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Artwork Details
Published:  September 13, 2004

Author Details
Author:  Matthew Rich
Matthew Rich is a recent graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with his Masters of Fine Arts. He is currently the director of the Meadows Gallery and Art Lector at the University of Texas in Tyler.
Paper Sculpture
by Matthew Rich
I use unrefined everyday materials in image-making to depict larger-than-life themes such as the landscape, war, success, the cosmos and earthly natural disaster. In this manner I am attempting to metaphorically bridge an unspannable gap between what exists on human scale and that which is distinctly not human, i.e. things which necessarily exist within a global context.

I use a range of source materials, mediums and artistic genres to resolve this fundamental divide. As a format for this resolution, the work strives for a kind of transparent structural integrity along the lines of “what you see is what you get,” or better, “you are what you eat.” The audience’s experience of the work is intended to be one of affirmation and inclusion, of merging the formal acts of viewing/understanding/enjoying the piece with a conscious acknowledgement of the nature of the materials. I am not using bronze, concrete, canvas or even oil paint to make my work. I am making work which I intend to be both well crafted and well designed and I am making it out of paper, a universal, but fragile, material. By using paper for both two- and three-dimensional work, I am attempting to conflate the categories of painting, sculpture and installation. In a parallel effort, I hope to blur the distinction between the casual and the serious, the low- and high-tech, the specific and the generic, the personal and the societal and the human scale and the scale of the universe, with the ultimate effect to make culturally overwhelming phenomena personally digestible. If that’s not just too damn much to ask for.


Nick and Matt (front view)


Nick and Matt (top view)


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