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a non-profit gallery for the visual and performing arts

Temporary adddress:
2101 Maywill St., Richmond, VA 23230
Currently open by appointment only
artspaceorg@gmail.com | (804) 232-6464

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August 25 - September 17, 2017

Matthew Egan – "True Fables Collection"

Frable Gallery

Opening Reception for the Artists
Fourth Friday, August 25, 2017
7:00-10:00 pm
Free and Open to the Public

Closing Artist Talk
Sunday, September 17, 2017
2:00 pm
Free and Open to the Public

Artist Statement

I am interested in the relationships of combing images to develop a narrative that is generated through a process of association. My goal is to generate a visual language that references things that have happened and use these references as metaphors. As a result, I redraw images to develop a composition and make prints from the drawings that are often a collective story based on both present and historical events.

The organization and the compositions are developed through playful intuitive image relationship. These were initially influenced by Robert Rasuschenbrug's Random Order whereby he exploited the bombardment of images that often surround us to explore the collective visual impact through print, collage, painting and what he referred to as assemblages from the 1960s to the turn of the century. The process and practice relates to the notion of gestalt, exploring the idea that the whole is greater that the sum of its parts; combining two images creates a third meaning. With this in mind, I have now transitioned into a method of developing a suite of metaphorical allegorical prints that merge separately sourced images re-drawn into a single composition to infer the whole. This more traditional process and less obvious collaging of images is more likely influenced by Francisco Goya's Los Caprichos, which explored the effects and impact of politics and society in a series of satirical etchings experimenting with line and aquatints in the 1790s. Among my conscious efforts, like Goya and Rauschenberg, my random and ordered compositions of are intended to reference current and historical culture and society.

In additional to exploring content, the exploration of process and medium are relatable and relevant. Building from an understanding of traditional stone lithography, my practice combines traditional techniques with digital processes to offer another layer of exploration resulting in multi plate color lithographs. The capabilities and limits of the process are important and play a part in developing the content. The process is not only a means to an end, but also a means of problem solving and developing the image.

The composed and assemble drawing is [the] key, which initiates a composition for the digitally produced colors. These colors are selected to try to achieve a sort of hand printed brilliance promoted by digital processes and the drawing serves as a reference to the roots of visual communication as well as academic traditions. The digital colors based on the key drawing are separated into cyan, magenta and yellow with a dedicated lithographic plate printed for each. The plates are printed successively to generate a four-color lithograph, with key image being the drawing that pulls it all together. The process itself, although printed by hand, references a commercial process born out of traditional lithography, which further references the metaphor and intent of the print being a democratic process, to be disseminated easily and accessible to the people.

I seek processes, such as traditional lithography that offer opportunities to contemplate and develop imagery through process to consider social, political, and cultural metaphorical symbols. Rather than a conclusive statement, my goal is to generate a visual language that becomes evident through drawing and making the image. I am interested in the relationships and differences of the narrative and the collective story based on both the present and historical world we live in. Printmaking as a medium is at the intersection between painting and graphic design; artifact and ephemeral; contemplative and democratic; high art and low art. Recently, this has manifested itself in the tendency to generate a series of narratives that are often illustrative, metaphorical, formal and playful. This is constantly an intuitive visual investigation and somehow strives to leverage our collective consciousness of things that are simultaneously scary, humorous, imagined and real.

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Page Updated July 22, 2017