BIOGRAPHY


Originally from Granby, Matthew Belval now lives and works in Montreal.

At a young age, he learned to paint under the wing of a local artist. He explored various institutions throughout his artistic journey until he found his way in the bohemian movement. In the summer of 2009, Matthew left his hometown for the city, where he was particularly moved by the plight of the homeless. His neighbourhood awoke in him a deep sensitivity for humanity, regardless of social divisions. He began a touching series of paintings dedicated to the streets. Starting in 2014, Matthew regularly performed at Rockette bar, where he painted in front of a crowd along with a handful of other artists. In 2015, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Quai des brumes, the artist exhibited 30 portraits of men and women who had contributed to the success of this iconic Montreal bar. This period soon drew him to the world of music, where he formed tight bonds with the scene’s singer-songwriters. In 2016, he kicked off a new project, Backstage, depicting musicians away from the stage. He was notably approached by Jacques Jacobus to create his album cover. In 2018, his work was shown on the big screen for the first time, when he was asked to create an original piece for a short film, “La Porte” (The Door), which tells the story of an agoraphobic painter played by Patrick Huard. Since 2014, his work has, again and again, been selected to help raise funds for prestigious foundations such as Art Sida, Jacques Bouchard, and Le Groupe Perron.

He is currently working on a series of intimate portraits showcasing artists in their neighbourhoods, including Louis-Philipe Gingras, Ngabo Kiroko, and Klo Pelgag, in addition to occasionally participating in collective exhibits at the Marc Gosselin gallery.


ARTISTIC APPROACH


Matthew Belval is a naturalist painter whose work is a consecration of the everyday. In his paintings, he showcases subjects that too often go unrepresented. Whether that be a graffitied container, breakfast leftovers, or an unembellished face, the artist aims to honour nature exactly as it is. In this ordinary beauty, he highlights something fundamentally universal.

While just about anything compels him, human beings remain the most recurring subject in his work. No matter their social status, he is guided by a challenge to find similarities and a desire for transcendence. Blending the tangible – clothes, accessories, tattoos – and the intangible – looks, postures, emotions – makes for an enjoyable lottery. Each individual possesses a combination that makes the art of portraiture infinitely inspiring.

His preliminary research is conducted through photography. As words are exchanged, Belval’s lens looks for changes of spirit. His eyes focus on the human being in front of him, preferring spontaneous compositions and natural light. The artist then selects a final piece, observing positions and expressions. He pays particular attention to patterns and textures, finding joy in capturing pearl necklaces and plastic bracelets alike. He observes and records the smallest details, then meticulously transcribes them with his brushes. While the photo remains a reference throughout his creative process, the artist possesses a singular ability to transform images.

His studio plays host to heaps of oil paint and liquin spread over a palette, canvases covered in gesso, easels perched atop a modest carpet, and a few neon lights. The artist draws the first lines of his composition freehand, using a grid pattern and charcoal. At this step, he disregards anything that bothers him, to the point of removing the environment surrounding his subject. If secondary objects tell a story, the accompanying voids guide the eye to the crux of the matter.

From his realistic works emanate classic craftsmanship. Never excessively smooth, the artist’s brushstrokes are apparent. From impasto to transparency, his palette remains sober. Muddy colours enhance brighter hues. Belval’s portraits are anything but boring. His work is honest, depicting a sense of empathy between subject and viewer, without any judgment. Belval democratizes the art of classic portraiture. In this sense, his approach is resolutely contemporary.

EXPOSITIONS


2017


XL4 Première partie, Montréal Art Interculturel (MAI), Montréal QC*
Mtl en Arts, Artiste en performance, Chapiteau "Portrait", Montréal QC
Gala de la Dix, 10 ans de peinture en direct, Quai des Brumes, Montréal QC*
Art Sida, Musée d'Art Contemporain, Montréal QC*
Art Fix, Lulu Café & Gallery, North Melbourne, Victoria AUSTRALIE*
Annihilation, Galerie 106U, Montréal QC*


2016


Beaux Dégâts, Frank Frazetta, Play Montréal, Montréal QC*
12x12, Galerie Abyss, Montréal QC*
Backstage, Divan Orange, Montréal QC
Encan Événement Groupe Perron, 11e édition, Lac Brome QC*
Hybride, Galerie Abyss, Montréal QC*
Apocalypse, Galerie Abyss, Montréal QC* 

2015


Encan Événement Groupe Perron, 10e édition, Lac Brome QC*
Sans titre, L'Escobar, Montréal QC*
Le futur commence maintenant, Divan Orange, Montréal QC*
Sans titre, Café des bois, Montréal QC*
Sans titre, Bobby McGee, Montréal QC*
XL, Espace 40, Montréal QC*
30 têtes du Quai, Quai des Brumes, Montréal QC
Tatoo, Galerie Abyss, Montréal QC*
La foire du 3e, 135 Van Horne, Montréal QC*
12x12, Galerie Abyss, Montréal QC*
Entre 2 mondes, Montréal QC*
Encan Parle-moi d’amour, Centre Wellington, Montréal QC*

