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Mourir normal comme la société



Montreal-based artist Eugénie Bérubé has created an artwork inspired by the words of a homeless person she heard shouting in the subway. The text she heard is written on the back of the canvas and it says: “I was a child. I don’t want to die normal like this sick society. Sick like a dog. Sick like my ex. Sick like you.” These words deeply impacted the artist and inspired her to create a canvas of her largest format to date, measuring over 7 by 9 feet in 2023.

The artwork depicts characters inspired by dancers, illustrating the homeless person’s vision of society. The artist chose to portray society as a dance. The characters dance on the canvas, but their expressions are filled with sickness and distress, evoking the dark and unsettling aspects of modern society.

The use of a large format in this artwork is significant, as it allows the artist to create a commanding presence that captures the viewer’s attention. The dimensions of the canvas reinforce the visual impact of the artwork and allow the artist to convey her message with strength and power.

The colors used in the artwork are carefully chosen to enhance its meaning. Dark tones and bright colors are juxtaposed to create a striking contrast, symbolizing the duality of society as described by the homeless person’s words. Bright colors may represent the brightness of life, while dark tones may represent sickness and distress.

Bérubé’s artwork is also marked by her distinctive artistic technique. The characters are depicted in an abstract manner, with distorted shapes and blurred outlines, adding a dimension of mystery and ambiguity to the artwork.

By using the words of a homeless person as a starting point, Bérubé questions the notion of normality in contemporary society. She challenges preconceived ideas of what is considered normal or acceptable, and highlights the sick and troubling aspects of modern society such as mental illness, toxic relationships, and self-destructive behaviors.


Acrylic, oil pastel, and sculpture medium on canvas


213,36 X 274,32 cm

Year of Creation