Victor Matthews | THE L O N G E S T ROAD
May 21 – July 9, 2016
KM Fine Arts | Los Angeles is pleased to present Victor Matthews’s solo exhibition THE LONGEST ROAD. The exhibition functions as a conceptualized narrative of the last year of his life. A brick pathway continues through each painting in the exhibition, and each individual painting signifies a different chapter. This newest body of work embodies a slightly more serious tone that his past work, but still manages to capture the hopefulness that has characterized his work for the past 30 years.
Victor Matthews is an internationally exhibited artist who lives both in Los Angeles and New York. A New York native with roots in Brooklyn, Victor graduated the New York High School of Art and Design and earned his BFA from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. After completing his studies, Matthews moved back to New York in 1984 to set up his first studio in the East Village.
Recently, Victor Matthews and fellow street artist Kenny Scharf recently completed The Mural Project on the KRINOS building at 1750 Bathgate Ave. Bronx, New York. Each artist completed a 400-foot exterior wall. This is the first collaboration between the two veteran artists since their early street art careers in the 1980s. The partnering of these two artists on this large-scale public project not coincidental, and is in fact, a reunion of two visionaries. Through their distinct pictorial voices, they both speak loudly to a hopeful optimism and deeply held convictions that art can improve the world, and the location in the Bronx ties these two artists back at their artistic origins.
Victor Matthews, has been creating perfectly choreographed mosaic-like murals of whitewashed cityscapes since his introduction to Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, Richard Hambleton and Kenny Scharf in the 1980s. Also a harbinger of the New York street-art movement, Matthews developed a unique visual vocabulary teeming with abstracted urban objects, buildings, and bridges. Because his works reflect the city itself, Matthews has effectively brought the “street” into his studio painting process. His dreamy, large-scale works are best understood as mobile topographic murals. When viewing his work, is possible to meander throughout the city without stepping foot outdoors. Although he has been known to use the street as a canvas, he is in every aspect a studio painter, and has instead brought the street into his canvases.
His canvases, visually complex, are teeming with objects and abstracted shapes formed out of a bright white and heavy impasto paint. Each form sits on a raw canvas background, elbow to elbow with others without overlapping. Banal urban objects such as sneakers, hydrants and brick find their way into his Zen-like paintings. Abstracted brick walkways are topped with sneakers in profile, water towers stand like mountains and stylized pigeons sit comfortably atop the Brooklyn Bridge.
Matthews has been exhibited in numerous solo exhibitions in the US and abroad including the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999, Museum Sala Uno (Rome), the Boca Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum (Venice) and The Sculpture Center (New York). In 2013, Matthews exhibited in the 55th Venice Biennale, friends and collectors Salman Rushdie and Francesco Clemente composed the introduction for the published catalog.