Artist Statement

Born and raised in Ames, IA, Matthew graduated from Ames Senior High School and moved to Pittsburgh to study in the School of Art in Carnegie Mellon University where he currently works and studies.

 

Current Work Statement:

I work to capture the all but unnoticed moments of quiet human experience. Through a personal and iterative aesthetic language, I draw upon my own spiritually vague upbringing in a small Midwestern town, acknowledging the pain and pleasure in our ordinary, yet ineffable expressions and interactions. In drawing, painting, poetry, and installation I create scores of works that are parts of larger constellations to mirror and reveal the inherent multiplicity and contradictions of human perspective and belief. Narrative and allegory are useful in my search for nuance and meaning in the quotidian, from boring sitcom reruns and local superstitions to facial quirks and neighborhood dramatics. With artistic roots in religious and spiritual traditions ranging from medieval Biblical illuminations and personal Jesuses to Thanksgiving dinners and American folk art, I blur the prosaic and profound. Abstracted figuration, obsessive variations and hierarchical compositions are perhaps my form of creative secular prayer, leading me to find morale and heart in what we typically ignore. I arrange my works as collections to create intimate and contemplative spaces. The audience may attend to and absorb the array of distinct individual moments, creating a cumulative experience of their own.