VOL. I, ISSUE I: ORIGIN
Signed and dated
Mixed media; oil pastel, photo collage, acrylic paint on canvas
30 in. x 40 in.
Hammer Price: Private Inquiry Only
Auction: October 19, 2018
“Since he began experimenting with photography and collage, Milo Matthieu’s paintings have garnered a growing and enthusiastic critical audience. Apart from his commissioned pieces, Matthieu has shown at Bronx Art Space; Medium Tings; and Sincerely, Tommy. Most of Matthieu’s pieces contend with sadness, an emotion he negotiates by playing with color, image and size. A-ve-res is a rare piece within his body of work that takes this exploration to the next level. At 30 inches by 40 inches, A-ve-res combines Matthieu’s passions for color with his keen social insights. Sadness is not investigated apropos of anything, but instead placed into a specific social context, interrogating how contemporary habits, from posting on Instagram to mindlessly scrolling a Twitter feed, contribute to a general discontent.
A-ve-res was born from an interest in what Matthieu christens “the age of narcissism.” The two faces that confront the viewer, one on the left with red lips and the other of a woman whose eyes have been gouged out, stare blankly ahead, devoid of souls or personalities. Unlike with his other work, Matthieu willingly ascribes a meaning and a message to A-ve-res. “I have this love and hate relationship with social media,” Matthieu said. “I know that it can open up doors to a lot of things, but you see this level of, for lack of a better word, thirst or hunger.” His ideas about its social implications are clear, even if they are not final.
While A-ve-res has the same mood as Matthieu’s other paintings, its process proved challenging in a way that might mark the beginning of a new chapter for him. It is more deliberate; each object on the canvas — from the disembodied leg with fishnet tights and the red lips — was intentionally placed and paired. Physically, it is one of his most layered pieces, a byproduct of pushing the texture a bit more than in the past. On sight the black background looks three-dimensional and depending on the angle, the painting appears to have ridges protruding from it. Matthieu attributes this effect to the paint chips and crumpled bits of paper he applied to the base before laying on a thick series of frenzied black acrylic paint strokes. After creating the background, Matthieu mounted additional layers — the black bunny ears, the blonde hair and red lips — to create his caricatures. Even on this minute level, Matthieu’s experimentation with depth is evident. The black bunny ears are painted over with black and white lines, creating a three-dimensional effect similar to the textured background. By relying on traditional painting techniques like shadow, Matthieu takes his experiment to new levels, and demonstrates versatility across mediums. Once everything was in place, Matthieu colored the canvas with oil pastel sticks, a crucial step that unified the painting’s layer and created a relatively smooth canvas.The final product is a painting both physically and conceptually deep, that challenges the viewer and marks the beginning of a new direction for this young artist. ”
A black man lands on a cloud, proud. His lonely Island comforted by silence. Combining layers and textures to give life to a distant memory. The reminiscence of a warmth welcomed by a fading dream. In search of a feeling, he studies and dissects the complex layers of human emotion. Uniting colors creating a surreal parallel world. A world where he chooses to remain.
Brooklyn-based mixed media artist, Milo Matthieu, creates raw active pieces, combining strong imagery with bold colors and textures. After studying photography at university, Milo began experimenting by mixing various mediums: photography, painting, and collage. This curiosity has led him to explore endless possibilities with image making, creating diverse and striking bodies of work. Milo has gone on to present his work in numerous shows throughout the New York City area and internationally in Berlin. His work has been featured in various publications like Teen Vogue, Office Magazine, Billy magazine, KALTBLUT magazine and Nakid magazine.