Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Matt Albers - Painter

“My Left Hand Holds Paris” 5’x4’ oil on canvas
Matthew Albers

Altered Esthetics Featured Interview
Matthew Albers
May's exhibit...Art?
Opening Reception: Friday May 6, 2011
Show Runs from 5/5 - 5/26

Name: Matthew J Albers
City/State: Elk River, MN
Email: mjalbers69@gmail.com
MNartist.org profile: www.mnartists.org/Matthew_Albers

My name is Matthew James Albers and I’m a “self-taught” emerging artist currently residing in Elk River, Minnesota. My artwork from an early age was inspired through artists that defined Expressionism, Surrealism, Abstract, and Abstract Expressionism. The works of Salvador Dali, Picasso, Van Gogh, and Jackson Pollock would further influence the way I would express, understand, and appreciate the work of others and my own art. I have always been fascinated by getting a glimpse of what’s inside someone’s head, a view through their “eyes”, something which would not be possible to see unless otherwise created.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
My art tends to reflect a balance of color, flow, and imagery as it pertains to the subject matter. When the subject becomes less concrete and more “mental” in nature, the painting will take on more subconscious abstraction; a balance between the “physical” and the “non-physical”. It is on this level that the essence, the core of my work begins to take shape. I paint what I feel, what I “see”, and what I want to express. If I can challenge the viewer's interpretation, allowing them the chance to internalize and appreciate each piece on a personal level, then the piece has succeeded.

The subject matter of my work tends to be very personal, based on both previous and present experiences. As such, my art is very “dynamic” in the use of color and expression. I have found it difficult to paint a series or body of work based on a single concept, as I have always maintained the freedom to change my mind and pursue another direction even if it is mid-way through a painting.

Recently, I have been working on a larger scale. One of my first large works, (“Fortuitous” 4’ x 8’4” acrylic on canvas, June 2010) was painted on a piece of unstretched canvas that I had taped to the floor. I approached and painted the canvas from all four sides which gave me a much different perspective than painting from the easel. Fortuitous was one of the first pieces of work that I had approached without a preconceived theme in mind. I believe it reinforced the notion of “no restrictions”, painting what I felt without regard, like that of a child.

“Fortuitous” 4’x8’4” acrylic on canvas

"What is Art?" is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?
My hope is to elicit an emotion and/or response from the viewer, allowing them a chance to mentally digest what they are seeing. While my work is very personal in nature, I enjoy sharing it with others and hearing their interpretation of what it means to them. I don’t think I’m setting out to make a statement, but rather, I’m hoping to engage the viewer in creative thought.

“Three Mothers, Two Fathers, and The Demon” 48”x36” acrylic on canvas

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
My high school art teacher, Ron Chagnon, told me “never give up on your art”. He allowed me the freedom to explore my artistic style and helped me better understand some of the influences and direction my work was taking on. As happenstance would have it, I ran into Ron last year during an Elk River Arts Alliance group show at the Sherburne County government center; I hadn’t seen him in over 20 years. I was humbled to show my work with my mentor, and thankfully, made him very proud that indeed I had not given up on my art.

Tell me about your work space and your creative process.
We have a family room in our basement downstairs that has no carpet. Although the lighting is less than ideal, there is plenty of space to stretch out a big canvas. Add to the mix a nice glass of Syrah or Pinot Noir (I have a strong passion for wine), the radio tuned into Minnesota Public Radio with a little Mozart playing in the background…the perfect setting in my opinion!

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
I really enjoy the color and clean composition of Patt Dalbey’s work (http://www.pattdalbeystudio.com/). There is a raw beauty and strong sense of emotion in Joe Aschebrock’s (http://www.myspace.com/mydishragbody) work that I have been recently enjoying. If my old art teacher Ron Chagnon had a site, I would love to share it with you. He prefers to remain low key, but his work over the years has been amazing!

“Wine Comforts The Cold Moon Fools” 36”x24” acrylic on canvas

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
If the sun was shining, I would take you on one of my favorite walks. We would across the Washington Avenue Bridge, perhaps spotting the U of M rowing team below gliding across the Mississippi River. Off in the distance, a breathtaking view of a most beautiful, shimmering work of art itself; the Weisman art museum. If time permitted, we could check out the current exhibition at the MIA or take in the Walker Art Center. Of course, I would round out the tour in the NE Minneapolis arts district. I am amazed at the talent that makes up the Minneapolis art scene. I am very thankful that galleries like Altered Esthetics are around to encourage and support the work of local artists; well done!

Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?
This is the primary reason why I am on Facebook. To be able to appreciate and share artwork with artists from around the world is exciting and special. There are a few artists that I always look forward to seeing when they post and share their most recent work. There are also some great art groups that cover just about every style and movement of art. If you want to find me on Facebook, you need only search for my three favorite artists; Pablo Van Pollock.

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
I am participating in a group exhibit “Art?” at Altered Esthetics in May. This one is sure to be thought provoking and engaging. I have a couple shows in the works for this summer and early fall, but nothing definitive yet.

“Five Prophets in February” 48”x48” oil on canvas

1 comment:

Scott Hunter said...

Congratulations, Matt! The paintings are great, and the interview is right on the money. Keep up the good work!