“L’Or Perdu”

21-year-old artist Michel Sajonas Berton-Proix has Down syndrome but that it not the most interesting thing about him. His intelligence and diverse world view has come from his many travels, a loving and nurturing environment along with his peaceful inner nature, all inspiration he tells ArtBeat that is “innate.”

Allowed the freedom of expression from an early age and traveling since childhood to numerous continents and countries including Africa, Canada, Mongolia, Greece, Israel and India  among others, Michel embraces a tribal point of view and seeks connection with anyone who will take the time to look.

Although he admires classical art and the Renaissance masters, Michel has a healthy appreciation of popular movies and music, comic books and street culture, as well.

“Camion Machine”

Many of Michel’s self-taught compositions are like abstract stained-glass; drawings with lots of compartmentalized color blocks that make us think we see something as a whole, but are just featureless enough to tease and make us smile.

Simple yet deliberately complex, he creates with several mediums, regularly using a computer to enlarge and colorize his scanned images. Michel’s agent, Mae’ Jund, and United States gallery representative, Suzanne Schultz of Canvas Fine Arts, Boston, say his art shows surprising maturity and boldness. Asked why he creates what he does Michel says, “I need to express and share with the world all that I see, live and feel. It helps me feel part of the world and not isolated.”


Michel is a practitioner of Kalaripayattu, an east-Indian martial art considered the world’s oldest. He uses the discipline to stay in touch with his creative forces. Next to his master, he finds balance and it nourishes his spiritual life. One of Michel’s biggest professional goals, besides earning a living as an artist, is to be interviewed by his favorite radio station, France-Inter 100.2 FM, and see his art hang in a notable museum.

He dreams of showing his work in new places like Japan or Indonesia. Michel can be seen next month exhibiting at Art3F Mulhouse Art Fair, France.

“L’africain indien”

“Be free and do it!” Michel advises other aspiring artists. If you can translate the language, follow this young man on Facebook, Instagram and his website: https://www.michel-berton-proix.com. ArtBeat Magazine wishes Michel all the best!