Napoleon Brousseau

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Life Tools , February 2014 Augmented Reality Print, On Aluminum 77 X 44 X 2 Inches © Napoleon Brousseau
The Dreamer Siberian Charcoal On Paper 31" X 21" © Courtesy of the Artist and Angell Gallery
Quick Facts
Lives in
Sedona, Arizona
Canadian Film Centre, New Media Lab, 2001
OCAD University - Ontario College of Art and Design
Representing galleries
Angell Gallery - Toronto
napo b, fastwurms, painting, figurative, mixed-media, installation, video-art, performance, conceptual, landscape, surrealism, photography, digital, graffiti/street-art, street

Interview with Lawrence Pierce-Galloway / Dec 2013

LPG- Why do you make Art? 


NB - I make art to escape the daily humdrum, to move into an alternative space and time, it enables me to open up dimension of experience, be vulnerable, childlike without pre conceived ideas or agendas, possibly smiling looking down at the corpse of the internal critic. Be more open to whatever might come through that fissure in the mundane, reborn from a new mother, to be astounding or surprised by my previous conception that I was creative. Exposing the limits of my imagination and pushing my pre conceptions further a field. Collapsing to a meditative sublimating state of mind. I adore new materials and pushing their limits, using non-traditional art materials to bring them into the pantheon of visual expression.


NB - I use art as a way to step out of my daily experience and open up to a something I can only explain as a higher self.  In my heightened state of inspiration it is as if I am opening a Pandora’s box, astonished opening a gift from a stranger. When I work I prepare the space, the studio, where I will be operating. I time my creative moments, especially when I paint, I clean the space, prepare the materials, smudge the space and leave. I go camping, take a drive somewhere, take a train, and visit a friend in another city, something out of the usual day to day to day to day. I leave my current sphere of influence, unhook from the daily grind. I connect to my ancestors and subtle energies, I pray, recite my Dem Chogue Mantra, contemplate death, sex, joy, dream. I position my intent towards being the intermediary, a shaman operating the elevator in the museum of human experience. I call into existence an object that will do for the viewer what it has done for me. I liberate and open up to a new view and experience of the world.


NB - My art is the ticket to my survival and health of mind.  While I work I avoid judging or being apprehensive about what is being manifested


NB - I find that when a work of art creates a silence in me I consider I am close to an end with my interaction. There might be a few minor pops, just to ensure it’s survival, morsels for the eye of the viewer. 


By any mean necessary. I do not use conventional art materials. This is something that I began doing at an early age, I remember seeing the price of formal art materials and how it kept many people outside of the creative loop. I learned from an early age how to transform everyday materials into unique experiences. I spend allot of my time searching for new materials, my criteria over the years has focused on materials of minimal environmental impact, I started recycling materials long before it was fashionable. This gave me the opportunity to continually create and express new ideas and experiences regardless of my economic situation at the time.


NB - Over the years I have worked with, bark, tar, crystals, sand, mud, flowers, insects, house paints, found wood, clothing, human skin, animal pelts, charcoal, found metal objects, hay, mattresses, potatoes, money, tarps, shoe polish, lipstick, makeup, ice, salt, chocolate, curry, fat, chlorophyll.


NB- Art is a shared humanity, a timeless heart connection with painters since Neolithic times. All art requires some attention, and people create much of it with little experience, this has lead to a hierarchy within the art world.

It’s unfortunate but maybe fortuitous that we live in a culture that thrives on the exploitation of the competitive state of mind. It creates all the Demons and Angels in the world, the etheric influencers of humankind. 

For me it is important to share my experience of making with younger artists or curious people who have never considered making anything "Artistic", and I am always ready to share my findings with people who are interested. Keeping secret methods are counter productive and making it a point of inviting people to ask questions. I have found through my experience, that at the fundamental base of creating, all art needs a mechanism to get started... a moment of raising the vibration or awareness.  This heightened awareness is based on inclusion of others, making art transform the creators hopefully opens the viewer inner emotive space.

Napoleon Brousseau  BIO  /  exhibition history

Independent Art Professional /

Partnerat Augmented Reality Toronto July 2011 - Present   Project Innovation Director Dedicated to developing Eco Art Interactive Apps for SmartPhones

ProjectDirectorat SEED Collective March 2005 - Present   (7 years 7 months)

Seed Collective: Napoleon Brousseau, Gabe Sawhney, Galen Scorer

Seed is a powerful metaphor of reforestation which puts the responsibility on the members of the audience who can control and grow a forest, tree by tree, through their own mobile phone keypad and watch the results on a screen, which are reproduced in a real forest. Funding for tree initiatives in Vermont, Baltimore and New Orleans Louisiana, were generated using SEED. The project has also been presented in China, and Australia in 2008. Most recently SEED was presented at The McMichael Gallery's "The Tree Project".


