Matt Jacobs

I’m a representational painter, but I don’t think about my paintings representationally. What I mean by that is that I don’t care very much about describing the subject matter beyond its most obvious visual qualities (what color is it, what shape is it, how does the light fall on it).

  I’ve always been intrigued by the history of painting, and its contradictory relationships of structure and ornament, indulgence and transcendence, mysticism and artifice. These are all themes inherent in the practice of painting, and reconciling their natures is basically the content of my work.

I use Arcadian images of  gardens and forests combined with baroque icons of indulgence like cupcakes and bouquets because this subject matter affords an intuitive exploration of what I think of as  specifically painterly content. Through this I try to create a visual ecstasy specific to painting. I’ve always believed in a nonobjective approach to painting, and allowing my work to grow into whatever shape it wants.

I’m drawn to the history of painting that is euphoric in nature and leads to a form of escapism. In practice, the artist escapes into the act of painting. For the viewer, the painting serves as a window into an imaginary world. Many art forms are effective at reflecting the exterior world and commenting on it. Painting, I have found is a very good medium for escaping it. I suppose escape/transcendence can in itself be seen as part of the content of the work.