Is it a crime to be too good at his art?

Have you heard about Remy Couture? He’s a horror makeup artist from Montreal. And he’s currently being sued for being too good at his own art.

Let’s see the facts. In January 2009, an investigator from Montreal receives a complaint from Interpol Germany, for obscene material found on Remy Couture’s website, Inner Depravity. The photos and videos are fictitious, but they depict acts of rape, necrophilia, cruelty to women and children of an incredible realism. The illusion of veracity has raised fears among German authorities. Even the European medical examiner that was in charge of defining whether or not they was simply acting murders, was in doubt. This is why the Canadian government and the Montreal police opened a case.

Remy Couture was arrested and formally accused in 2009 of having produced, circulated, and having in his possession obscene pictures to put into circulation. Remy Couture is now being sued because with his work, he would have tried to corrupt morals. His trial opened last Tuesday in Montreal.

Art or Crime?

On the sidelines of the trial, artists and citizens are mobilising to support the creative process of Remy Couture, not only in Montreal, but worldwide. Frederick Maheux, director of a documentary Art / Crime on Remy Couture does not think it’s a question of obscenity, but “diffusion and consumption of this kind of art, the idea of what is represented’’, which is the real issue in this trial. “Obscene” material is defined by Quebec laws as something that has “the dominant characteristic, the undue exploitation of sex, crime, horror, violence and cruelty”.

Frédéric Maheux also questioned the role of justice, believing that “it should be other artists who judge the work of a peer.” He adds there is a “real and tangible risk that Remy will be found guilty’’.

“There was a really creative will from Remy in Inner Depravity. He wanted to evolve in his art form. He has an aesthetic sense’’, says Frederick Maheux, who spent time with the accused for his film, and had worked with him on other projects. “It is easy to see that Inner Depravity is purely fictional.”

For its part, Remy Couture describes his artistic style as “underground experimental”. His photographs presented as evidence during the first day of hearing, are disturbing and shocking in their hyperrealism and brutal violence. They are a reflection of a “sordid world of a psychopath”.

Well known in the horror field, Remy Couture has been rewarded for his projects. Indeed, his short film Inner Depravity Volume 1 won the most disturbing film at the unusual film festival Spasm, in 2007.

I invite you on his website – – You will be able to see some of his work, and judge for yourself. And I’m aksing you, can an artist be found guilty of being too good at his art?

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