Home » Haiti-born artist Manuel Mathieu breaks new ground with two exhibits in North Miami | EXCLUSIVE

Haiti-born artist Manuel Mathieu breaks new ground with two exhibits in North Miami | EXCLUSIVE

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In an in-depth dialog with The Haitian Occasions, Manuel Mathieu delves into the experiences that formed his creative imaginative and prescient — from his childhood in Port-au-Prince to a near-fatal accident to residing life to the fullest.

MIAMI — From a childhood in Port-au-Prince the place he was surrounded by artwork, Manuel Mathieu has taken his personal work to exhibition areas in China, Canada and the UK. Through the years, the multidisciplinary artist has showcased a particular mix of storytelling and visible exploration that engages audiences throughout cultural boundaries. 

Now, at 37, Mathieu is arriving at one more important milestone in his profession: two solo displays on the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA Nomi). The twin showcase tasks Mathieu’s celebrated potential to intertwine vibrant aesthetics with profound themes. It’s also within the illustration of Haitian artwork on a world stage.

“These exhibitions are a fruits of my lifelong journey,” Mathieu in an unique dialog with The Haitian Occasions. “They seize the essence of my explorations—each inside Haiti’s historical past and inside myself.”

The MOCA Nomi exhibitions — “World Discovered Under Other Skies” and “Dwelling on the Invisible” — function a charming array of work, drawings and ceramics. They’re notably groundbreaking due to Mathieu’s deep dive into Haiti’s complicated and infrequently turbulent historical past. Along with displaying Mathieu’s creative prowess, the collections’ profound narratives intention to information viewers by the landscapes of Haiti’s previous and current. 

Every bit additionally displays Mathieu’s distinctive perspective, knowledgeable by his private experiences and the collective reminiscence of his homeland. 

The MOCA exhibitions can be found till October 6. In the meantime, Mathieu continues to hunt and discover new avenues, each inside and past visible artwork. His latest ventures into fragrance making and documentary filmmaking are a testomony to his boundless curiosity and modern spirit. 

“I wouldn’t change a day in my life.” Mathieu expressed. “I would like all of it.”

Within the wide-ranging interview, Mathieu gives a glimpse into the experiences that formed his creative imaginative and prescient. Discussing his childhood surrounded by artwork and a near-fatal accident, self-discovery and creating with urgency, to turning into an entrepreneur, Mathieu invitations us into his world.

The interview has been flippantly edited for readability.

The start: Influences at a younger age

Rising up in Port-au-Prince,  Mathieu was surrounded by a wealthy creative affect. He was born right into a low to middle-class household simply months after the autumn of Jean-Claude Duvalier’s regime and was the eldest of three youngsters. His mom’s intensive assortment of Haitian artwork and the mentorship of his cousin, Mario Benjamin, performed pivotal roles in shaping his early artistic aspirations. 

The Haïtian Occasions: How would you describe your upbringing rising up in Port-au-Prince? What was your childhood like? 

Manuel Mathieu: I grew up in a gingerbread home, surrounded by work and sculptures. My cousin, Mario Benjamin, launched me to western artists and artists from the nation. These introductions to the world of artwork led me to create artwork installations in my room and to choose up pictures in my late teenagers, ultimately main me to being accepted into an undergraduate program at Goldsmiths, College of London. 

Whereas my youthful years have been immersed in artwork, I hadn’t but absolutely accepted the calling to develop into an artist. The choice to develop into one was predicated on the concept of residing ceaselessly. 

THT: You talked about that you simply have been referred to as to be an artist. Was there ever some extent in your life the place you denied that calling? 

MM: I feel what referred to as me first was the liberty and pleasure of being an artist. At first, it didn’t make any sense to me to be an artist. What did I find out about being an artist once I was 15 years outdated? The artists I found by the catalogs and books that Mario shared with me have been forsaking what that they had of their souls, and I discovered that fascinating. I needed to reside like that ceaselessly. It wasn’t that I needed to be an artist; it was extra like I needed to reside like that ceaselessly.

THT: In the course of the dialog at MOCA, you described your teen years as being a “tough teenager with an “I don’t care” perspective. What did that appear to be for you?

MM: I used to be a “tough teenager” with an “I don’t care” perspective who didn’t take a lot heed of my  mother and father’ self-discipline. They couldn’t inform me what to do, however I used to be nonetheless good in school, so it wasn’t actually a problem when it got here to that. However, I can solely think about in a rustic like Haiti how exhausting that might be.

THT: You talked about that your grandmother taught you pure love and acceptance, and I needed to know, experiencing your grandmother’s love, how would you, now, outline love? 

