credit: photo by barbara FG
Austin, Texas-based artist Ysabel LeMay is gaining ever-widening recognition for her digitally composed panoramas of natural richness, which she creates through the process of hypercollage. LeMay reveals the real world remixed to paradisal perfection, so vividly realized that one feels drawn to step into her immersive tableaux.
Since winning the New York KiptonART 2011 Rising Stars Program, LeMay’s work has seen more than 115 exhibitions around the globe and has been acquired for the corporate collections of Chevron, Bloomingdale’s and Bacardi, and the permanent collections at Museum of Photographic Arts and the Morris Museum.In 2013, LeMay participated in the Texas Biennial and in 2015, she represented Texas at the fourth edition of Women to Watch in Washington, D.C. In 2017, LeMay held a solo retrospective show at the Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey. In addition, she was commissioned by the U.S. Department of State’s Art in Embassies Program for the American Institute in Taiwan. In 2018, she was a visiting instructor at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshop in New Mexico.
Growing up in Quebec, Canada, LeMay fastened her connection to the natural world at her family’s cottage in the northern wilderness of the province. But it was the jungle of the advertising world where LeMay honed her visual expression. After 15 years in the industry, she sought a more rewarding path for her creativity, refocusing initially on painting and then photography.
From there, LeMay developed her own distinctive technique, called hypercollage. Her practice, refined over more than a decade, sees her traveling the globe on photographic expeditions, accumulating vast reserves of natural imagery. These she studiously reviews, extracting elements according to her intuition and assembling them into baroque tableaux venerating the undeniable majesty and generosity of nature.
While her technique is high-tech, LeMay’s hypercollage process is instinctual and organic, allowing each piece to dictate its own destiny. From a single, simple starting point — an image, a color, an emotion — she follows a meticulous process. After first isolating and extracting elements of her photos, LeMay then weaves them together into intricate compositions of resplendent beauty.
LeMay has brought her hypercollages to a place where they now serve as records of natural splendor perpetually in motion – as expressed by an artist who herself shows no interest in standing still.