June Artist in Residency: Mateus Bailon.
During the month of June, we have received Mateus Bailon in our Art Residency.
Mateus was born in the seaside town of Itajai, Brazil. By the means of his brush strokes, spray paint and wanderlust, he became a globetrotter ambassador of nature, expressed mostly with vivid colors. His aesthetic stems from ancient Japanese prints, to traditional Portuguese ceramics, to the people he meets but mostly from the primal source of inspiration: Mother Nature.
These points of departure result into a unique visual language that city viewers throughout London, Paris, Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Manchester and many other cities, can escape into. Mateus states that he takes pleasure in surprising people with his images. He enjoys bringing novelty into their lives with feelings of freedom and happiness. Although the autodidact has developed his own style, he never ceases to explore new supports, subjects or to take part in collaborations with other creatives. He is fascinated with the ‘endless universe of possibilities that the human being is able to create with their imagination’.
Once depicting human figures in his work, over the recent years he has mainly focused on the portrayal of majestic birds and fish sprouting from a rich diversity of plants and flowers. At times, his subjects are active. They break away from constraints by taking off in flight, by swimming away. Other times, they pose serenely as to be admired and share their moment of peace and delight with the viewer. In an interview from 2013 with Inspiring City, the artist claims that his subjects are a metaphor for the human condition. He explains that ‘it seems that we are free but we are not. We live in small prisons; we are really fragile, always depending on money and our jobs and everything. So we are just like birds and fish who have this sense of freedom but who are at the same time so fragile.”  Motivating the human condition to be set free is a priority for the artist. A message that not only is expressed via his artwork but also by means of his lifestyle. Mateus is a non-stop traveler. His wings are ready to be deployed to the next destination and his fins are tuned with the tide to swim with the flow of life.
The exotic lush scenes that Mateus depicts, seek to re-connect the human being with nature. With his imagery and vibrant palette, he brings nature back into the city in an effort to restore the physical with the metaphysical realm. At Arthouse we relate to this mission, we seek to bring back together the pieces that have been broken. While Mateus has been hoping from city to city, his imaginary needs a refill and tuning with nature. Elements that he will find all over our complex to retake and give back to the places that need reminders of our dependence on nature.
Mateus has produced two paintings for Arthouse, both of which are now a part of our permanent gallery. He also gave us a couple of presents, two drafts and a picture of a painting he made in a huge wall in one of the many cities he visited. We are already looking forward for his next visit, when he promised he will paint a mural in one of our walls.