Biographical Background  ~  Napoleon Brousseau A.K.A. Napo B


I’ve worked on my own and within art collectives redefining my ideas about individual identity in the making of art, and its potency a tool for social transformation.My work includes interactive wireless installations operated by cell phones, site specific installation, eco political installations, digital portraits, formal mediums,  giant  ten ants on the Cameron Art Bar in Toronto to name a few, even building props for the Pee Wee Herman TV show!

I graduated from  the Ontario College of Art and Design (O.C.A.D.) in 1976. In 1979 Kim Kozzi and I co-created Fastwurms, producing installations and films. In 1983 Dai Skuse joined the Fastwurms art collective. We produced installations, and successful shows that garnered raving accolades in Canada, the USA, Europe and Japan. In 1991 I left the group to travel through South East Asia and Europe.

In 2001 I graduated from The Canadian Film Centres, Media Lab. Our graduating prototype “Swamp” was presented at Siggraph in Los Angeles 2001, where I worked  on the Panels Committee art directing the Digital Senses Show “Sensapalooza”. In 2006, director of Emmersive Gallery, with its mandate in exploring and presenting exclusively New Media Art. In 2007, artistic director of “The Josh Lederman Art House”.A one-night event each month, presenting multi talent artists in one space, with a mix of new media, art performance, dance, conventional wall art, and circus.

In 2005 I the CFC Media Labs Ana Serrano presented me the opportunity of creating my concept of SEED by bringing together artists and programmers Gabe Sawhney, Galen Scorer and myself. We developed an interactive, cell phone driven artwork that enabled callers to grow virtual trees, which we matched in dollars from sponsors. The money was donated to volunteer organizations to plant urban trees. Seed has been presented in Australia, China, Canada and the USA in the last six years.


Canadian Film Centre - Media Lab Diploma, Interactive Media, 2000 - 2001                                                                       Part of "Swamp Team" created the first cell phone interactive art work. The cell phone is used as a music creating tool that helps the story evolve on the screen while the participant creates a the background score.

Ontario College of Art and Design OCA Diploma, Art Theory, 1972 - 1976


Solo Exhibitions

2012 “Eidelons & Phantoms”, Robert Kananaj Gallery, Toronto

2010 “ Somebody Anybody”, DeLong Gallery, Toronto_

2009  "Nuit Blanche" Cameron Ant Invasion, Toronto

2003  "Brewsoul", Angell Gallery, Toronto

2002  "The New Portraiture", Angell Gallery, Toronto

2001  "The Getwell", Deleon White Gallery, Toronto

1999  "The Fifinochio Chronicles", Angell Gallery, Toronto

1996  "Bivouac", Gallerie Pallinure, Marseilles, France_

1991  "Eye Drawn", Lake Gallery, Toronto

1990  "Wall Drug", (Fastwurm), University of Toronto "Honky Tonk", (Fastwurm), Purple Institution, Toronto "Ground to Ground", (Fastwurm), Osaka 90, Japan "Birch Hive", (Fastwurm), Skydome,Toronto   "Massassauga Lily", (Fastwurm), First Financial Place, Toronto

1988 "Arbor Vitae", (Fastwurm), Forest City Gallery, London ON "Vermi Velocity", (Fastwurm), Canadian Cultural Centre,  Rome, Italy "Sheet Rock Xoanna", (Fastwurm),_ Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto

1987  "Stink Bug Lodge", Bond Gallery, New York

1986 "Chew or Die", (Fastwurm), Ydessa Gallery, Toronto

"Birch Girl Plaza", (Fastwurm), Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff, Alberta "Tombpossum Wombblossom", (Fastwurm), ARC, Toronto

1985  "Know By Heart Lodge", (Fastwurm), Ydessa Gallery, Toronto

1984  "Snow She Bones", Ydessa Gallery, Toronto

1983 "Be My Magnet", The Funnel Film Gallery, Toronto

1981  "Fish Hooks To You", (Fastwurm),_ The Funnel Film Gallery, Toronto

1980  "Universal Colour Systems", (Fastwurm),_ Splash Gallery, Ottawa

1978 "Anonymous Artists Army", Feldman Gallery, Ottawa

1976  "Voyeur Vortex", Gallery 76, Toronto

1975  "Decade Control", Gallery 76, Toronto

1974  "Suspended Steel", Gallery 76, Toronto

Group Exhibitions

2012  SEED, The Tree Project, The McMichael Gallery, Kleinberg

2011  “This is Paradise”, MOCCA, Toronto, Canada

2010  SEED, Olympic Winter Games, Whistler, B.C. Canada

SEED, Culture Days, Ontario Science Centre, Toronto, Canada

2009  Ten Ant Renewal, Nuit Blanche, Toronto

2008  SEED, Urban Screens, Melbourne Australia

SEED, International New Media Festival, Hubei, China

2007,  New Aquisitions, Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Alberta

