New York City-based artist Chason Matthams works in oils and acrylic and his style ranges from the photorealistic to the abstract and cartoonish. His current show at the Thierry Goldberg Gallery, Advances, None Miraculous, doesn’t really seem to follow a coherent line of thought, but perhaps that’s the point. The works do however have a fairly consistent color scheme with gradients of cool neon red and blue reminiscent of a Ryan Gosling film set in the 90s. Regardless, it’s undeniable that the man’s got some serious painting skills.
Pop culture commentary seems to be prevalent in his work, as celebrities make frequent appearances. You’ll find everyone from Zeus and Athena to Daffy Duck to Tom Cruise. In an interview, Matthams states “We all need someone to look up to, to teach us, to follow.”
“Media figures can be solid inspiration for being ones best. Often though we follow false idols of our own creation. Its important to break things down and be honest with our intentions, wants, and desires.”
Alongside the celebs, jolly Murakami-esque flowers sprout up amidst paintings of cartoon characters and oddly attractive realistic paintings of hulking video cameras and pastries in plastic clamshells. He has also been known to adhere a piece of his own work to a selection from a classical painting, drawing a parallel narrative between the two works, whether we understand it or not.
Taken as a whole, Matthams’ works read a lot like a Tumblr feed: a storage place for flights of fancy and the disconnected imagery that flashes through the mind in mid-daydream. It’s internet art corporealized through the brushstrokes of a skilled painter.