Harlequins, 2013

The multi layered paintings in this series mimic the ad-hoc patchwork persona of the harlequin, a character with roots as a servant of the devil, charged with ushering the damned to Hell. Like layers of consciousness the layers of the paintings reveal a childhood fascination with sadistic violence and repressed sexual energy, while the layers closest to the viewer reveal more social and universal categories of collective indulgence. In various cultures, ritual clowns are needed as a Dionysian element, a safety valve through which the community can give symbolic satisfaction to the antisocial tendencies. As an adolescent, through the act of drawing, clowns became blank subjects for the projection of taboos and alternative identities. From Modernist abstractions to childhood drawings, different representation of clowns are layered and combined with forbidden desires and personas. Sinister yet playful, reflective and transparent materials voice, conceal and fragment moments of a shadow self, both present and past.

Freeway Studies Blog
blogs.otis.edu/freewaystudies/inside-the-quad/matt-carter-inglewood/

Ghost Adventures, 2013

"Five Stacks of Death, Dread and Darkness" was featured in the 2013 MexiCali Biennial at the Vincent Price Art Museum.

"Ninety Acres of Property Filled With a Sinister Past" was featured in the group exhibition, Séance at Coagula Curatorial.

These works are literal manifestations of quotes by Zak Bagans, a
supernatural investigator and reality television personality on the
Travel Channel show Ghost Adventures. The premise of this show is to
prove the existence of ghosts through a series of overnight
investigations in supposedly haunted places. These sites, minimal and
abandoned become arenas for maximalist projections of paranoia,
hostility and fantasy. Bagans and his team proceed to patronize and
bully ghosts, with their own over-the-top showmanship. Their macho
performance and narration fill in the blanks for the viewer and
suggest the possibility of something tangible in the pursuit of the paranormal.
Bagans’s militaristic and authoritarian style allows viewers to feel a
shared sense of victory over death and the unknown. His language is a
flamboyant yet hostile response to the site and it’s entrapped
history. I use Bagans’s hyperbole as a template for producing material
form, making his language concrete

Shortcuts, 2011

Pound Puppies, 2012

Project Statement:

The title of this series of sculptures, Pound Puppies, is as much a literal reference to their dog house shape and pathetic animalistic qualities, as it is a working title for the process of assemblage and archiving that comprise these mutt-like objects. Lacking pedigree, the Pound Puppy’s scale, materiality, and foundation is both dictated by and pulled from my old collection of discarded drawings, paintings, and research material. From forgotten High School art projects, to meticulously rendered portraits in glitter, the sculpture’s mutant nature is composed of quotes and moments from my own history with projects never fully formed. The margins of my own artistic practice and development are emphasized as a new history is invented and voiced through a physical layering of learning curves, past and present.

For A Good Time Call, 2010

Selected works from my solo exhibition “For a Good Time Call” at the Neon Gallery, California State University Long Beach, 2010.

Press Release: written by Eammon Fox, Director-Neon Gallery and Press

The Neon Gallery is pleased to present “For A Good Time Call” a new installation by Matthew Carter. With a classic Foucaultian touch, Carter has employed painting and sculpture to create an environment reminiscent of the archetypal public restroom stall. Merging the white cube of the gallery space with the even whiter cube of the public restroom, the repressed gaze of one context becomes the voyeuristic joy of the other. Mining the well of familiar lurid contemporary plot lines from Craigslist personal ads to US Senatorial sex scandals- Carter has focused his attention on certain art historical heavy weights. An intense personal interest ultimately develops into a fractured but sincere recasting of personality into a subjective and slippery narrative.

Insincere Utopias, 2010

Selected works from my MFA Thesis Exhibition “Insincere Utopias” at the Bolsky Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, 2010.

Press Release: written by Adam Pena

The Bolsky Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design presents Insincere Utopias by Mathew Carter. Insincere Utopias is a solo exhibition that explores the constant bombardment of media against the idle framework of painting. Carter utilizes various material and methods, from amateur landscape techniques to cult film stills. His use of material transgresses past terms of non-traditional genre painting yet remains affiliated to the historical functions of the medium. Oil rendering, tape, crayons, glitter, and photo montages ring harmoniously dissonant from each peculiar structure to the next.  Iconography of fetishistic barnyard scenes to Jagger reeling in his reverence (remarkably consistent of a particular fascist) then contrast and explode onto multiple color fields. Each addition of re-appropriated imagery antagonizes the context and travels through (and resists) the dominant ideologies of picture making where metaphors are left to be reassessed.  

Glitter Nazis, 2006

Selected works from my solo exhibition “Glitter Nazi” at the Mix Gallery, Carterville IL, 2005. 

Project Statement:

What is comforting and what is true are often two very different things. Inspired by Hannah Arendt’s “Banality of Evil”, social psychology experiments such as the Milgram and Stanford Prison Experiments sought to explain the horrors of the Holocaust. Revealing the dark side of human nature, these experiments clearly demonstrate authority’s power over morals and the sadistic capabilities of ordinary people. Alerting us to the dangers within, these outcomes make clear the brutal potential of human nature. 

My art is both an exploration of this reality, and through its acknowledgement, a gesture of defiance. Working in portraiture, the indexical and historical nature of the photograph is repackaged through layers of glitter. Beautiful yet cheap, the inherit dichotomy of glitter exposes the duality of human nature. Blurring the lines between endorsement and condemnation, this juxtaposition of image and material confronts the viewer with moral grayness. Alluding to the monsters within, each piece is a dilemma, raising more questions than answers.

