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Mattia Luparia (aka MAT) is a young artist from Turin, Italy. Unlike many painters, he does not use regular canvases and brushes. Mattia, in fact, was born tetraplegic, and the electric wheelchair is his artistic tool.
Mattia’s father, Fulvio Luparia, has worked in the fashion system for decades, collaborating with important brands, such as Miu Miu, Moschino and Dolce & Gabbana. Four years ago, Mattia was in the Laboratorio Fulvio Luparia when someone accidentally spilled some paint on cardboard panels lying on the ground. Mattia did not miss the chance and rushed on the cardboards with his wheelchair, creating beautiful and intricate patterns of colours. Fulvio immediately recognised Mattia’s artistic talent and understood that art could give him new opportunities to express himself. Fulvio customised Mattia’s wheelchair with brushes and paint rollers, and they started working together with paints and canvases. Four years later, Mattia Luparia is the Jackson Pollock of the wheelchair.
Mattia Luparia is the Jackson Pollock of the wheelchair.
In this video, Fulvio explains the beginning of the incredible adventure with Mattia, and their joint exhibition at WHITE HOMME.
Mattia’s work is full of energy, passion and dynamism. With two rollers, a brush and the four wheels of his wheelchair, he reinterprets the last 50 years of the history of contemporary art. As Mattia says: “I have a lot of fun in doing this, I like to play with colours, finding unexpected results. My works fully express my enthusiasm and my energy and they are the result of all the experiences that I have had in my life.”
Mattia spent his whole life on a wheelchair and his biggest dream is called “X8 Extreme”, a 4×4 power wheelchair. As Mattia says: “My biggest dream is to own the X8 extreme wheelchair because that will give me the opportunity to go everywhere: on the beach, on the stairs, along countryside paths and to knock down all boundaries so that my enthusiasm and my inspirations can grow”.
The X8 Extreme is an expensive wheelchair, but Mattia is not the kind of person who easily loses hope. In order to achieve his dream, Mattia and his team set up an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. Donations start from 10 € and go up to 200 €: with every contribution above 50 € you will receive one or more original panels painted by Mattia with his wheelchair. This is a great opportunity to support the work, creativity and dreams of a young artist, and to receive a unique piece of art. If you are willing to support Mattia’s dream, visit his Indiegogo page.
Mattia’s story exemplifies the power of art as a tool for personal and social change. Check our #DrawDisability campaign to find out how a simple drawing can challenge stereotypes on disability!
Andrea Pregel is an inclusion professional with experience in disability, development, education, gender and health across Europe and Asia. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Social Research from the University of Turin (Italy), and an Erasmus Mundus MA/Mgr in Special and Inclusive Education from the University of Roehampton in London (UK), the University of Oslo (Norway) and Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic). He is Co-founder and President of the Global Observatory for Inclusion (GLOBI), and works as Programme Advisor for Social Inclusion and Disability at Sightsavers International.