Gabriel Rioux is an emerging artist based in Montreal, Canada. His mixed media paintings are heavily influenced by an academic background in literature and philosophy, as well as the artist's observations of every day life. Through his paintings, Rioux is building a visual language of symbolism that fluctuates between obscurity, abstraction and revelation.
The Mystery Of Time And Space (commonly known as MOTAS) is a popular online graphic adventure game created by Jan Albartus. The game was an early influential example of the escape the room genre. As with most games of this genre, the player interacts with the environment within the game by pointing at and clicking the elements within the game's environment in order to solve the game's puzzles. Often, solving one part of the puzzle will reveal items, codes (passwords), or pathways that in turn that help solve another part of the puzzle.
Gabriel Rioux’s paintings share the same methodology as the game mentioned before. We are presented with a room or scenario. This room is full of clues, objects and hieroglyphics. Automatically our brains try to solve this puzzles and find meaning, normally without success.
Trying to understand Gabriel’s paintings will lead you to nothing more than the silence of the void. The multiple realities that the artist creates break all the rules of time and space. We enter the subcounscious mind of the artist where existence doesn’t have any meaning.
Existence is demonstrably paradoxical, it has no rational meaning. Nature makes a lot of sense, but existence itself is obviously irrational and, therefore, possibly supernatural. So deep is this paradox that it may be forever beyond our ability to understand. However, attempts to rationally explain existence have existed since the dawn of humanity, but all this has led to paradox rather than solving the paradox itself. One explanation of the commonly proposed existence is that it simply is. The reality of our existence is evident, so the reasoning is valid, and to think otherwise is a useless and often destructive solipsism. As Aart Van Der Leeuw put it succinctly, “The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”
As Aart Van Der Leeuw pointed, Gabriel’s paintings are to be experienced more than to be understood.