April 13, 2011

Artist sees Montréal with fresh eyes

MONTREAL — Denise Buisman-Pilger might need a GPS to find the Main but she feels that her lack of knowledge of her new city on the St. Lawrence river has helped her art.

"I find it nice to be able to point to the things I find fascinating in foreign cities that people who live there might take for granted," says the Dutch artist who recently moved to Montreal from Texas.

"I find that as a traveler you have a unique perspective on the place you visit. When I'm in New York, I love the yellow cabs and can't help myself, I have to take pictures of those," she says. "I imagine that those living there don't notice them anymore."

Buisman-Pilger is unveiling a new set of cityscapes at a vernissage Thursday in Mile End. It's a series sure to impress.

But in spite of her rising success she knows the struggles of an unknown artist.

"As a starving artist it's already a big challenge to get your name and work out there, if you haven't shown out there, you're basically a nobody," she says.

"It's already hard if you step into a new city and have no contacts, it makes it even harder."

Her artist's eye sees Montreal as a town that unites America and European visuals.

"It has these old charming elements and yet it has these nice modern buildings and an American feel to it," she says. "I like the two sides it offers."

Buisman-Pilger's vernissage takes place Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Mile End Gallery 5345 Park Avenue.