A rental car dealership in the town of Chateauguay on the South Shore is the newest location for a contemporary art gallery featuring an internationally renowned artist.
Dazzling, eye-catching oil paintings and thought-provoking sculptures are now on display at the Enterprise Rent-A-Car store on St-Jean Boulevard.
For just over a week, international artist Detlef Gotzens transformed the small space used as a waiting room into a colorful art gallery.
“You wouldn’t want to put those two things together. In most people’s minds, they’re quite alien,” Gotzens said.
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“We didn’t know it would work, but we realized that in my art I juxtapose a lot of weird things. In many ways, metaphorically speaking, it’s the same thing.
The idea of sharing the commercial space was born out of a need and an openness to fill a void in the Enterprise building, said Julius Zavodni, owner of Enterprise Châteauguay.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to share the space with as many people as possible,” Zavodni said.
The space was originally planned for another type of business but due to the COVID-19 crisis the business never materialized
Zavodni and Gotzens are friends and decided to be partners, agreeing that the small white walls would be the perfect backdrop for the art.
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The striking pieces are a pleasant surprise for many customers who are caught off guard.
“Art is an international language. Twenty people of different nationalities can be in the same room and everyone can speak the same language through art,” Zavodni said.
Gotzens says he’s witnessed many times customers and even rental car shop employees take a minute out of their day to examine the art and focus on the painting.
“We live way too fast in many ways and art will slow you down and bring you back to your ground,” Gotzens said.
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“Life gives you opportunities that form new ideas and new ways,” Gotzens said.
Specializing in the restoration and conservation of historic stained glass windows, Gotzens has a long artistic career.
The most significant project was the restoration of the windows of the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in 2001.
He has participated in numerous collective and solo exhibitions in Canada and the United States as well as in Europe, in particular in his native country, Germany.
Gotzens and Zavodni say they have big plans for the space.
“We always rotate the works of art. We could organize events to bring people in and merge the space in people’s minds that it’s a car rental business but also a cultural entity,” Gotzen said.
Gotzen says her artwork will always be on display for people to see and is looking forward to telling Chateauguay residents about it.
The art is for sale, but Gotzens says that’s not the end goal of this business.
He will be on site on Wednesdays and Fridays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
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