(Mexico City, 1975)
Paul Muguet studied at the Annecy School of Fine Arts and at the Nîmes Superior School of Fine Arts in France. Through painting and sculpture, Muguet explores what he calls: “the worries, the interests, and the emotions that emerge in a person's everyday life.” Therefore, references to routine are fundamental in his work, ranging from common thoughts about death, time, and dreams to familiar objects in a person's daily experiences.
These experiences are inscribed in material cultures whose approaches to color and design are particular. Muguet reactivates the complexity that culture has integrated as a part of its visual normalcy. “Las Secuencias” (2017) and “Petates” (2018) reproduce color patterns of everyday Mexican products (bags, beds, and mats), whose complexity and diversity acquire new dimensions when recreated as paintings. Even if there exists a shared context where the patterns refer to specific objects, they coexist on a personal level, in which those very same objects stop having a shared meaning and achieve a unique one that depends on the spectator. This connection is one of the main motifs of the artist’s research.
Muguet currently lives and works in Mexico City.
The “Petate” (2018) series is reminiscent of daily life objects that the artist considers to be “cultural icons”. In other words, design and formal patterns of things synthesize - or indicate - whole visions of the world that collectively emerge in society. The image of the object in form of painting, which abstracts fundamental elements of its aspect, allows momentarily dissociation: the petate ceases to be absolutely familiar and it is represented on the canvas.
The distinctive petate patterns and shades are a product of Mexican visual culture, just as typical bags, beds and tapestries, whose diverse complexity acquires new dimensions when portrayed as paintings. Even when a shared context exists in which these patterns refer to determined objects, it lives with a personal context, in which these same objects cease to have a shared meaning and gain a unique one, dependent on the viewer. This connection is one of the artist's main points of research.
The petate is a type of tapestry (knitted rug) used in Mexico and other countries in Central America. They are made from fibers of a homonymous plant. Its process employs a framework and trace that result in chromatic and geometric variations to stimulate a semiotic reflection about our way of relating concept, image and meaning that act as vehicles for new relationships between meanings and significance.
The petate has profound symbolism and its use acquires mystical shades of Central American culture that traces back to Pre-Hispanic traditions, because since ancestral times it has accompanied men and women throughout their lives. Its practical character gives it different possibilities of use being present in daily activities ranging from supporting food platters, drying grains under the sun after harvest season, as aid for women in labor and even during funerals.
In the artist's words: “Contemporary painting is a medium that must question the way in which we relate to other objects and cultural phenomena that surround us, using perception and starting from historical references of the spectators once they face them”