By Adam White
‘”A lot of what I bring to this project straddles the line between art and writing,” says Beaulieu. “It offers a bridge between literary and visual art.”
The Newspaper is a series of 124 paintings inspired by a single issue of the Calgary Herald. The acrylic paintings were done on sheets of 26′ by 14′ paper, the same size the paper uses. Each article is replaced with a flat block of colour, with no colour ever used twice. The final product resembles a newspaper without words.
Beaulieu chose July 18, 2002 as his canvas. The major news at the time was two major traffic accidents and various editorials on same-sex marriages. However, don’t ask Beaulieu to tell you what happened that day. It’s not his concern.
“I didn’t want [The Newspaper] to comment on any specific news event,” he explains. “I didn’t want there to be any underlying subtext.”
For this reason Beaulieu chose a random day for his project. Any link to a major news event, in his mind, would colour the viewers reading of the paintings. Beaulieu was trying to be completely unbiased with his content but couldn’t do so in every area. He has a simple explanation for his choice of the Herald instead of its rival, the Calgary Sun.
“Most families in Calgary read either the Herald or the Sun,” explains Beaulieu. “My family was just a Herald family.”
Beaulieu hopes there is something to learn from The Newspaper. The project offers the possibility to look at a familiar medium in a different way.
“It will certainly have aesthetic value, but I think it can help to both present how complicated a newspaper is and decode some of the things art can do,” he says. “It can present common information in a uncommon way.”