Mathew McConnell

Artist Statement

I can summarize my studio practice as being centered upon an effort to understand the trends of contemporary artistic production through the personal, physical act of object-­‐making. It is a practice that revels, lingers, and bleeds into the work of other artists. It is a practice that blindly assumes that through making I can arrive at an alternate and singular way of understanding our evolving moment in art history.

My investigations begin with the works of other visual artists. Often using a form or image of another artist’s as a starting point, I recreate the work with alterations to suit my own compositional and conceptual preferences. The resulting forms vary between what could be mistaken as a facsimile of another artist’s work and an artwork with a source seemingly outside any individual referent.

Choosing works to remake and alter is as intuitive as it is arbitrary. I find myself primarily drawn to the objects I am most skeptical of. Often these are objects that raise questions about their potential role in the world if they were not to be viewed under the presumptions of an artistic practice. Many of the objects and images I choose also have a direct lineage to the works of a previous generation of artists. They too are re-­‐‑worked responses to their predecessors and contemporaries.

In the construction of these replicant objects and assemblages I sometimes find myself trying to pinpoint the exact moment at which the work becomes more mine than theirs. Sometimes this moment occurs in the mere selection of a form, and at other times it does not occur at all. By careful construction of these simulated, manipulated, exalted, and subverted forms, I find, at the best of times, a means of reconciling the difference between what is the art of someone else’s creation and what is an art of my own.

-- Mathew McConnell