Mathieu Laca mainly paints portraits of historical figures from his personal pantheon - artists, writers, philosophers, musicians. Laca tries to translate their psyche by the boldness of the impastos, the dazzling splashes.
His portraits are tributes flirting with aggression.With a bachelor in visual arts from Concordia University in 2005, his works are part of collections in North America, Europe, Asia, Oceania and the Middle East. Laca is represented by the Thompson Landry gallery in Toronto and the Orange Art Gallery in Ottawa. He lives and works in Laval.
Vincent Van Gogh
Oil on Print, 2019Portraits reveal more on the gaze of the viewer than the actual subject. Using an impasto technique to explore depth of the human psychological experience, we can observe in meditation the strokes of incomprehensive fragments of emotion making up the face of M.Van Gogh. The aggressive manner in which he lays his painting evokes the idea of decay and disillusionment, an idea often found in his paintings.
Paul Verlaine et Arthur Rimbaud
Oil on linen
While the idea of decay and disenchantment is often explored, the psychology of relationships is an interest in M. Laca. Here, he provides us with some of his literary heroes who provided him with a source of haven during his difficult childhood and subsequent depression. Two cursed poets (“Poètes maudits” in French), they were both misunderstood since their childhood because of their heightened sense of perception of reality. While they were rejected for the better part of their lives because of this quality, ultimately, this curse made their genius. Moreover, the duo is infamous for their romantic relationships. Revealing queer agency as their significative persona and contribution to literature often downplays the true nature of their relationship. The connection between both writers is highlighted visually with lines splashed, connecting both of them, in many ways.