Tuesday, March 8, 2011

art crush- Matte Stephens

Matte Stephens is a genuine cool cat. He lives and breathes the aesthetics of an era past. His practice isn't just a facsimile of prior culture, but a continuation. His home is adorned with classically cool designed furniture: an Eames folding table, Knoll Saarinen tulip chairs, and a Nelson ceramic clock, that are all living out the rest of their days contentedly in functional usage instead of being stored or on display. Stephens doesn’t just talk the talk or walk the walk: he lives the life.

Matt Stephens, 'Adventurer's Club', Gouache on Panel

Matte Stephens will be exhibiting in Sydney and Perth at Outre Gallery in March and I’m sure he’ll find our Australia to be an exuberant cornucopia of inspiring architecture, design and culture.

Our Australian culture is an absurd symbiotic mash-up of differing traditions because of a blend of multicultural influences and our cities are strange combinations of architectural styles and opposing theories of design all coexisting: where else in the world can you walk a city block and stroll past buildings dressed in Art Deco, Modernist, Nouveau, Baroque whilst passing a woman in a fluorescent Indian sari, a business man busy on his laptop at a bus stop donning vintage Reebok pump hi-tops and a troupe of eccentrically clothed Asian girls that look like they’ve teleported in from Harajuku milling at a Belgian waffle stand?

Matte Stephens, 'Patrons were surprised to find a giant snail in the main gallery of the National Arts Club', Gouache on Panel

This kind of reality constructed from multiple juxtapositions, features heavily in Matte Stephens work: a giant snail surprises visitors at the National Arts Club and a Cat named Irving who has a penchant for bowties and monocles contemplates the nature of human consciousness which manifests as multicoloured triangular hive-forms.

Matte Stephens, 'Irving ponders the nature of consciousness', Gouache on Panel

I’d love to be captured and mythologised in a Stephens pastel gouache noir portrait: my existence reduced to soft-coloured bliss whilst featuring my own eccentricities and personality quirks.

Stephens work isn’t ‘nostalgia’ based, its ‘now-stalgia’.


Matte Stephens at Outre:

Matte Stephens:

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