Amira Casar, 1988
Photograph Albert Watson
A Note to Self by Milo Matthieu
A Note to Self
In A Note to Self, Milo Matthieu pushes further into abstraction and the subconscious. The works explore the fluidity and boundless potential of abstraction. They operate as a meditation in abstraction. They capture the essence of memories, feelings, and emotions, veering away from mere representation towards more intimate and personal expressions.
As the work pushes further into abstraction, it finds the power in subtraction, a testament to the old adage that sometimes less is more. Influenced by psychic automatism and the exploration of the subconscious, the works showcase a unique rhythmic quality reminiscent of musical composition, creating an immersive sensory experience. This allows Matthieu to deconstruct familiar narratives, providing room for a profound exploration of the emotional aspects of subjects, particularly those associated with Caribbean and Haitian heritage.
Themes of cultural loss and erasure subtly permeate throughout. The works draw parallels with the historical experiences of Caribbean cultures, who suffered the devastating consequences of colonization, including the destruction of their civilizations and cultural erasure. These themes, however, are not explicitly articulated but emerge organically from the subconscious during the artistic process.
Even within the abstraction, the works retain echoes of vibrant Haitian life, like in The Exchange and The Rebirth. The abstract visual language leaves the narrative – or the lack thereof – of each scene open to individual interpretation. The hues and brush strokes used, ranging from the calming blues in The Exchange to the fiery reds and oranges in The Rebirth, invite the viewer to contemplate their meanings and how they intertwine with personal experiences and perceptions of Haiti’s changing socio-economic landscape.
A Note to Self creates an intimate dialogue between the artist and the viewer, opening up space for individual interpretations and responses. Rather than delivering definitive answers, Matthieu challenges and engages the viewer.
M+B Doheny, June 3 – July 1, 2023
470 N Doheny Drive, Los Angeles, CA
Milo Matthieu is a New York-based artist whose work is influenced by Surrealism, children’s book illustrations, and Haitian art. His work is rooted in his life experiences and thoughts, utilizing techniques such as automatic writing and psychic automatism, and other forms of creation formed in the West by André Breton and the Surrealist movement, but which also notably existed earlier in Haitian painting, with painters such as Hector Hyppolite.
Milo Matthieu (b. 1990, Los Angeles, CA) has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions including Flowers Beyond the Sunset with Sorry We’re Closed, Brussels; Silenced, Yet Celebrated at Kravets Wehby Gallery, New York; and Isolated Thoughts at The Cabin, Los Angeles. Recent group exhibitions include Caldonia, Salon 94, New York; Show Me The Signs, Blum and Poe, Los Angeles; The Great Storeroom Show, Beers Gallery, London; and Black and White VS Color, Richard Heller, Los Angeles. Milo Matthieu lives and work in New York, NY.
Chateau Landon by Theo Domini
Chateau Landon, Paris, France by Theo Domini
The view is breathtaking. From the windows of the fifth floor of this large Haussmanian building, we overlook one of the most spectacular landscapes of Paris. Every evening, the sun crashes down on this sumptuous horizon and creates an atmosphere that enhances the image of the city a little more. This anachronistic experience that arises from the encounter between the architecture of a 19th century Paris with these supernatural lights was one of the starting points of the project.
Named after the street that houses it, the Chateau Landon project questions what it means to appropriate an existing place. The residence is designed as much as a protective screen for the privacy of its inhabitants as well as a belvedere overlooking this striking landscape.
Inside, the radical abstraction of the steel surfaces contrasts with plasters faded by 100 years of history. They unite and coexist to enhance the sublime event they face.
The environment celebrates the simple pleasures of everyday life and intensifies the experience of basic necessities.
The surfaces guide the gaze instead of stopping it, they free themselves from domestic references which constrain and limit the imagination. It is about questioning one’s own feelings, not according to habits, but on the basis of a spontaneous reaction, out of all time, which comes from desire, from life itself. This approach involves replacing the accumulation of objects with relationships, human, physical, sensitive. First eliminate, then produce comfort.
Inside, the very notion of door, handle is annihilated. Imperceptibly, we pass from bright rooms to a warm and modulated half-light where the softness of the materials dominates.
Everything is a matter of gradation and suggestive limits, the frontier of spaces, never well closed, exasperates curiosity. They oscillate from the grandiose to the Spartan and find their comfort in their serenity, in their charm. It’s not intimidating, it’s not dripping with luxury. It’s something very peaceful, almost friendly where the thickness of the history permeates the project without ever subduing it.