Matthew Schlagbaum (MFA 2011)
I am very interested in the implied or socially understood context of materials, especially those that are considered cheap or low. I try to manipulate my materials in a way that creates a dialogue between my personal narrative and a larger social construct. I often use found objects and easily recognizable materials to create an accessible dialogue between the viewer and my work.
My use of paint and artificial surface treatments creates works whose unapologetic flatness still carries a sense of depth, and where dimensionality appears to resemble pure surface. I am especially interested in these in-between spaces, where an object can simultaneously be one thing and another. For example, the way a sculpture can utilize the language of a painting, or how I can manipulate the pigments of an inkjet print to make it both a photograph and a drawing. By forcing the work to rest in ambiguous spaces I hope to complicate limitations surrounding interpersonal relationships, cultural indicators of value and success, identity expression, and emotional affect.