My work is layered both in terms of materials and meanings, I am working to create images and surfaces that offer a series of open entry points for the viewer: both in the way that they accept and reflect light as well as in the way they accept and reflect interpretations. Coming from Texas and Louisiana, the culture is rich with folk interpretations of classical heroes: the cowboy as the wandering hero, the oil man or real estate tycoon with the ‘Midas’ touch, a shopping center sign that, Cassandra-like, predicts the future…towns are named Rome and Athens. Living in Italy for over half my life and traveling and working around Europe has only added layers to this foundation, a reverse archaeology where the older layers of classical myth and literature and myth are added last.
Meanwhile the distance and distrust which runs between popular culture and “high” art seems ever greater. My own father, an oil refinery worker, cared for neither classical art nor much less, contemporary art. My effort is to address some classical themes in their contemporary form but with images that would be accessible and recognizable to someone like my father while also creating a bridge between his world and mine by re-addressing some fundamental questions posed by early modern art, which to my mind have neither been resolved nor lost their relevance to contemporary culture. These have to do with the limits of and means of representation.
I work to create visually rich surfaces that attract the viewer, using metal as both ground and ‘pigment’ to create images drawn from my daily experience: a field, a house, a human figure – ordinary situations that when seen through the lens of a poem, a Greek myth, a line from Shakespeare, offer a gift for the viewer to unwrap over time, stopping for however long they wish at whatever level of interpretation and visual enjoyment suits them at that moment. But also a recognition of the epic aspect of the most banal situation.
Tags: MATTHEW BROUSSARD