Matthew Weinstein: The Living End
ORLANDO, March 14, 2017 – The Orlando Museum of Art (OMA) presents Matthew Weinstein: The Living End - an exhibition that features paintings, drawings and new video by the New York based artist. Opening to the public on March 17th, The Living End kicks off with an exhibition opening reception beginning at 6:30pm with the artist. A cash bar and complimentary soft drinks will be available. The opening is free for Museum Members and $10 for Guests.
Matthew Weinstein purposely confounds defined artistic practices. His, as he describes, “culturally transgendered” vision is evident in paintings, sculptures and animated videos that bring commercial art and entertainment processes like computer animation, airbrush, chemical compounds and theatrical dialogue into contact with cultural history. Of central concern to Weinstein is how people make contact with reality. Tools are created to aid in this contact: communication tools, interpretive tools, artistic tools and scientific tools. Due to advances in visual technology, there are now imaginative tools that depict dreams with shocking realism. These new visual technologies go beyond contact with what is exterior to what we identify as ‘us,’ they actually allow a synthesis between what is seen with the mind and what is seen with the eyes. This is the encounter that Weinstein captures in pixels, paint and metal; the encounter between the mind and the willful projections of the mind onto a landscape of its own creation. Rather than critique the nature of this shift in perception, Weinstein mines it for its aesthetic, poetic and philosophical possibilities.
A turning point for Weinstein was when he first began experiencing 3D imaging through early Pixar films. What captivated him was not the conventional narratives that this groundbreaking medium was put in the service of, but rather the space within the world of the film, one that was for him as new and profound as Cubism and Abstraction. It seemed odd to him that this new way of seeing was restricted to children’s entertainment when, as Weinstein says, “I was looking for a new experience to describe with a new vocabulary. And there it was. And that space in the movie, it was like a room in my mind that nothing had moved into yet.”
Weinstein saw an opportunity to make art in a medium that was free of art historical precedence. He couldn’t believe that nobody was using this medium to create art. Modeling his approach on other artists who without apology used commercial and non-art processes to make art; Warhol (silkscreen), The Pictures Artists (graphic design), Donald Judd (high end industrial fabrication), Bruce Nauman (neon, video), Weinstein put together a small production team and began making his own 3D animated films, divorced from commercialism and inhabited by his own subjectivity and a desire to aim the profundity of this new medium outside of the world of entertainment.
Weinstein’s paintings are as unconventional as his approach towards moving image work. His paintings exist alongside his films, but are not dependent on them for meaning. Each medium in his work reaches its own level of independence. The recent paintings included in this exhibition are drawn from the artist’s iconography of figures of uncertain gender, vaguely erotic objects and hallucinatory landscapes. The fluid gestural lines, transparent layers of color and luminous silvery tones give these paintings a seductive beauty. Their painterly style indicates rich textural surfaces, but Weinstein uses reflection and smoothness to confound physical expectations. These are paintings that evoke things but do not describe them. Like images appearing before us on a computer or film screen, they are more manifestations than images. “I want even their surfaces to be an abstraction of touch, not linked to me, not linked to anything that would get in the way of their ability to avoid identification,” Weinstein said.
The exhibition is organized by the Orlando Museum of Art and includes ten recent paintings, the video Cruising 1980, É Lobro 2016 and Weinstein’s most recent interactive video The Living End.
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Matthew Weinstein, Still from É Lobro, 2015, 17-minute computer animated video with music. Courtesy of the artist. © Matthew Weinstein. Image courtesy of Austin Kennedy.
Matthew Weinstein, Cellini, 2017, acrylic on copper, 78 x 45 in. Courtesy of the artist. © Matthew Weinstein. Image courtesy of Austin Kennedy.