My studio work aims to consolidate opposites. Balancing the duality of attraction and repulsion, the work tends to lean heavily towards attempting to strike harmony between beautiful and horrible moments.
I have noticed a few recurring principles that have adhered to my art making practices. Try something new when the opportunity arises; find a place for things once forgotten; explore relationships where surfaces, ideas, and techniques intersect.
A lot of what I do in the studio is driven by experimentation. I am very interested in exploring the limitations of the materials and techniques I use. Having an understanding of material basics allows me to persuade them into non-traditional outcomes. Within each project I try to incorporate a new material or new technique to test. New things that are successful become part of my visual lexicon to call upon as needed. Stumbling upon a studio discovery is what tests aim for.
Harnessing the power of charged objects into my work is another desire I covet. I try to keep my aesthetic antennas tuned to receive hints from whatever the universe sends across my path. I often take notice of random object that catch my attention, old and discarded things that once had a life but are now forgotten call to me to become reborn into a new form. An insatiable compulsion to collect and reassign has always permeated my practice and life. Restoring desire to things considered to be waste is a staple in my practice.
Surface intersections are important to my work. As my material usage varies so greatly, confronting the relationships they create when combining has to be considered. Extruding hand colored silicone combined with borax grown crystals might nest against felted dryer lint patches and 1970s gaudy trophy parts. This approach to my additive building process allows me to consider the whole world as a source for art supplies! Alongside material variety, I’m interested in subtle idea projection, current political climate, and satirical irony. A kind of whimsical horror often comes across through my work which seems inescapable considering the world around us these days. It’s hard not to trend toward a darker shade of subject matter as a reflection of the craziness we are bombarded with daily.
Juggling work and home life often leaves me with a limited amount of time for my studio sessions. This forces me to work very spontaneously and viscerally at times. I’ll simmer all day (sometimes dreaming of it at night) on how to address a particular solution for a work, once I am in the studio I get into an automatic state of creating to maximize efficient time wrangling. Drawing from mountains of collected materials, my ‘fine art’ practice serves to fulfill my personal art making cravings but there’s more. I take on a lot of commercial art projects that call upon a whole different approach to creating. Way more planning, budgeting, communicating, and calculating take place. Studio works are championed to let most all of those things go to the way side.
Matthew Dutton is a multidisciplinary artist whose dark yet satirical works offer interesting commentary and insight about self, experimentation, and current events, . Dutton received a BFA from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. His work has been exhibited across the United States and internationally at art fairs and galleries such as The Blooom Art Fair in Cologne Germany, The Morbid Anatomy Museum in NY, the Wunderkrammer exhibit at The Bell House in Brooklyn, and published in the New York Times, Hi-Fructose magazine and many other notable exhibits and publications.
Dutton is a preparator at the Hunter Museum of American art and keeps a studio in Chattanooga Tn.