MATTHEW ADAM ROSS
I am here to make art. Brains connect ideas together in so many variant ways, and the work I do explores those connections. My artistic practice really is a return to a space of pure experience–a raw expression informed by the nostalgia of the place I was raised in–Laguna Beach, CA. It is an organic and natural process, where nothing interferes with the communication between my brain and my creation. I choose the materials that work best for whatever inspires me, inspires the artwork, inspires every basic facet of my life. So I don't become limited in my scope of mark making, I try to use the unexpected. My materials usually consist of whatever works well to maximize all the unpredictability of the expressions. I use my hands, chalk, pastel, graphite. When I apply paint I use my hands or I improvise.
Outside of art, I believe intolerance and bigotry are a shame. People don't know what's going on inside each other's heads. Resistance to someone's identity, seeing nothing but hate, and seeking violence are things that make me rightfully angry. Within the art world itself, nothing gets me more upset than superficiality. I respond to with respect to artists who make art beyond the thought of superficiality, as the thing they know. But when someone's practice is done simply for show, I find it patronizing. You can see right through them by the way they talk about it. This superficiality undermines my practice and the practice of other artists. So many people that come to my studio tell me that my paintings bring them joy because the artworks do not pretend. It is not always easy to look at art like mine. I retreat to dark places sometimes. I find ways to express the beauty in tension. Working with tension produces my favorite work.
My artistic practice has transformed over time. When I had my first studio in NYC, I was drawn to using negative space. I keep my work balanced, always looking at what I want to put in it rather than "painting safe" or painting solely what people will buy. Over the past year, I have changed the way I do things to really shake my wrists out and get loose. I'm painting for myself now, pushing myself to work unregulated by form and figure; brainstorming, day and night, to string epiphanies together. Back in the mid 90s, I remember looking at all the graffiti and decay in NYC and being moved so much by the color and resistance to form. There is a relationship to abstract art that can be traced back to the earliest natural phenomena, geometry. Originally I wanted to pursue architecture as my occupation, but my passion took me in the direction of art. I have not regretted it. My artwork is a tribute to the beauty of unstructured freedom.