When I started trying to promote my own artwork online I kept coming across other people's art that amazed or compelled me in one way or another. This blog has been a way for me to practice thinking and writing about art, as well as learning more about my peers and all the incredible art that is being made out there.

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Edmund Mathews

"The Offering"  30" x 40"  oil on canvas

"The Gathering"  30" x 40"  oil on canvas

"The Docking"  24" x 30"  oil on canvas

"The Immigrants"  18" x 24"  oil on canvas

"The Excavation"  72" x 36"  charcoal and acrylic on linen
Edmund Mathews began a new series of paintings and drawings just a couple of years ago exploring a world in which giant crates, steamer trunks and other containers loom as powerful symbols of human transience. We place an enormous value on home and stability, but history is a story of movement "by chance, instinct, plan or force" (as the artist says). And when people move they bring whatever material goods they can with them. This luggage, the baggage of human dislocation and relocation, takes on a mythic role in these images, as if they were the most iconic symbols of who we are, telling the story of where we came from and how we got here. The paintings are executed in a very simple and straightforward manner, no pretensions of expressive technique or highly stylized rendering. This simplicity adds to their appeal in my mind, grounding them in a way that seems rooted in common experience. Each image may vary slightly in tone, from the magical wonder in "The Gathering" to the epic struggle of "The Offering". But mostly they seem somewhat detached, mere observation of a universal truth. A truth that may be become more and more familiar to us all in times ahead. For there is a good chance that as climate around the world shifts we will see ever increasing numbers of people on the move, their lives upended and made more precarious by change. And they will cling, as travelers have always clung, to those precious things that they bring with them from their homes.
There's a few more from this series on the artists website: www.edmundmathews.com .
He has plenty of other work as well from sculpture to commercial digital work. Personally I can't wait to see more from this series which was also included in the most recent issue of New American Paintings #105 (congratulations Mr. Mathews!)

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