Even if Manuel Mathieu’s trajectory can easily be traced back to his education in Haiti, his work expresses a position at the center of a multitude of realities and perspectives. Based on its own multiplicity, his abstract work shapes the richness of an existence at the intersection of racial, geographic and cultural identity. Manuel’s abstract imagery feeds on the elusive and the furtive - it offers emotional and spiritual nuances overlooked by post-structuralist critics.
He presents historical paintings which are based on emotional and speculative reasoning as a way to produce knowledge. He abandons Western figurative or didactic traditions for a more interactive mode of interpretation where the spectators actively participate in the formulation of their understanding of the work. Manuel’s artistic practice brings vitality to the much-needed if not definitive character of painting by allowing the meaning of his work to be context-dependent.
He expands his artistic repertoire to deepen subjects that examine themes of historical violence, erasure, as well as the Haitian visual culture of physicality, nature and religion symbolism. It takes us on a journey that brings pleasure and purpose to our vulnerability and to our changing nature. Combining figurative and abstract techniques, his compositions present us with a space to meditate on Haiti’s fluctuating heritage while inviting us to imagine a different future conjured by the act of remembering. After all, this is what Manuel’s paintings evoke for us: a sense of polyphonic reality that renounces absolute truth and draws from our collective imagination.