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LIBERATION MONDAY MAY 17th 2010

FIRST ÉDITION N° 9022




LA VIE RIC-RAC (LIFE JUST ENOUGH)


By DIDIER ARNAUD

Paintings to immortalize those who sleep outside.



It is a guy who does not see things like everyone. He is an artist. He draws and paints,  trough a realistic approach. Guy Matchoro is 45 years old. At his age, and in spite of his experiment, on his latest project, he ran out of paintings. “I thought to manage only with three colors.” But views have quickly changed since then. “Sometimes, tiled floors are red, the sleeping bag is blue, and their blanket is pink.” Whom this pallet for ? People whose life is more often in the grey. Guy Matchoro painted homeless people. He says them that they are people who never have the “choice of their colors”.  Because what they carry, it is generally what one gave them, and they did not decide otherwise. It is better than nothing.


What we see of them,  are forms. Wrapped in a sleeping bag, a cover,  huddled  over air grates, they sleep. The head against a wall, a window, supported by both crossed elbows, fixed on seats. Guy Matchoro gave names to his paintings, as close as possible to the Paris Metro subway stations where he found his models. That one is called République (Republic), this other Liberté (Freedom), this third Assemblée Nationale (National Assembly). He found “obscene” to see a “guy lying down” under the word Palais Royal (Royal Palace). Then he showed “those who have no voice”.


Moved to Japan two years ago, the painter walked from Tokyo to Hiroshima and met many people who lived that way. On his return, he finds, amazed, the same man at the same place on the platform of Hotel de Ville (Paris City Hall) station. “I had already seen this man. Or perhaps this was another who look like to him”, says Guy Matchoro.


Of these people, curiously few women, you never see eyes. Either they are closed, or their face is hidden. “It is perhaps easier to look at them when they sleep that when they look at us.”


In his e-mails, the painter receives messages about these outdoors living men. Yesterday, a correspondent “recognized one of the men painted by you. It is touching. He is on my line, the 11”. Was him or another? Guy Matchoro named his paintings Carnets de passage, in reference to the subway tickets. It's a long way. He imagines this path: Per aspera ad astra (“trough difficulties to the stars”).

In 2009, his paintings have been exhibited in Igny (department of Essonne, France ). A little girl approached and questioned him : “Those whom you painted, it is like kinds of beggars. It is very pretty but they are dead or they are in prison?”



His works are shown on Georges Pompidou  square (Museum of modern art - Paris, 75004) untill may 23th 2010, every day from 12 am to 4 pm.



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