Here for a Moment, 2022
Oil on panel 24 x 18 in
Between Worlds, 2022
Oil on panel 32 x 24 in
Abend Gallery is pleased to present an online collector preview of Between Worlds, a solo exhibition by Matt Talbert, on display starting on November 5th, 2022.
For many years I’ve thought about painting as a process that requires destruction to allow room for rebuilding a piece into something greater. I see time and again that the best paintings are the ones that go through a challenging moment. This struggle leaves a mark on the finished product that makes for a deeper and more meaningful experience. I did not anticipate how relevant this process of destruction and rebuilding would become to our daily lives. Being caught for the past few years in this transitional period has found its way into my latest body of work. I no longer want to destroy things and rebuild them. I want to express the feelings in the middle. The time where you don’t know how things will turn out. Whether or not we build a greater society out of these turbulent times is yet unknown. These paintings document the feelings of a life in transition, caught between worlds.
In this current series I contrast the subtle details of a face or a hand with expressive mark making to emphasize emotions. The abstract and often chaotic backgrounds can both represent the time we spend in our heads, as well as the unquantifiable aura around each person. In the painting “Strange Times'' there is a sense of unease with the extreme lighting on her face and unusual mixture of colors on the skin. The paintings “Can’t Let Go” and “Overcome,” show a subject’s longing through both her pose and expression. The texture on the skin is almost falling apart to reflect the difficult times. In “Here for a Moment” you have someone beginning to let go of their attachments and literally strip themselves of the material world. This painting uses organic, fluid strokes to paint the body and create a sense of urgency while her face is more refined and searches for approval. The title painting of the show, “Between Worlds,” is a hopeful outcome from these growing pains. A more realized human that does not identify their worth with material things and the opinions of others. She is part of this world, but not attached to it. Represented in the painting by seamlessly morphing in and out of the background, defined and ethereal at the same time.
Being in the middle of something makes it hard to see the big picture. My guiding principle for many years has been to trust the process. It is the most important part of painting and life. In times of change we must focus on the journey and not the results. The outcome will unfold naturally, even if it is not what we expect. - Matt Talbert