Welcome to Art Nordic Spotlight – A series where we talk to some of the talents who are exhibiting their art at Art Nordic. In this episode, we are meeting London-based Balthazar Mattar. He is working with text art His works are inspired by literature and music. His primary instruments are the old typewriters of which he has a huge collection. From these, his art is springing.
The first thing to notice is Balthazar Mattar’s reason for working with typewriters in his artworks.
“I’m attracted to typewriters for their mechanical quality yet real dependence on physical human action meaning every mark made is simultaneously uniform and unique,” says Balthazar. “I use them as instruments to create graphic yet raw images.”
An Advanced and Creative process
When Balthazar Mattar is creating art he has several steps leading from the fine blanc canvas to the finished work of art.
“My main method is tapping in rhythm to music for long ‘semi automatic’ sessions. Depending on my mood that soundtrack can consist of anything, from the free jazz attacks of Anthony Braxton to the decadent sound worlds of Olivier Messiaen.”
Balthazar Mattar’s process doesn’t stop here. Remaining is the task of making the artwork more immediate and present.
“After indulging in this reverse synesthesia of graphic form I pick up the paintbrush to overlay figures and colors,” says Balthazar Mattar. “This is done with ink and watercolor in complementary opposition to the machine-made marks.”
This is according to Balthazar wrestling the work away from the purely abstract and conceptual to something more approachable and visually stimulating All of the texts he uses are written by himself and are frequently lyrics from one or other of his musical projects.
“This multidisciplinary approach in both my practice and my method contributes to an aesthetic with influences that are musical and visual, often crisscrossing the boundaries of the medium,” explains Balthazar Mattar. “It’s the manifestation of a unique and immediate style.”
A Celebration of Human Intelligence
Balthazar’s text often deals with themes concerning contemporary culture and the ideologies invented and adopted by humans to provide meaning.
“On an individual basis they can appear to espouse opinions across the whole of the political spectrum, as a collective and conceptual body though, they convey a convoluted patchwork of philosophies, a confused poetry of post-millennial tension.” Balthazar Mattar specifies. “I’m not trying to tell you how to think, or even tell you what I think. I swirl around in the clinicism of ideological language like an apolitical pig bathing in the self-congratulatory glory of human intellect.”
If Balthazar has one ambition with his art it is to create something which anyone can have an opinion on immediately regardless of education or background.
“As such my elaborate use of intellectual language is done with humor and cynicism. I want us above all to simply enjoy.”