Mathieu Bories: Cutting, pasting and travelling

When I was a newbie  in Montreal in April, I got an invitation to a vernissage where Mathieu Bories was exhibiting his art. I wasn’t able to go in the end, but we got in touch after he asked me if I was from Buenos Aires and what I was doing in the city. What do you know, a couple of weeks later we  were dancing to RJD2 and Dead Horse Beats at the Societe des Arts Tecnologiques, and this Monday we hung out at Alexandraplatz Bar, where I had the opportunity to bombard him with a couple of questions. Here’s the consequence of our conversation, raspberry beers included:


What’s your first memory related to art?

Mm, my first memory…Probably when I was very small. I was always drawing people with wings, flying. Then I did comic strips as well, caricatures. After that I started painting and that was that! In school I stopped a little, I studied economy for the BAC, but I re-commenced on my own, making stencils and working more with paint. Pretty much everything I learnt has been self-taught


I’ve seen that you use many techniques for your work. What else is there besides stencils?

The first stencil I ever made was based on a portrait of a friend of mine. I fell in love with that technique, and started adding colours and collages. Being able to cut and paste images, mixing them together and connecting them..

So are you spontaneous? Or do you have the habit of planning things out?

Before my trip to Latin America I always planned everything, I left no room for mistakes. In Argentina, I learnt the importance of spontaneity. I made many stencils, painted, improvised my work and enjoyed the moment without knowing how it was all going to turn out.


Have you travelled a lot? Which city or country has impacted you the most?

I’m originally from Toulous, France. I came to Montreal to finish my studies.Truthfully, I think Argentina was the country that impacted me the most. I was there for four months, and it was part of a long trip I did all through Latin America. I learnt so much! I was truly fascinated by the culture. And artistically I discovered the freedom of painting. In Buenos Aires I met a group of artists and we would always go out on the street to paint, everything was legal and you could hang out all day, whenever you wanted. Around the neighbourhoods of Palermo, San Telmo…


And when you paint, do you have a preferred subject? Or a particular message you like to transmit?

Well that’s complicated (laughs). I work a lot with old photographs, and as I love to travel I’m fascinated by the discovery of new cultures, new traditions. The latin culture, the asian culture. I don’t really have a particular preference, I simply take things that interest me, look for subjects, cut up images and put them together. I write as well.

What do you write about?

Mostly when I’m travelling. I read books, I research pictures and images and mix them with words and literature…I always look for things that impact me specially. Crazy characters, happy people, things that capture your eye.


Do you have an artist in particular that inspires you? That has influenced you in any way?

There’s an artist from Paris, C215 that has influenced me a lot. He makes beautiful stencils, super colourful, portraits…my style is similar. He’s travelled the world and has art in various countries. I’m also inspired byEduardo Recife, from Brazil.


What’s the best piece of advice that was ever given to you?

I think it has to be the advice that every artist gives. One has to persevere, one had to do what one loves and having faith in that, everything is going to be fine. You have to be passionate.

Do you have any projects planned for the future?

This summer I want to make more murals in Montreal. I’ll be painting one for Totem festival in July. And on July 15th, FIMA (Festival des Arts Montreal) will be taking place, in which I’m going to exhibit and sell various of my works. There are going to be tons of artists, lots of stands, its a huge festival.


Check out more of Mathieu’s work on his website + facebook