The Carved Face, 2020

Matthew F Fisher

The Carved Face, 2020
Acrylic on canvas
14 x 9 in

These are images of a moment, or maybe several, that have happened or will. Or maybe not. They're not magical, they're not superficial or surreal. Rather they are once in our lifetime, action frozen just at the right instant so that everything lines up with the edge of the canvas or other elements within the painting. Our location, right then and there, is transformed into something special. Our cosmic placement, both in space, time, and on this earth, was the exact reason why we saw what we saw. Our existence, our only existence, is the postcard of our life, we were there.

My professional approach to creating is one rooted in constant work. Thinking, drawing, and painting define my days away from the family. Creation is a constant for me. The studio practice is my gym. My shrink. My muse. I was born into acrylic paint. I arrived to Brooklyn with a bucket of acrylic of paint, it took me 10 years to learn how to control this paint. The reason the paintings look like they do is because I painted them. Creation through process.

This particular body of work started out with the striking idea of making a painting about nothing. One morning in 2011, I simply drew a horizon line, sun, beach, and sand. When I stepped back, I realized that this image was everything to me. I enjoyed how the motif was both universal and deeply personal. I have taken this duality approach to all of my imagery, to be as open as possible with the readings while still being deeply personal. I have found this, for example in the image of a seagull – a bird that is everywhere in the world and, at the same time, nowhere. I am less interested in the depiction and history of any one exact breed of bird as I am in the idea of ‘bird’ and how the viewer responds to that.

Matthew F Fisher’s work exists in the space between the universal and personal. When one thinks of a crashing wave, rarely are they able to conjure an exact mental picture; rather, their memories act as approximations of what they have told themselves these forms look like. Fisher’s paintings exist within this memory-as-reality, semi-rational in their structure. Using the language of landscape painting as the middle ground between figuration and abstraction, Fisher simultaneously references past, present, and future. This nod creates a limbo between polarities of natural and artificial, action and frozen, real and imagined and is where the narrative starts, and like the painted image, is finished in the viewer's mind.

Matthew F Fisher (b. 1976, Boston, MA) lives and works in New York, NY. His recent solo exhibitions include Taymour Grahne Projects, London, UK (2022, 2019, 2017); Ochi Projects, Los Angeles, CA (2021, 2019); The Hole, New York, NY (2021); Johansson Projects, Oakland, CA (2018). Fisher’s work has been exhibited internationally at venues including Gallery Func, Shanghai, China, The Hole, New York, NY; Spazio 22, Milan, Italy; Work Release, Norfolk, VA; and The Breeder, Athens, Greece. Fisher is the recipient of residencies and awards including a Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant (2016), Yaddo (2015, 2007), a New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Fellowship (2010), and the Millay Colony for the Arts (2005). He received his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University (2000) and his BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design (1998).

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