Sunday, 25 November 2012

Matthew Cox

Matthew Cox is a Philadelphia based artist who embraces and combines a variety of media to produce a series of wok. He exhibits his work internationally and is featured in many prominent collections such as the New Orleans Museum of Art, Progressive Insurance Corporate Art Collection, the Georgetown College Art Gallery and the private collections of Beth Rudin DeWoody, E.John Bullard, Ronnie Brenner and several others. Matthew Cox weaves embroidery thread into plastic skeletal slides. One is tactile and labor intensive where as the other is technical and a quickly finished product. Stitching has a nurturing aspect and acts as a care healing the injured, and is quite a feminine action, whilst the x-ray can be considered masculine. He uses bright colours to bring a feeling of care and to liven up the x-rays. X-rays are quite dull and reflect a serious matter but combined with the stitching it changes them into something fun and decorative. The compositions are structured and designed by carefully thinking of where to add the stitching so that it connects with the the x-ray but without taking away the attraction of the haunting bones and structure of the body. The embroidered areas might not be significant and symbolic to the x-ray for example the x-ray of the chest might not be David Bowie's but still has the connection even if it is not.

Having a title of embroidered x-rays it is self explanatory of what the piece of work is. I think if it had a different title with a less obvious link to the work then it would let the viewer create an image of what they expect it to be and let the imagination wonder as to why he has created this work. The work is about redefinition. I think it is trying to represent that not everything has to have one meaning. By adding colour and  a tactile material into an x-ray which is associated with injuries and pain, it changes the mood and feeling of looking at an x-ray to having two types of meanings, one being the injury and the other being a nurturing act of care. I would associate this work with contemporary art as it is a new and current piece which has never been explored before. This makes people create conversation as to whether it is right or wrong to combine the two materials and create new art work from it.

My first reaction to the work was that I was surprised with the use of stitching on x-rays because of the representation of x-rays. I thought it was brave of him to push the boundaries of plastic film by combining instant photography with labour intensive stitching. I don't think one part draws my attention more than the other, the two together make one composition that attracts you to it. It evokes a sense of touch, to feel the stitching against the smoothness of the x-ray. In some way it makes you not want to touch it due to the contrast between the two materials, by touching it it may ruin the authenticity of the piece. It makes me feel on edge looking at it to know that the x-rays are of someone. X-rays are a subject that would not normally be discussed in a positive conversation whereas stitching is considered to be therapeutic and a fun thing to do  which is why it makes me feel awkward.

No comments:

Post a Comment