Maïty Chagny

Maïty Chagny

two syllables that can be overheard in India and Japan. A name that presages cultural melange and a nomadic life. Her upbringing among architects establishes her restless need for voyage and teaches her to be a keen observer. The daughter of a German mother and a father from Lyon who grew up in Belgian Congo; she was born near Johannesburg. When she arrives in Mauritius —a decade ago—she is in quest of certain truths and a feeling of connection with Africa, which embodies her childhood. She travels incessantly between Canada and Mauritius —she works in social housing planning, immersed among autochthones of the Far North— until she settles there definitively, no longer wanting such an itinerant life. At a young age, Maiti is impassioned about urban environments and developing people’s identity through their habitation; inevitably studying architecture. The teachings in applied arts instil a preoccupation with colours and provide her with an opportunity to test watercolour. She rapidly abandons that medium when she discovers acrylics. She invests herself in her artistic practice in the nineties and has not abstained since. Yet, her art only takes off in the year 2000 when she produces a series painted on a flat surface. Her technique becomes mixed: a blend of acrylics, Indian ink, oil pastels, graphite —which she uses while on the floor; her body language, a form of artistic expression. Maiti Chagny exhibits her work in Montreal in 2001 and 2002. She begins with the desire to create, working primarily on paper, privileging rapid application and drying. The superpositions made possible by acrylics illustrate her semi abstract and abstract subjects, and underscore the role of colour in her art. She fleshes out the rest, similarly to a Rothko or Rauschenberg for whom emotion was rendered in colour. Haiti’s sensibility is felt instantly. For BORDERLINE, the artist considers the approach of Paul Virilio, a philosopher, urbanist and cultural theorist who encouraged his students to develop unconventional working techniques. She evokes Beethoven who claimed we can only create beyond our limitations. Her painting begins in discomfort and instability, but with the first brushstroke, conjure Motherwell for whom abstract expressionism meant fixing the mistake. A painter and architect, working for the ONU since 2011, Maiti loves the unplanned and variations in lines and colours that produce art filled with life and expression. Her art is a blessing, a colourful poem that draws the viewer into infinitude.


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