Matias Sanchez: Joy of Painting

Galerie Zink is proud to present the works of Matías Sanchez for Art Central Hong Kong 2021. For the artist’s first foray into the Asian region, we have curated a series of new works created over the past year. As the world retreated to stillness, Sanchez had to continue to express himself through some form or another. This resulted in an incredibly productive year where the artist channeled his energy in the studio and honed his skills.

Here is a selection of works as a preview for our readers

ACHK preview selection Art Central Hong Kong Preview selection

„Trahit sua quemque voluptas“ – Virgil

This quote by ancient Roman poet, Virgil, encapsulates the philosophy of Sanchez’s career as a painter. Loosely translated as „each one has a passion that compels them“, Sanchez is motivated by his unadulterated love and passion for painting. It can be seen in his work ethic in the studio, his commitment to being a self taught artist, the strokes and energy on his canvases. Everything is exploding with energy that is grounded in his love for painting. His works don’t pretend to be conceptual, multilayered, or hard to understand. Instead they are simply an embodiment of the „joy of painting“ (to paraphrase Bob Ross).

Although known for recognisable motifs, for Sanchez, the subject matter of a painting is not of the utmost importance, whether it be a human figure or an animal or abstract surface. Instead, it is more about the exploration of materiality and colours. The physical act of painting drives the artist. To work with colours, building them on the canvas as if moulding a clay sculpture, is fascinating to him.

„My concern is to compose and balance the nuances and dynamics of a painting. The colours, tones, the silences in the negative spaces, the chiaroscuro, the rhythm, the play of lines. They are all things that fundamentally make a painting work or not. They the internal world of paintings or any work of art, be it poetry, music, sculpture, cinema, or dance.

The important thing is how that painting is painted and how it seduces the viewer. The intelligence of the execution, its mastery, how the artist manages the viewer’s perspective from where he wants. Where does the viewer enter the painting, walk through it. and then exit? Those are the things that make a work of art timeless.“

Matias Sanchez in Galerie Zink artist residency 2020 Matias Sanchez in Galerie Zink artist residency 2020

As a self taught artist, he sought to understand the language of painting, and thought of it similar to codes in literature or music. “Managing those codes well is the challenge”, says the artist. He cites influences from the giants of art history, such as Camille Corot, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning. “They understood painting as a language, and they handled it wonderfully.“

Each painting could be seen as a visualisation of Sanchez’s mind – wild, thoughtful, humorous. A cartoonish sausage against a mixture of colours, or a devious rat conspiring with an equally devilish character. All of these form Sanchez’ unmistakable style. The titles ranges from absurdly mundane to deeply intellectual. One of his favourite motifs is „the painter“ – a self portrait. He often depicts this protagonist in very regular contexts, such as “painter on the way to work”, “painter looking at his self portrait”. On the other end of the spectrum, there are references to literary and artistic icons, such as Leon Tolstoy, Franz Kafka, Rembrandt. The references are tongue in cheek, funny in an “if you know, you know” kind of insider way.

The titles come up through word association, where he first finishes a work, then titles it with the first thing that comes to mind. In the artist’s words, „they arise spontaneously after a quick reflection on the image, for me it is like a game. Titles can come from readings, experiences, admiration for something or someone. It could be said that they are things stored in my memory that emerge freshly before the image.“

For Sanchez, painting could be thought of as a way to expel overflowing creative energy, and this is reflected in the explosive style of his paintings. Each work is a buffet for the eyes. They are so full on, but stops short of being overwhelming, making the viewing experience incredibly stirring.

Matias Sanchez Studio in Seville, Spain Matias Sanchez Studio in Seville, Spain
Matias Sanchez in Petersberg apartments Matias Sanchez in Petersberg apartment

We are so excited to be able to bring this artist to Hong Kong. Although his works have been gaining momentum in the region, there has never been a formal presentation. So to be able to introduce a significant body of his works to a new international audience is an incredible opportunity. Especially after a year long hiatus from art fair participations, we are absolutely galvanised to return with Art Central Hong Kong. See you there soon!

About The Artist

Born in 1972 in Tübingen, Germany, Matías Sánchez is a self taught artist currently living and working in Seville, Spain. Through his own exploration, the artist developed a signature style of vivid painterly surfaces as a backdrop against spirited characters and objects. To him, painting is simply about painting, and indulging in the joy of doing so. Each work is an exploration of colors, paints, and the language of painting. He pays homage to Post-Impressionist artists such as Paul Gauguin, and cites Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning as inspiration. At times smoothly rendered, at times crudely abstract, the artist uses recurring images including sausages, bones, rats, people with menacing expressions, to form grotesque dreamscapes, exploding with energy. The results are striking, intense displays images and colours.

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