Shaka – Breaking the Fourth Wall

Creating art that catches the eye and draws the attention is something that artists around the world strive for, be it with size, bright colours, high impact subject matter or one-of a kind delivery, everyone wants to produce something that reaches out and grabs the audience. However, in the work of French-born artist Marchal Mithouard it could just do literally that. We got in contact for a short interview and asked him to tell us a little about himself.


At nine years old Mithouard asked his mother to enrol him in painting classes, the first step on a path of unhesitant exploration which would ultimately lead him to experiment deeply with matter, space, and human response. Looking back, we asked him explain the moment he realised art was to become his lifelong inspiration and he replied that to choose just one occasion was impossible; “It’s difficult to explain which moment you’re thinking about being an artist. I think that’s done gradually and naturally, we don’t need a diploma for that!”


Diploma or otherwise, Shaka’s style has definitely been the product of gradual, natural growth. “My style is evolutionary. My intentions change and make evolve logically my style.” Not only have his styles changed over time but also his methods, uniquely changing to include literal bas-relief sections that physically pop from the canvas; “since the beginning of my 3D adventure, the sculpture learned me a lot, I work it in a more instinctive way and it brings to me many answers… The forms which I draw are more geometrical today and mechanical than before.”


Shaka paints an incredibly dynamic image, wildstyle-esque tangles of knotting lines and colours seeming to actively swirl into expressive portraiture before your very eyes. This, coupled with the fact that areas of each picture physically leap from their base creates characters that almost seem to get up close and personal with the viewer, instead of the other way round. Mithouard himself had an eloquent way of wording this unspoken exchange; “My scenes are a story of confrontation, a confrontation between the viewer and the artist, between people and painting. There’s an interaction. They are speaking about human behaviours.”


As well as an emotional interaction, Mithourd sought his three dimensional elements for the obvious physical presence too, he explained, “First, I wanted to realize a painting where the characters were getting out the canvas, to attack, beat, kiss, even catch the viewer to include them in the work.” He also described the way he chose his scenes and compositions specifically, “my studies are directed towards the movement, the body which is moving in the space.”