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Manuel Matas


While promoting his new film Nebraska, the great American director and screenwriter Alexander Payne, in an interview with The Globe and Mail’s Johanna Schneller, said, “Art is a mirror. And the best message that any art can give [is]: ‘You are not alone. Other people suffer, too. You’re not alone.’ ” This is the message I intend to convey through my artwork – You are not alone. Other people suffer too.
My drawings and paintings attempt to depict the human condition in all its glory and all its misery. I am focusing on portraits for the simple reason that the eyes are the window to the soul, no two faces are alike, every face tells a story, and everyone ultimately gets the face he or she deserves.
Although beauty is only skin deep, the face is much more than skin, bones, sense organs, and anatomical structures. The face and body have an aura, which is an expression of the energy and the essence of the person.
I have been drawing faces my whole life. I am constantly studying them. I find faces fascinating. To me, they are like road maps. Each one carries a world of meaning.
From an early age I was told that I have the ability to capture a person’s likeness on paper. My goal, however, is not photo-realism. Rather, I want to express and evoke raw emotion. It is essentially the spiritual energy of the person that I attempt to capture and convey in my portraits. But I don’t just want to express emotion. My goal is to evoke an emotional response in the viewer, and to provide the viewer with a positive, cathartic experience.

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Lonely Boy CHIEF Christopher Walken
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