Framed Interview: Get to know Matt Wright before his Push The Sky Away exhibition
The Perth-based artist is taking over Orno Interiors for two weeks from October 21.
Matt Wright is a Perth-based visual artist who's about to host his second solo exhibition, Push The Sky Away. The body of work he's presenting is a deconstruction of the type of imagery commonly used in swimwear marketing campaigns, blending elements of realism with subversive text, while delicate graphite and sgraffito struggle to be seen above the visual noise.
The exhibition takes over Orno Interior in Mt Lawley from October 21 until November 4 (details HERE), and we slung a few questions Matt's way to help you get to know him a little better, along with a few examples of what to expect.
28/m/Mount Hawthorn, Perth
Where are you now? What are your immediate surroundings?
I’m in my studio at home. Bit of a mess in here at the moment.
Please describe a typical day:
My days are pretty unexciting. I get up, have tea and breakky, take my girlfriend to work, then go into the studio. I’ll usually finish up in the arvo, then go to work til about 10.
What mediums do you use? Do you like to use many or do tend to use the same tools again and again?
I generally use acrylic paint and graphite, but have been using some other mediums in my latest paintings, like oil sticks and coloured pencils. I guess I’m trying to incorporate more drawing mediums into my painting work, as I feel most comfortable in that realm.
Where do the ideas for your work come from? Is there a particular time or place in your life that seems to generate a lot of your ideas?
My latest work is focused on swimwear models, and kind of deconstructing and re-appropriating them. So this work is partly a response to online summer marketing campaigns. The pieces tend to grow from a figurative study, and then my responses to that will inform the direction from there. But I don’t really get ‘ideas’ per-se for my pieces, I just kind of start them and see where they want to go.
Who/what inspires you and your work the most?
I’m very inspired by mark-making and text; usually nonsensical, but sometimes it adds up to something. Irish painter Conor Harrington is a big influence for me. I love Basquiat, Cy Twombly, Giorgio Morandi. Chloe Early is another amazing painter from London. Music and musicians are also a big influence, especially in terms of how I conceptualise my work.
What have you been listening to lately? Is music something that is just playing constantly while you work?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Nick Cave lately; his last two albums with the Bad Seeds are fucking amazing. Also loving Sleaford Mods at the moment. Doctopus and Hamjam are sick. I do listen to music when painting, but not all the time. Sometimes it’s too distracting. But more ambient stuff is great, like William Basinski, Aphex Twin’s first album, Teebs. Massive Attack always seems to get a spin in here too.
What is something new you have noticed or learned recently?
I’ve realised recently that I just need to keep moving on with my work, and not get stuck with pieces that aren’t working. Having multiple pieces on the go helps with that too, so as not to get too fixated on the fuck-ups.
What was the best piece of advice you have ever received?
I remember reading a quote that musician Jen Cloher posted on her blog a while ago. It was from American choreographer Martha Graham: “It is not your business to determine how good (your work) is, nor how valuable it is, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business… to keep the channel open.”
Can you suggest three artists/illustrators/creatives we should check out?
What are your favourite and the best things to do in the city that you live in?
I’m a bit of a hermit, but I like going to gigs. Such a sick local scene here in Perth, so it’s never too hard to find an awesome gig on any night of the week.