Canada's prime ministers 'pop' in new art exhibit
Published Wednesday, June 14, 2017 5:37PM ADT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 14, 2017 8:59PM ADT
A new art exhibit features portraits of Canada’s 23 prime ministers like they’ve never been seen before.
The paintings, created in the pop art style, are on display at Government House in Fredericton.
The exhibit was commissioned in honour of Canada 150 and is the result of the vision of Dr. Bill Bensen.
Bensen, a renowned doctor from Hamilton, Ontario and a history buff, spotted a talented artist in a Hamilton gallery. He requested the painter create portraits of all 23 Canadian prime ministers.
“It was really something amazing that happened to me in my career,” says Julio Ferrer, painter. “When I became Canadian I had to go through, like read about Canada and all that, but this was another level.”
A Canadian citizen for three years, Ferrer spent a year inspecting each face and transferring them to canvas.
About a week before the paintings were displayed in Hamilton, Dr. Bensen passed away. His last request of Ferrer was to have the artist paint a rose on Pierre Trudeau’s lapel.
The colourful, one-of-a-kind portraits take an unusual approach to showcasing Canada’s political icons.
“For me, they are more approachable, they are more like human beings,” says Jocelyne Roy-Vienneau, Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick.
“They are electric and vibrant. They evoke emotion, they're juicy. You can't help but feel some emotion when you see them,” says Tim Richardson, principal secretary to the Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick. “If this doesn’t get people excited about the history of our country, I don’t know what would.”
The exhibit, known as ‘Prime Time,’ will be displayed at Government House until September.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Laura Brown