MEET THE NEW NEIGHBOURS

“I prefer an imperfect but lively drawing.” Belgian native Mathieu Van Assche is adding more (perhaps mythical and ritualistic) layers of meaning to already loaded historical photographs and old masters' paintings.
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Is the place you were born and its history reflected in your work?

Almost all of the photographs I use to draw on were found in the neighborhood where I work. So, I suppose they reflect a historical heritage linked to my city. In addition, I am very influenced by the prints of Brueghel who lived and died in the same neighborhood where I have my office.

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Where is the source of your inspiration?

I find my inspiration in a lot of things. In comics, films, old paintings, old engravings, the collective imagination, mythology, the tradition of carnivals… all of that is food for my imagination.

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Do you think a new era of the medieval aesthetic is coming?

To be honest, not really. I feel like it’s always been there in different ways.

How would you describe your style and which techniques are you using?

I think I have a very spontaneous style, influenced by all the culture I received during my childhood and now. I’m not looking for a perfect drawing, I prefer an imperfect but lively drawing! I don’t do a lot of sketches before I start drawing on a photo. I draw directly on the original photo with posca (acrylic pens) and each image is unique and original

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If you could pick one medieval weapon, what would it be and why?

As in “The Sword in the Stone“, a magic formula for cleaning and washing up!

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Is there any repetitive theme/tale/story that appears in your artwork?

Masks and monsters are always there!

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Are there any new projects of yours coming this year?

Not really, I’ll keep working and who knows. Maybe I will make a book with my “sabotage” photos!

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BIO / Born in 1980, graphic designer, illustrator, engraver and photographer in his spare time, Mathieu Van Assche lives and works in Brussels. Multi-tasker, curious by nature and addicted to images, he draws his inspiration from the excitement of working-class neighborhoods, sacred imagery, the use of the mask in pagan traditions, and even comics. Naturally and (un)consciously, he takes pleasure in blurring the line by mixing styles, references and techniques to create a universe of his own. He creates a dreamlike and battered world, populated by monsters and spooky creatures that can be either sweet, funny or sometimes even frightening.

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CREDITS

ARTWORKS / Mathieu Van Assche @mathvanassche

INTERVIEW / Markéta Kosinová

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