Matt Greene

The Pollinators 2005
Painting, acrylic, collage, graphite on canvas
305cm x 564cm

Matt Greene

Born 1972,
lives and works in Los Angeles

Matt Greene is inspired by erotica and its cinematic image as a vehicle to address formal concerns such as surface, color, and space. Known for his ethereal landscapes of fleshy fungi, Matt Greene’s practice involves an exploration of his favorite shelves in the library: horticulture, vintage pornography, horror films, fairy tales, 19th Century Symbolist art, and of course the history of Modernism. He selects images from many sources, including heavy metal, botany, the study of fungi, horror films, the wide world of fetish fixations, and an expansive vein of literature. Like the Symbolists, he delves into themes of mysticism, androgyny, decadence and morbidity, He has described his concerns thus "I'm interested in combining the violent, apocalyptic with the sexual, because they overlap, like in the work of De Sade. The sexual and the political. Sex and drugs and magic and rock are ways of transcending the human condition. And heavy Metal has an anti-technology, pre-class bent. Those who appreciate this are those who are outside of the corporate systems of rewards."

These disparate interests are approached by Matt Greene in a hallucinatory, visionary manner allowing them to come together in phantasmagoric splendor on his canvases. In Unholy Truths Matt Greene’s painting The Pollinators addresses feminine identity and the possibilities that arise when a male painter concentrates his attention upon the feminine in art. On the surface, Greene's large paintings exude a sexual sophistication that may appear to be a byproduct of an overactive male gaze, but his attention is rather to analyse and make an account of the erotic implications behind the this gaze. As if emerging from a waking dream in which an interior fantasy life becomes the vehicle for his multi faceted view. Naturalistic conventions of perspective and scale are replaced with a dreamlike hallucinatory quality that owes something to Victorian fairy painting and the extreme vision of Caspar David Friedrich or eroticism of Hans Bellmer. Figures sometimes first drawn on paper and then pasted on to the canvas emerge and entwine in a landscape of feminine form.