San Francisco's Gauntlet Gallery has launched a new exhibition dedicated to the French electronic duo that features over 40 works from artists across the globe. Daft Punk Deux houses original pieces ranging from paintings to digital prints to sculpture work, all of which are inspired by the music and spectacle of Daft Punk. This is the gallery's second installation surrounding the French electronic wizards, the first was held in 2013 in support of the act's freshly dropped album, Random Access Memories.
Luke Lombardo is the owner of Gauntlet Gallery and a fan of Daft Punk. He recalls his first introduction into the music of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, circa 1998.
"I first remember hearing the song 'Around The World' at a high school dance. A girl named Farnoosh, who was a few years older than me, stood in the middle of the dance circle as the song played with her hand above her head and palm facing down. She slowly began a circular orbiting motion with her hand around and above her head. She slowly started to spin her body in the same direction that her hand was moving with her hand rotating slightly faster than her body. This was all perfectly timed, so when the beat dropped she aggressively started spinning her hand and body in and around itself. I thought it was the coolest. It's almost 20 years later now and I still rock this same dance move every time I hear the song," he explains.
Luke had the idea of holding a show around Daft Punk and started planning the exhibit well before he was aware that the much-anticipated album was to be released. It was a sheer coincidence that the 2013 exhibit opened the same week the album dropped.
The Daft Punk Deux show has received favourable attention since it opened on May 31st with locals and world travelers stopping in to see what is gracing the gallery walls.
"I have never had so many artists excited about participating in a themed group show," he comments. "I didn't give artists any direction beyond asking for the work to be inspired by Daft Punk. The concept and direction that each artist has taken with their chosen work has been terrific. Everyday since the opening we have had visitors from all over the world. Even more locally, people have driven two to three hours to come check it out."
One of the contributors to the exhibition is Montreal-based illustrator, Marie Bergeron. Marie was asked to submit a piece for the exhibit after Luke had seen her first prints on Daft Punk, he then invited her to partake in the 2014 show run.
THUMP spoke with Marie about what it was like to be part of this Daft Punk experience, the freedom of digital art, and the influence behind her submission.
"This piece is very much inspired by Warhol art. This is all thanks to one of my clients who asked for a personal commission based on my first take on Daft Punk and the client also wanted a bit of Warhol worked into the mix. I had no idea how it would look at the end to be honest, as this was my first time trying to get that kind of look," she comments.
Marie's work is predominately in the digital sphere, which does host its critics, but her approach to creating is based on her own artistic merit and direction.
"I sketch and create the final piece all on one software, drawing on a Cintiq, which is just like a pen and paper. It feels more natural for me. I work that way mostly because I'm used to it and it gives me more freedom on how the end product will look. I can easily play around with colors, the overhaul image, canvas, etc. I'm not pasting a picture on a blank file or anything, it is just drawing and painting, but you can easily go and make changes and this is why I like digital art. There is amazing art going on in the digital field that is not considered as art it seems, sadly."
Having the opportunity to showcase work surrounding one of electronic music's finest production and scene purveyors can be intimidating and thankfully she understood the significance.
"Daft Punk are part of electronic music history. In my mind, they are the protagonist, they have inspired so many people and still continue to do so. Like Giovanni Giorgio Moroder did for music, Daft Punk did the same for electronic music."
Both the music and art industry hold a deep-rooted appreciation for thought and action, stimulating a pulse of meaning from similar pools of exploration.
As Luke mentions, "I think for any creative person, art and music carry each other forward. I think art allows people to express themselves both musically and visually. I believe that Daft Punk is one of the pioneers of our time in bridging the gap between the two."
"Music works with sounds like a brush works on a canvas (or a pen on a screen in my case). It is movement, feeling, creativity, rhythm... you can almost see what an artist listens to while he or she works just by observing the colors or line work," Marie furthers.
Daft Punk Deux runs until June 21. Luke plans to hold a DP3 exhibit again in 2015, perhaps premiering it in a different city like New York.
Watch for more pop culture-inspired art from Marie Bergeron who is also part of the Poster Posse collective, formed by Don Thompson of Blurppy.com. In addition, Marie will be part of Montreal Comiccon come September 2014 and has recently inked deals with Paramount Pictures and Fox Entertainment.
Put this lady's name on your radar and if you're venturing to San Fran or know of folks already there, make sure Luke gets to show off his orbiting dance moves. We'll need proof.
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