Matthieu Bourel: Collage and the power of images
The handmade, digital and animated collages of French artist Matthieu Bourel, currently living and working in Berlin, are based on the power of images and the diversions resulting from various visual combinations. He defines his work as ‘data-ism’, and when mixing elements, he often seeks to evoke a story that, although absent from the known reality, is powerfully present before the viewer and inspires ‘nostalgia for a period in time that never truly existed’.
The artist intervenes in the mind and memory of the mesmerized audience, distorting realities, enriching or irreversibly eliminating worlds that we find ourselves comfortable living inside them. Thus, an ordinary portrait of a woman can easily refresh its meaning when duplicated. The apparently infinite repetition of certain elements is sometimes a commentary on social systems and structures, regarding human behavior and beliefs, revealing hidden intentions and unfolding mask after mask until there is nothing left but a possible truth or at least a more sincere approach to reality, usually filled with irony and tension. Another theme that seems to interest Matthieu Bourel is identity, marked by its lack (the absence of the head, for example) or multiplicity.
‘A piece often becomes about the search and desire to combine those emergent narrative symbols that seem charged with a familiar yet distant emotion’. Indeed, we tend to decode the images according to our personal connections, as if the story suddenly speaks about what we fear and the avoidance to confront and understand ourselves, the ego, the other, time and space, now and then.
Illustration for the New York Times, Sunday book review.
‘Hit the Reset Button in Your Brain’ by Daniel J. Levitin.
‘Marie Antoinette / Royalty’ (2014)
1. An association of people or firms formed to engage in an enterprise or promote a common interest.
‘Mickey Panzer’ (2012)
adj. blank·er, blank·est
All images © Matthieu Bourel