiny pieces of acrylic molded paint in the form of leaves or snowflakes, one-by-one, by the thousands, onto his huge canvases. A Belo work is an intense meditative process, yielding amazing results after an average of 300 to 600 hours of work.

FIMA’s BoulevArt runs until July 3rd : from noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday, and until 6 pm on Sunday. For more information and a complete list of artists visit

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