Mathieu V. Staelens   °1980   (BE)

"Isn't it up to each individual to create the conditions for their own meaningful place in the world?"

The painter Mathieu V. Staelens was born in March 1980 in the Belgian coastal city of Ostend. James Ensor used to live there and became a symbol of Ostend's cultural value. Consequently, it was the first artist Mathieu got to know. The imagery of the tradition, which John Berger aptly noted continued in fashion photography, is where his passion for painting really ignited. Within his own artistic development - informed by philosophy, the persuasive formal language of commercial photography, in addition to his own observations and experiences - the focus is on liberation, emancipation and responsibility. Using oil paint on canvas, he develops motifs whose meanings establish associative links within the painting, but also between the works themselves and finally with the viewer, for that is what he is actually concerned with. Causing the kind of intimacy that we art lovers experience when we are drawn to a work, whether a still living or long-dead artist, and it speaks to us. If it shakes our perception, but especially our self-perception with almost existential proportions and brings it to the precipice, and that this nota bene ultimately results in a deep gratitude in the awareness of a human connectedness across time and geography. 

From the real and pragmatic awareness that the spectator is central, man, perhaps more specifically: the status of the body is subjected to an examination of conscience in the artistic practice of Mathieu V. Staelens. His works look realistic, they are to a certain extent. But there are nuanced adjustments in rendering hidden in form and color. The ambiguity of the image is composed in such a way that the layers of meaning offer dialogue without being non-committal. His titles often act as compasses. The sharpness of his paintings position themselves, they want to prove and uncover; the conditions and the possibilities. 

Expo 'SUSTAINABLE Love 4 Life' from April 20th to Sunday June 2nd, 2024.