Matti Lehtelä at the Laughing Buddha

11 July 2023 TO 17 October 2023


Laughing Buddha

194 rue Elgin Street
Sudbury, ON
P3E 3N7

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Matti Lehtelä


Ally Zmijowskyj Carlos

Artist Statement

My work often explores feelings of emotional liberation and hedonism through highly stylized subjects. Each piece captures a fragment of a moment; a glance, quiet reflections, and ephemeral youth. LGBTQ+ artwork has often been marginalized and censored throughout history, and my work attempts to reorganize some of the societal and cultural taboos surrounding nudity by the use of colour, composition, and contrast. The body of work builds on and interprets, in a bright new way, classic nude figures by countless artists throughout history – Matisse, Laaksonen, and Eakins to name a few. While I use a variety of mediums and processes in my work, my methodology is consistent throughout. The objects I create are in the canon of modernist art, in hopes of making visible what is too often hidden and dismissed.

Artist Biography

I am a multidisciplinary designer, illustrator, muralist, rug hooker, nature lover, and a detail-obsessed dreamer based in Sudbury, Canada. I grew up at an intersection of cultures and have been on a life-long journey of cultural exploration, language learning, and story telling through art and design. I believe the key to happiness is through playful curiosity and to never stop being a student of the world.

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Matti Lehtelä, Sauna Poika II, 2022. Wool on cotton monks cloth backing, hung on oak dowels with glass finials. Collection of the artist.
Installation view at The Laughing Buddha

Cover Image: Matti Lehtelä, But Daddy, I Love Him!, 2019. Acrylic on acrylic canvas paper, framed. Collection of the artist.

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