Harlequins, 2013

The multi layered paintings in this series mimic the ad-hoc patchwork persona of the harlequin, a character with roots as a servant of the devil, charged with ushering the damned to Hell. Like layers of consciousness the layers of the paintings reveal a childhood fascination with sadistic violence and repressed sexual energy, while the layers closest to the viewer reveal more social and universal categories of collective indulgence. In various cultures, ritual clowns are needed as a Dionysian element, a safety valve through which the community can give symbolic satisfaction to the antisocial tendencies. As an adolescent, through the act of drawing, clowns became blank subjects for the projection of taboos and alternative identities. From Modernist abstractions to childhood drawings, different representation of clowns are layered and combined with forbidden desires and personas. Sinister yet playful, reflective and transparent materials voice, conceal and fragment moments of a shadow self, both present and past.

Freeway Studies Blog
blogs.otis.edu/freewaystudies/inside-the-quad/matt-carter-inglewood/

Ghost Adventures, 2013

"Five Stacks of Death, Dread and Darkness" was featured in the 2013 MexiCali Biennial at the Vincent Price Art Museum.

"Ninety Acres of Property Filled With a Sinister Past" was featured in the group exhibition, Séance at Coagula Curatorial.

These works are literal manifestations of quotes by Zak Bagans, a
supernatural investigator and reality television personality on the
Travel Channel show Ghost Adventures. The premise of this show is to
prove the existence of ghosts through a series of overnight
investigations in supposedly haunted places. These sites, minimal and
abandoned become arenas for maximalist projections of paranoia,
hostility and fantasy. Bagans and his team proceed to patronize and
bully ghosts, with their own over-the-top showmanship. Their macho
performance and narration fill in the blanks for the viewer and
suggest the possibility of something tangible in the pursuit of the paranormal.
Bagans’s militaristic and authoritarian style allows viewers to feel a
shared sense of victory over death and the unknown. His language is a
flamboyant yet hostile response to the site and it’s entrapped
history. I use Bagans’s hyperbole as a template for producing material
form, making his language concrete

Shortcuts, 2011

Pound Puppies, 2012

Project Statement:

The title of this series of sculptures, Pound Puppies, is as much a literal reference to their dog house shape and pathetic animalistic qualities, as it is a working title for the process of assemblage and archiving that comprise these mutt-like objects. Lacking pedigree, the Pound Puppy’s scale, materiality, and foundation is both dictated by and pulled from my old collection of discarded drawings, paintings, and research material. From forgotten High School art projects, to meticulously rendered portraits in glitter, the sculpture’s mutant nature is composed of quotes and moments from my own history with projects never fully formed. The margins of my own artistic practice and development are emphasized as a new history is invented and voiced through a physical layering of learning curves, past and present.

For A Good Time Call, 2010

Selected works from my solo exhibition “For a Good Time Call” at the Neon Gallery, California State University Long Beach, 2010.

Press Release: written by Eammon Fox, Director-Neon Gallery and Press

The Neon Gallery is pleased to present “For A Good Time Call” a new installation by Matthew Carter. With a classic Foucaultian touch, Carter has employed painting and sculpture to create an environment reminiscent of the archetypal public restroom stall. Merging the white cube of the gallery space with the even whiter cube of the public restroom, the repressed gaze of one context becomes the voyeuristic joy of the other. Mining the well of familiar lurid contemporary plot lines from Craigslist personal ads to US Senatorial sex scandals- Carter has focused his attention on certain art historical heavy weights. An intense personal interest ultimately develops into a fractured but sincere recasting of personality into a subjective and slippery narrative.

Insincere Utopias, 2010

Selected works from my MFA Thesis Exhibition “Insincere Utopias” at the Bolsky Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, 2010.

Press Release: written by Adam Pena

The Bolsky Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design presents Insincere Utopias by Mathew Carter. Insincere Utopias is a solo exhibition that explores the constant bombardment of media against the idle framework of painting. Carter utilizes various material and methods, from amateur landscape techniques to cult film stills. His use of material transgresses past terms of non-traditional genre painting yet remains affiliated to the historical functions of the medium. Oil rendering, tape, crayons, glitter, and photo montages ring harmoniously dissonant from each peculiar structure to the next.  Iconography of fetishistic barnyard scenes to Jagger reeling in his reverence (remarkably consistent of a particular fascist) then contrast and explode onto multiple color fields. Each addition of re-appropriated imagery antagonizes the context and travels through (and resists) the dominant ideologies of picture making where metaphors are left to be reassessed.  

Glitter Nazis, 2006

Selected works from my solo exhibition “Glitter Nazi” at the Mix Gallery, Carterville IL, 2005. 

Project Statement:

What is comforting and what is true are often two very different things. Inspired by Hannah Arendt’s “Banality of Evil”, social psychology experiments such as the Milgram and Stanford Prison Experiments sought to explain the horrors of the Holocaust. Revealing the dark side of human nature, these experiments clearly demonstrate authority’s power over morals and the sadistic capabilities of ordinary people. Alerting us to the dangers within, these outcomes make clear the brutal potential of human nature. 

My art is both an exploration of this reality, and through its acknowledgement, a gesture of defiance. Working in portraiture, the indexical and historical nature of the photograph is repackaged through layers of glitter. Beautiful yet cheap, the inherit dichotomy of glitter exposes the duality of human nature. Blurring the lines between endorsement and condemnation, this juxtaposition of image and material confronts the viewer with moral grayness. Alluding to the monsters within, each piece is a dilemma, raising more questions than answers.

About:

Matthew Carter is an artist living in Los Angeles, CA.

Following: