Montreal- and Berlin-based artist Nika Fontaine has a fascination with death and spiritualism dating back to her childhood—themes that recur across her paintings, sculpture and photographic works. Fontaine balances a genuine spiritual investigation with glam-rock garishness. Her work Pimp My Ride to Heaven (2014)—a heavily decorated, velvet trimmed, Led-illuminated, music-emitting coffin—is both a celebration of her former masculine identity and a marker of the beginning of her transfeminine life. “Spirituality is at the core of my practice,” Fontaine says, “but decoration and kitsch are other important aspects. I want to use these to create something over the top.” Fontaine’s paintings negotiate the influence of her great-uncle, Plasticiens painter Jean-paul Jérôme: “I was always surrounded by his paintings as a child. They are very beautiful, well-composed and classical Modernist works—but they made me want to create something more active and challenging to viewers, something aggressive. I love playing on the edge of good and bad taste.” Fontaine’s Accelerators Volume I (2015), of which one piece received an honourable mention in the 2016 RBC Canadian Painting Competition and was recently exhibited at Joyce Yahouda Gallery in Montreal, is a series of colour-field glitter paintings intended to accelerate the meditative process for the viewer, functioning as both an aesthetic object and reflexive tool. The works, which are reminiscent of both galactic nebulas and Abstract Expressionism, simultaneously transcend and celebrate the materiality of glitter, employing it as a signal of kitsch and a medium for transcendence.