Matthieu Blanchard's work is focused on matter and how it evolves in a defined environment. He experiments matter as a scientist and imagines protocols to study and analyze a physical, biological or chemical phenomenon.
The reaction of the painting to a series of processes that he experiments gives birth to results which are sometimes controlled and sometimes random or hazardous. His approach of matter is alchemical as matter can transmute and generate a new element, like a paint residue, which does not reveal what it really is (aberration, deformation, mutation…). But there it is, rather mysterious.
Matthieu Blanchard observes what painting hides and finally questions the living nature of the paint. Indeed, the paint as matter (whether liquid, gaseous, viscous or solid) is approached as a living organism that moves, spreads, stretches, relaxes and parasitizes or covers a surface. In this context, matter also seems to copy the actions of a virus, a disease that would contaminate an environment, infect an organism and eventually invade and destroy said environment or organism.
This process can approach a Petri dish: a solution is deposited in a glass box and through different chemical reactions, there is a change in state or in shape. Sometimes the observed subject tries to escape from the box and to act by itself. It gets out of control and may even escape. In such a case, there is nothing left to be seen. Matthieu Blanchard is willing to address this observation by experimenting matter and attacking the surface or the medium used (and he finally questions what defines the work of art): making a painting, submitting it to a battery of tests, sometimes torturing it (cutting or sanding the surface, immersion in acid, etc.) and ending up by exhibiting fragments of painting more or less affected or contaminated.
In parallel, Matthieu Blanchard has developed a work on digital technology. Through the digital tool, an image (details of his paintings or photographs, or random images found on the Internet) can be printed, altered, scanned, retouched, animated in order to arrive at a unique hybrid image.
During his residency at Frans Masereel Centrum with a view to preparing the exhibition Can you feel it? Tactility and / in print curated by Freek Lomme at Z33 in Hasselt, Matthieu Blanchard was able to experience matter as a trigger for physical sensation. Through the use of the various tools and techniques proposed by the Center, he was interested in the feeling of touch triggered by the visual reading of a painted, printed or engraved surface.