Matt Martin on the process of creating his sculptural Tesseracts.
“I started working with paint in a dimensional capacity through two things: being trained as a painter and my interest in process and materials. However I kept using paint in this way because I found it purposefully confusing and difficult to work with; I believe limitations breed creativity. The surface quality and texture produced through the varying processes I developed also contributed to me continuing an investigation of paint as a sculptural material.
Other reasons for using the paint were more conceptual. I thought of myself as continuing a tradition of painting, but as opposed to the flatness of the painting surface being the fundamental quality of the painting, I connected myself with the action painters and minimalist/process artists of the 60's and 70's. Now, the material itself had a defining role in something being a painting or not. And along that method of thinking, where was the gap between painting and sculpture?
I wanted to produce work that existed in a very conflated and vague place, in between set parameters. Of course this was all conceptual space that artists had mined before, but I felt like I was going about it in a different way.
Originally my work was very focused on process and confining certain boundaries around those processes. But quickly the work became more about color and space. The paint itself had always had the wonderful quality of being fully colored throughout its entirety; it wasn't just colored on the outside, it was color in effect.
The tesseracts are stemming out of another quality I am trying to produce in my current body of work: subtlety, without the cost of engagement and surprise. I feel like they accomplish this fairly well. They are very easy to miss, producing a very subtle effect along a wall, especially when they create a line or shape on the surface. However when someone gets close enough to them, they are confronted not only by their delicacy, but also the weird combination of organic and plastic qualities. They are unusual and beg questions of the viewer to which they may not have answers.
In making the tesseracts, I had created a large slab of solid paint, which I then cut into strips using a linoleum block cutting tool. Then, I cut those strips into tiny bits. These were then adhered together into the line shapes they are in now. In essence, each one of those bits is a point from that original slab of paint, reordered together, jumping, as we move down the tendril, from one location within that original three dimensional space to another, creating a visual representation of a quality of four dimensional space.
My work requires concentrated looking, forced thought, and patience, attributes I don't see in the day-to-day world often enough.”
Matt Martin successfully reinvents the use of paint within his Tesseracts.
Martin’s work will be on view and available at Eighteen o Five.
Eighteen o Five is located on 1805 Columbia Street in Little Italy of San Diego .
Small Work: Group Exhibition will run from Nov. 9th thru December 22nd.