MATHIEU LACA’S WARPED MASTERS – Unconventional Portraits Reshape Historical Icons

by JC Gonzo

 

Self-portrait Study, oil on linen, 92cm x 122cm, 2014

Self-Portrait Study, oil on linen, 2014

 

Quebec based painter Mathieu Laca earned early recognition at 17 and rapidly became internationally collected and displayed. His style evolves fluidly with interests centering around eroticism expressed by and focused on the male figure, though not exclusively. Icons of seismic cultural impact and subversive thought become immortalized through Laca’s saturated bursts of color, shape, and form. Genet, Picasso, Pasolini, Dali, Rimbaud, Kahlo, Nietzsche, and Bacon have received such treatment, building a canon of greats relevant to Laca’s process. It provides a theoretical backdrop, implying the philosophical impotence behind his portraits, abstractions, and scenarios. On Bacon, a clear influence of whom Laca has painted the most, “His work haunts me. […] He’s a god.” Laca’s most recent take on the great masters and stand-alone portraits involves a greater degree of distortion. Brahms slides into ghostly replication and Woolf’s features become smeared and contorted. The austere portraiture generally associated with the icons Laca has chosen is utterly dismantled and explosive. On this new series, he states, “The art of portraiture is subjected to many visual conventions. I never had so much fun breaking them!”

 

Johannes Brahms (Étude II), huile sur lin, 92cmX76cm, 2015

Johannes Brahms (Study II), oil on linen, 2015

 

Henry David Thoreau (Étude III), huile sur lin, 92cmX76cm, 2015

Henry David Thoreau (Study III), oil on linen, 2015

 

Virginia Woolf (Étude I), huile sur lin, 92cmX76cm, 2015

Virginia Woolf (Study I), oil on linen, 2015

 

American Poet (d'après un portrait de Walt Whitman), huile sur lin, 155cmX120cm, 2015

American Poet (after a portrait of Walt Whitman), oil on linen, 2015

 

Jean, huile sur lin, 122cmX153cm, 2015

Jean, oil on linen, 2015

 

Johannes Brahms (Study I)

Johannes Brahms (Study I), oil on linen, 2015

 

Virginia Woolf (Study II)

Virginia Woolf (Study II), oil on linen, 2015

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Follow @mathieulaca and visit his official site to view more.

 

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