MM: I feel pure love is about accepting folks. Accepting the individual that you like. It’s exhausting to try this as a result of we’re like uneven rocks. We’re filled with flaws. And we’re hiding plenty of it, which is truthful, as a result of we don’t wish to be uncovered. As a result of once they see you, you can not unsee folks. I don’t suppose she noticed me, however she accepted me earlier than seeing me — which is probably the most lovely form of love.

THT: How has your rebellious spirit and your thought of affection formed your perspective and the way does that translate into your artwork?

MM: The rebellious aspect of me taught me to at all times construct the braveness to do no matter I wish to do. You understand, it’s exhausting to reside the lifetime of an artist. However if in case you have the braveness to unravel it, it’s actually lovely. I feel I introduced that braveness into my work as a result of I can resolve to embrace tough topics, topics which can be very exhausting to cope with, to have interaction with, or that some folks would argue are not possible to speak about. I wish to go there and never be afraid to get misplaced. 

After I was recovering from the accident, I spent plenty of time alone. There are some roads which can be lonely. The highway that’s yours could be lonely. However you need to be taught to be with your self and embrace your future to a sure level.

The crash: A turning level

In 2015, Mathieu’s life took a dramatic flip throughout his research at Goldsmiths, College of London. A success-and-run bike accident left him with a extreme concussion and short-term reminiscence loss. This traumatic occasion not solely halted his bodily capabilities but in addition pressured a profound interval of introspection.

To finish his research and procure his grasp’s diploma in Positive Arts, it was required of him to carry a dialog for no less than an hour and take notes about these conferences. And whereas he was principally drained throughout this time, he persevered and infrequently discovered himself in a state of deep reflection. 

THT: Are you able to undergo that have with me? I learn that that second allowed you to be extra self-reflective and allowed you to pause a little bit bit extra.

MM: I didn’t have a alternative as a result of I couldn’t do something; I needed to cease. I couldn’t see effectively, I couldn’t hear effectively. I couldn’t maintain a dialog for longer than 20 minutes. I couldn’t sleep effectively, I used to be drained on a regular basis. However I did what I needed to do for the college as a result of I needed to be finished with it. And through that point, I wasn’t portray lots, however I used to be pondering lots as a result of I couldn’t exit or be energetic. So I spent plenty of time reflecting on all these concepts which gave the topic for my last present.

THT: Was that tough for you? To be in solitude in that manner?

MM: Folks would say that I used to be bored and that’s why I obtained lonely. Artwork was a option to maintain my thoughts targeted as a result of it by no means ends. It’s like a circle that retains going and going and you’ll dig in as a lot as you need and there’s extra. 

Creating: The philosophy of discovery 

For Mathieu, artwork is much less about creation and extra about discovery. This angle drives him to always search and discover new avenues, each inside and past the normal realms of visible artwork. His latest ventures into fragrance making and documentary filmmaking on the corruption and impunity in Haiti and a video set up that’ll be featured at Toronto Biennial of Arts in September are testaments to his boundless curiosity and modern spirit. And whereas he’s on the pursuit of residing his life to the fullest, it begs the query of stability.

THT: You mentioned that you don’t create artwork, you uncover it. What has this discovery taught you about your self and the world round you?

MM: It taught me first that we’re all linked, that we’re all attempting to reside a life with love and dignity, that we’re looking for peace. And it additionally taught me to remain curious as a result of if you domesticate the muscle of discovery or in search of, then it’s form of ingrained in you. So I feel it impacts the best way I method my life day by day. There’s at all times one thing pushing me ahead. And I feel that’s very treasured. As a result of there’s at all times one thing to find. And I’m at all times producing one thing new. I’m attempting new stuff.

THT: Inform me about one thing new that you simply’ve lately found or that you simply’ve finished lately.

MM: I’m making perfumes proper now. I didn’t know something about that. We’re placing out the model by fall of subsequent yr. In order that’s form of cool. I already did three perfumes. I did the bottle. I’m studying lots about being an entrepreneur. It’s an enormous studying curve.

THT: How do you discover stability with all of those totally different tasks? What are some practices that you simply keep?

MM: I don’t know. I feel there’s one thing in me that self-regulates. After I’m drained, I sleep. There was some extent the place I used to grasp us, as animals, that you simply simply do what you wish to do – on a regular basis. If you wish to eat you eat, if you wish to [redacted] you [redacted], if you wish to sleep, you sleep. And also you simply maintain going like that. However I assume I’m so keen about what I do this I assume it brings me a sure pleasure that stability is it for me, you understand?

THT: With having two solo exhibitions right here in Miami for the primary time, what’s your hope for attendees who expertise it?

MM: I hope that this present helps them join with hidden components of themselves — components that they didn’t know existed. I gave about seven excursions once I was in Miami. And I might inform how the present obtained beneath folks’s skins. If it’s not traditionally then it’s emotionally, and if it’s not emotionally, it’s bodily. I hope they depart carrying one thing within themselves that may accompany them for the remainder of their lives.

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