The Mouth Of A Monk Is Like An Oven: Mathew Brown

These works are based on initial drawings that are run through a series of automated functions in image-processing software where they get reconfigured into junk graphics, fractal shapes and skewed optical sequences. This imagery is then painted onto canvas through an imaginative filter rather than mimed exactly. Lee Henderson has written that “the organizing principle behind Brown’s work is not familiar but the imagery somehow is. Like looking at your mother’s sister.” The paintings suggest a proto-portrait or object-portrait of vaguely familiar, highly suggestive forms. Here humanoid and anthropomorphic shapes interact with each other through cryptic, evocative gestures. Others seem to stand totemically alone, singular and central against acidic backgrounds, resistant to narrative scrutiny. Sean Alward has written that “it is exceedingly difficult to make oil paint look unfamiliar after more than 500 years of continuous use, but Brown achieves this to some degree through an explicitly digital sensibility.

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