2014


Encan Événement Groupe Perron, 9e édition, Lac Brome QC*
Encan John Lennon, 2e édition, Montréal QC*
Festival Place-Valois, Place-Valois, Montréal, QC*
Patch, Divan Orange, Montréal QC*
Les 5 ans de Décover, Montréal QC*
Kick Flip, Galerie Abyss, Montréal QC*
Duo, Espace créatif, Montréal QC*
La foire du 3e, Atelier Van Horne, Montréal QC*
C'est gros en petit, 2e édition, Galerie Zéphyr, Montréal QC*
Sans titre, Galerie Le Loft, Montréal QC*
Fusillade à Au Quai-Corral Expo Western, Quai des Brumes, Montréal QC*
Abri temporel, Montréal QC*
Escarmouche, Galerie 106U, Montréal QC*
Pixels, Théâtre Rialto, Montréal QC*

2013


Congrégation, Galerie 106U, Montréal QC*
Monstra, Église Ste-Brigide, 1151 rue Alexandre-de-Sève, Montréal QC*
Zéphyr, c'est gros en petit, Galerie Zéphyr, Montréal QC*
La foire au 3e, Ateliers Van Horne, Montréal QC*

2012


Décover #18 et #19, Marché St-Jacques, Montréal QC*
Les refusés, Marché St-Jacques, Montréal QC*
Apocalypse, Galerie Crystal Racine, Montréal QC*
Aversion, Galerie 106U, Montréal QC*
Armaggedon, Galerie 106U, Montréal QC*
Au Nyk's, Bistro Pub Nyk's, Montréal QC
Inflation, Galerie 106U, Montréal QC*
Portraits du monde, Café Coop Touski, Montréal QC
2012, Galerie 106U, Montréal QC*

2011


Vanité, Galerie 106U, Montréal QC*
Portraits croqués, Restaurant Pasta del Arte, Granby QC
Maison de la culture de l’Avenir, L’Avenir QC


2010

Paranormal, Galerie 106U, Montréal QC*
Phase d’observation, Galerie Crystal Racine, Montréal QC

2009


Café Globe, Granby QC


ÉVÉNEMENTS-BÉNÉFICES


Artsida7, Exposition-encan au profit d’ACCM (AIDS Community Care Montreal) – Sida Bénévoles Montréal, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, 2017.

Parle-moi d’amour, Exposition-encan au profit de la fondation Les impatients, pour aider les personnes atteintes de problèmes de santé mentale, Musée d’art Contemporain de Montréal, 2017.

Événement Groupe Perron, Encan bénéfice pour aider les enfants malades et les personnes atteintes de maladie mentale, Lac Brome, éditions 2014, 2015 et 2016.

Une soirée empreinte d’art, au profit de la Fondation Jacques-Bouchard, pour aider les gens malades à vivre leurs derniers moments dans l'intimité de leur foyer, entourées de leurs proches, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, 2015.

Les artistes se mobilisent pour la lutte contre l'itinérance, Encan bénéfice [en ligne] au profit du magazine L'Itinéraire, édition 2014.


ÉDUCATION


Académie Arts & Beaux-Arts, Varennes (Québec) (2007-2008)
Cégep Marie -Victorin : Art plastique, Montréal QC (2007)
Champlain College : Fine Art, Lennoxville QC (2005-2006)
Cours privés de dessin & peinture (1993-2000)


PERFORMANCES


Mtl en Arts, Artiste en performance, Container "Portrait", Montréal QC (2018) *Àvenir
Live Painting, bar Le Divan Orange, Montréal QC (2017)
Murale, bar Le Divan Orange, Montréal QC (2017)
Art Battle "Final", Matahari Loft, Montréal QC (2016)
Live Painting, La place Valois, Montréal QC (2014)
Live Painting, bar La Rockette, Montréal QC
Live Painting, bar Le Belmont, Montréal QC (2014)
Performance au Festival Carmagnole, Saint-Charles-sur-Richelieu QC*
Live Painting, Festival Mural, Vernissage Décover "Légendes urbaines", Infopresse, Montréal QC (2013)
Live Painting, Soirée Art Blitzzz, Shop A9, Montréal QC (2013).
Live Painting, L’encan Décover, Marché St-Jacques, Montréal QC (2012).
Photographe pour la performance de l’artiste Sarah Maloney. Something white, something blue, something borrowed, Galerie Ctrl Lab, Montréal QC (2010).


PRESSE


“Matthew Belval turned street art on its head with oil paintings of homeles people you would recognize in downtown Montreal."

«Encan Décover Auction, 2e édition» Décover (17 décembre 2013), p.24.

POHL, John. "Moments of the year: Art", The Gazette [En ligne]. 21 décembre 2013.

LOCHART, Micah. «Matthew Belval». Décover, no 19 (Novembre 2012), p. 42-44
.

«Les refusés. Arts figuratifs contemporain québécois»
Décover, No. 18 - Numéro spécial (Octobre 2012), p.3 et 19.

G.D. «Matthew Belval, jeune artiste au long parcours»,
La Voix-de-l'Est (Cahier publireportage), 3 juin 2008, page 13A.


*Expositions collectives