Crowd Conscious, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston

SEED, One Ton Tree, New Hope Baptist Church, New Orleans, USA

2006  "Deluxe Mix", DeLong Gallery, Toronto

2005  "SEED", SCOPE Art Fair, New York "SEED", Interactive 05, Toronto

"Luminous Memory", Deleon White Gallery, Toronto "Low Hanging Fruit", Emmersive Gallery, Toronto

2004  "Deluxe Mix", DeLong Gallery, Toronto

2003  "Standards", DeLong Gallery, Toronto

2002  "Biophilia", State Legislature of New Mexico, Santa Fe "One Touch of Nature", Gallery 96, Stratford, ON

2001  "Genometry, with David Bolduc, Angell Gallery, Toronto "Loaded", Angell Gallery, Toronto

2000  "Approach", Archive Inc. Gallery, Toronto

1999   "Hearth Mandala Renewal", Deleon White Gallery, Toronto

1999  Cold City Invitational, Cold City Gallery, Toronto

1995  "Invitational", Cold City Gallery, Toronto

1992  "Team Spirit", (Fastwurm), Laumeier Sculpture Park, St.Louis, Mi "Team Spirit", (Fastwurm), Davenport Art Museum,_ Davenport, Iowa

1991  "Team Spirit", (Fastwurm), Spirit Square Art Centre, Charlotte, N.C. "Team Spirit", (Fastwurm), Art Museum of Florida, Miami

"Team Spirit", (Fastwurm), Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC_ "Team Spirit", (Fastwurm), Newberger Museum,  Purchase, New York

1990  "Word Jungle", A B C No Rio, New York

"Salvage Paradigm", (Fastwurm), YYZ Gallery, Toronto "Birch Hive Edition", (Fastwurm), Open Studio, Toronto

1989 "Bee Still", (Fastwurm), Grace Hopper Gallery, Toronto

"Ugh 89", (Fastwurm), Centre International_d'Art Contemporain, Montreal 1988  "Sea to Sea", The Powerplant Gallery, Toronto

"Belief Structures", (Fastwurm), Mercer Union Gallery, Toronto "Theatre Tableau", (Fastwurm),_ Winnipeg Art Gallery, Manitoba

1987  "Eratici Percossi", (Fastwurm), Acireal, Sicily "Polyphonic", (Fastwurm), Genezanno, Italy

"Casual Casual Art Exchange", (Fastwurm), Paris, France "Innerspace", (Fastwurm), Artspace, Peterborough,ON

1983  "Chromaliving", (Fastwurm), Chromozone, Toronto 1982  "Command Drawn", YYZ Gallery, Toront

Selected Publications & Reviews

2008   Screen Potential,  Ross Harley, Realtime Magazine, Melbourne, AU 2006   Dialing for Dendrology, Pamela Paulston, Burlington, Vermont

1999   Canadian Art, Vol.16, No.4, "Because I'm not particularly a traveler", Gary M. Dault

Globe & Mail, July 24, "Making a good impression", G.M. Dault Globe & Mail, Jan. 30, "The Fifinochio Chronicles", Gary M. Dault

National Post, Jan. 26, "Those noses know tales of_delight and deceit" 1989 Parachute, No.58, "Les Cents Jours D"Art Contemporain",  Lynda Portugais

Artscribe, Jan./Feb., "FASTWURMS", Richard Rhodes

Le Devoir, Sept. 2, "Fastwurms: Anti-Colonialists", Claire Gravel 1987 Artpost, Fall, "Chew or Die", Tom Gottlieb

Tema Celeste, April-June, "Review Of Erratici Percorsi",_Antonio D'Avossa

Flash Art, April/May, "Review of Erratici Percorsi", 1983 Vanguard, Sept., "Snow-She-Bones", Diana Nemiroff

Selected Collections

Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston,  

National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa,

Canada Council Art Bank

Vancouver Art Gallery, BC

Winnipeg Art Gallery, Manitoba

Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto

Athabasca University, Edmonton, Alberta

Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Alberta

Private & Corporate Collections Worldwide






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