Tony Masschelein is a French painter born in Roubaix in the north of France in 1973. Since his childhood he has had a passion for the visual arts and is interested in comic books. During his college years, he learned to master the pencil through the portraits he sketched of his teachers in his school notebooks.
Tony Masschelein discovers painting in museums and becomes impregnated with its mystery, the artistic part of his being does not cease to reveal itself but Tony Massechelin is also a traveller and little by little the call of new horizons is felt. He began by going to Paris where he met many people who intensified his desire to discover the world. Tony Masschelein then began to alternate his first jobs with longer and longer trips for several years. He felt a vital need to go and meet other cultures, and he discovered India, Thailand and South-East Asia in particular. The successive trips became initiatory journeys, and Tony discovered Buddhism and the path to self-realisation. Several meditative retreats in monasteries contributed to finding the rightness of his inner self. These long stays on the edge of the world, his view at a fair distance developed by a self-confidence built up through encounters, will enable him in 2005 to realise his childhood dream, the brush finally becomes his profession, he invests his studio.
For Tony, painting is a game of colours, materials and lights, the subject becomes the support for an artistic expression that he wants to be free. He opens up to the work of Zao Wou Ki and his spiritual abstractions because for Tony Masschelein painting is a score, it has its own musicality and borders on an initiatory experience. He is passionate about composition, form becomes a pretext for creation. Tony Masschelin defines himself as a painter of the end of the 19th century who likes to mix writings. He creates portraits with fascinating looks that reveal the interiority of the being, question, keep the mystery, destabilize through the palette that remains the artist's guide throughout the creation:
"Painting is a rhythmic interweaving of musical pages" T.M
Tony Masschelein has always put painting on a pedestal, it is both the mystery and the mirror of the soul, it is the invisible.
Portraits, landscapes, still lifes, abstractions... Tony Masschelin forbids himself nothing, the subject is only a pretext for expression, freedom takes precedence, the composition is born, the visitor's gaze is disturbed, emotion is more than ever present. The gallery's words
The encounter with Tony's work came about through a colleague who was exhibiting his portrait work at the Lille Salon in 2023. Captivating...more than that, Tony's paintings are disturbing, mysterious, overwhelming. One immediately perceives an extreme sensitivity, an ability to pierce the soul buried behind faces that might seem academic and yet are not. The subsequent discovery of nudes and still lifes provoked the same sensation, a part of the intimate, the play of light, of materials in a bright palette that transport us to the heart of the subject, the gaze moves from the outside to the inside of the scene. Then the meeting of the artist, passionate and discreet, open and modest, who speaks of his painting with all his being. I am happy to share with you this favorite, which far from merging with artistic trends, puts the spotlight back on the great painters of the 19th century who would observe our contemporaries.