Spread Art X Playground Detroit Spring 2013 Detroit Artist Residency Exchange artist Michelle Matson has been hard at work here in Detroit creating on a new body of work that opens on May 17th. Michelle arrived on April 17th and quickly settled in to her new studio accomodations in the 555Arts complex. Following a welcome brunch at the Spread Art Resdiency House, Michelle has been busy preparing for the opening on the 17th. Michelle has also been keeping a photo journal during her month long stay here in Detroit.
2013 Detroit Artist Residency Exchange:
Michelle Matson @ Whitdel Arts
This brand new body of work explores systems of humor, social and sexual themes.
The intricate sculptures featured in this exhibition combine facsimiles of common everyday objects and figures into darkly humorous, sexually charged, dreamlike totems and tableaux.
In the site specific installation "Grim Reaper" a figure camouflaged almost completely by household plants guards a large scale abstract sculpture. Reminiscent of ancient Egyptian statuary and architecture this piece borrows snippets of its vernacular from far flung corners of popular culture and art history. One can see references to artists Nick Cave, Tom Friedman and Tony Smith, along with references to stereotypical "women's interests" gardening, fitness, and protecting the sanctuary of home. Both absurd and haunting, Matson leads the viewer subtly into a surreal tableaux via exaggeration and misinformation: errors in the hard lines of branding logos, distorted body parts and jarring coloration. Using a limited palette of commercially manufactured colored paper and household construction materials, Matson creates dream-like shadow selves of the world we know.
In her "Tickle" sculptures, Matson employs geometric plaster forms, handmade plaster bananas and paper ferns to create delightfully humorous and sexually charged totems. These smaller scale sculptures are complimented by entertaining and macabre drawings, which delve further into the surreal miasma of Matson's psyche.
Michelle Matson (b. 1981) received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York in 2005. Her work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions in New York and Los Angeles including the Zach Feuer Project Space, Postmasters Gallery, Stux Gallery, Flux Factory, Youth Group Gallery, Kravets Wehby Gallery, China Art Objects, Family Business Gallery and the Torrance Art Museum. In 2011, she was selected to compete on the internationally syndicated Bravo reality television series "Work of Art, The Next Great Artist". Matson was recently awarded a residency at Yaddo. Her work is currently on view at The Parlour, Brooklyn, NY.
Spread Art is an artist-run creative incubator designed to foster new works through residencies and collaborations with artists, curators, and organizations from around the world. Spread Art supports emerging artists through residencies, group and solo exhibitions, music events, and performance showcases, and also facilitates opportunities for youth and adults to explore their creativity and increase self-awareness through art. Spread Art supports the creation and evolution of art festivals and cultural collaborations locally, nationally, and internationally. www.spreadart.or
Playground Detroit is a non-profit creative platform whose mission is to enhance Detroit’s artistic reputation by connecting artists, entrepreneurs, and influencers to opportunities within international art markets. By establishing a link between artistic communities in these cities, Playground Detroit seeks to inspire, elevate, and power leading lights of America’s creative economy. Through the presentation of inspirational art, engaging online media, powerful music, provocative educational events, and unique residency opportunities, Playground Detroit promotes artists, investment, and effective action for growth in Detroit’s internationally connected arts community. www.playgrounddetroit.com
Whitdel Arts: A division of CAID, Whitdel Arts is an 1800 sq. ft. professional exhibition space that showcases the work of local and international established and emerging artists. Whitdel Arts is located at 1250 Hubbard Street, Suite B1, Detroit MI 48209. Whitdel Arts is also located on the web at www.whitdelarts.com