Self-taught and intuitive, Muriel Matt (born in 1976 in Rennes, France) has been translating life into colours from the time she was able to hold a pen or a brush. She has, as of now, painted portraits, nudes, animals, abstracts and shapes. All her works communicate an uplifting childlike innocence and along with that, look absolutely trendy and radiant.
“Creativity has always been at the core of my life,” says Muriel, who currently lives in the city of Nantes. “Yet, it was only in 2012 that I dedicated myself to painting in an intensive way. First, I was into oil but since 2014, my paintings have been exclusively acrylic. That has given me more freedom. It allows me to add a great deal of embossing, a technique I particularly appreciate because it provides a lively 3D aspect. I started exhibiting my work in large towns in France in January 2016. I do that once or twice a month.”
Muriel finds it hard to tell where exactly her inspiration comes from. “It’s somehow irrational and opaque, responding to a demanding need,” she explains. “Painting provides a deep meaning to my life. It makes me feel like I’m being carried in a permanent swirl of learning. Like I’m going beyond myself. I can quote Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky and Joan Miró…but there are many other figures whom I admire. Sometimes, I like someone for their entire body of work. Sometimes just for a shape, a colour.”
She loves painting faces, particularly the eyes, as they reflect the very soul. Even though the faces she draws are strange and funny, she hopes the viewer will make an emotional contact with them. “During one of my exhibitions”, says Muriel, “a very enthusiastic person told me – ‘The people you paint are horrible but I love them’. I like this mix of astonishment and pleasure. That is the kind of response that I look forward to – plain wonderment, pure enjoyment. My paintings do not convey any particular message and they have no political range. My work is about the simple joy of encountering colour and line and matter and shape. I do not intend to draw people into deep thinking.”
Muriel believes that the need to create is a universal human impulse. It is just that in the artist, this need gets “multiplied and vital”. Art is a bridge between cultures and countries. Art cannot be linked to a specific period or place, it has no language of its own. “It’s important to me,” Muriel says, “that my straightforward paintings are appreciated – if they are – immediately through feeling, without the need of any particular artistic culture. I am weary of rules and references that build segregational barriers between works of art and the public.” Surely a beautiful thought!