Paintings of figures such as Henry David Thoreau, Johannes Brahms, Charles Baudelaire, and Virginia Woolf distorted through the experimental use of paint by Quebec-based artist Mathieu Laca. The paintings remind me of the works of Francis Bacon but the portraits are not that far off and you can still work out a resemblance.
I usually start to paint with an idea in mind. But this idea, even if it’s good and well executed, often seems dull. It lacks energy. So, I destroy it. I scrape, I erase, I cover up with the background color, I add in thick impastos of various colors with the knife and I move them around almost randomly. At one point, even though I have the strong impression of loosing time and material, something emerges from that failure. All my efforts to revive something yet unknown seem to take shape. Some kind of statement emerges with an unexpected authority. Usually, there’s a strangeness to it. It’s almost grotesque. It begs me for acceptance. Yet it’s so far away from the original idea that sometimes it frightens me and the resemblance to the subject of the portrait becomes almost accidental. Nevertheless, there’s a life to it and that’s what truly matters. There’s a powerful breath running through it and it asks me to underline it, to nuance it and to polish it.