Laurence Nerbonne is recognized for her sharp brushstrokes exhibiting a maturity far beyond her 27 years of age. Born in the Outaouais, and now living in Montreal, this self-taught artist focuses on the human face as her visual inspiration, as such; it is now the central point of her work. Beginning by photographing live models, Nerbonne uses acrylic paints to bring to life portraits of large dimension. She carefully chooses subtle yet powerful colors to express the emotional landscape of each of her subjects. Her canvases are inhabited by characters that emerge from the surrounding darkness, bathed in a fixed light. Her use of shadows creates a powerful contrast of light and dark, which conveys a striking portrait wrought with emotion. The subjects, male, female, or child, carry a raw humanity rooted in their intense gaze. Nerbonne captivates the viewer creating an intimate, personal connection through the authenticity and rawness of her characters. It is in the stripping down of their identity that Nerbonne reveals the characters true natural state, as her inspiration affirms, "The face carries the mark of the soul that it hides."
In Out of Site, Nerbonne questions the limitations of traditional icons and models, whether popular or religious. This has led Nerbonne to isolate these figures away from standard referential details, questioning their role in society; all the while understanding that these icons cannot fully be removed from existing frameworks. Through careful scrutiny, and observational skills, Nerbonne paints beyond the superficial, and captures the very essence of her models. Nerbonne gives life to her large-scale canvasses, manipulating light and shadow to create a palpable intimacy between subject and viewer; the face becomes a landscape, summoning the viewer to explore. The ultimate search for the artistic identity of her work continues, focusing on portraying raw emotion outside of the structured confines.