"The mystery is endlessly fascinating. And they are such powerful presences that you can't look away.”
— Madison Cawein
A stunningly talented artist.
“With all the intellectual bona fides,it’s easy to forget that Matt Gatton is, first and foremost, a stunningly talented artist.”
— Naomi Stuecker
Faces are en-vivified.
"The dimensional ambiguity enhances the perception of presence and essence. The faces are en-vivified, as if about to speak."
— Matt Gatton
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Matt Gatton (b. 1967) was born in Europe, raised in North America, and performed his graduate studies in Asia.
Gatton has shown extensively and in many media, including collaborative work with noted conceptual artist Judy Freya Sibayan (under the curatorial direction of Hou Hanru and Hans-Ulrich Obrist) at such renowned venues as the Hayward Gallery in London and PS1 in New York.
The artist is known in the wider world for his theoretical work. He has written on the origins of art for the festschrift of renowned Oxford art historian and da Vinci expert Martin Kemp. Gatton has lectured at the Institute of Archaeology at Oxford and other august European institutions. A large arts festival in Belgium was themed on Gatton’s art origin theory, which was also presented by Neil deGrasse Tyson on Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Gatton's work on optics in ancient Greek religious rituals is due out on Oxford University Press later this year. He is also among the credited founders of the field of Archaeo-optics.
ABOUT THE WORK
Matt Gatton’s imagery is printed with dye sublimation, an ultra-high quality and archivally stable process, on aluminum sheets. But that hardly explains the depth of the process. Between 1989 and 2001, Gatton made a series of photo-sculptures involving relentless material experimentation; shooting large format photographs of his subject from many angles; creating accurate sculptures in papier-mâché, cast plaster, blown glass, or molded plastic; printing images on lightweight fiber paper with various toners, platinum/palladium, and on flexible mylar; affixing the prints with adhesives and varnishes, and, on one series of busts, installing internal neon lighting.
The work explores the relationship between 2D and 3D, translating a 3D presence into 2D photographs, translating them back into 3D with a photo-sculpture and then recondensing it back to 2D again, a dimensional accordion, which causes the visage to take on an otherworldly countenance.