Montréal 2019-2020

Pristine and poised, perfectly photoshopped... Belval does not give a shit about  «beauty» in the classic sense of the word, commercialized and perverted in our era of selfies and filtered lives! Since the very beginning of his career, the painter has been passionate about personas that exude character and experience, whose faces bear witness to an adventurous life and are marked by the scars and wrinkles that it has left on their skin. Dissected by the curious and critical eye of the artist and rendered by his seasoned brush stroke, his masterful portraits tell a story. They capture a state of mind and evoke its emotion in the audience. It is with the same approach that Belval tackled the production of his new collection “Dumpsters”. The artist who usually devotes his practice to classical portraiture has shifted focus towards inanimate subjects this time, forgotten and neglected objects that we think dirty and ugly and that we don’t look at twice. What began as a simple little creative workout, one night when Belval was looking for something new to paint and was subjugated by the sight of the graffiti-filled container sitting right outside his studio, has become an epic artistic journey exploring the unique beauty of the garbage containers that populate our Montreal alleys. The graffiti that socialites would call vandalism, Belval sees it, rather, as an added value to the urban landscape. Street artists, with the colors and shapes of their tags, collaborate with time and temperature that adorn the steel with rust and wear, creating together an ever evolving work of art overflowing with contrasts. Each of the containers and bins has its own distinct personality, it tells the story of its own little corner of the island and deserves to be placed on a pedestal. “Dumpsters” is a tribute to the objects of art that populate our daily life, that ones that are seen but rarely looked at, and whose intrinsic beauty is often ignored.

Represented by Krause Gallery,  NY
Station 16, S16 Gallery and Le Salon Art Club, Montréal

All images © 2022 Matthew Belval
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