Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Matt Relkin makes a Big Bang at Beep Beep

Posted By on Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 2:27 PM

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Matt Relkin's clean, geometric paintings have been trying to cope with the events of September 11 for years now. For a solo show at Young Blood Gallery last year, Relkin's work reinterpreted the unmistakable image of that long, many-windowed tower into a number of unexpected scenes: bursting rainbows, dripping droplets of blood, and sprouting trees. Since then, the recognizable image of the tower has been replaced by a more ambiguous black obelisk.

"Eventually my buildings became more anonymous, & finally the Black Tower began appearing as a surrogate for all those horrific details that still reside in our collective memory. I very rarely see any calculated references to 9/11 in my paintings now, as the Black Tower & the other black objects I paint have become more symbolic of a general feeling of unease, that something isn't right in the world," he explained in an interview with Fecal Face.

Relkin's latest body of work focuses on a mythos that he's developed around the idea of this Black Tower, though it seems to have taken a somewhat more hopeful angle. In the artist statement for this show, Relkin says, "Some of these new paintings depict changes to our own planet's environment as a direct result of the appearance of the Black Towers. Others offer rare sightings of cosmic phenomena related to the Ancients & their means of travel. The Big Bang depicts the birth of our known universe, exploding in color & shape, meant to be a reminder of the beauty of creation, which stands in complete contrast to everything the Black Towers represent. I paint each new piece with the hope of creating something beautiful, something that can evoke deep feelings of being human, of existing in a world that is perilously endangered, a world that is being swallowed by the lengthening shadow of the Black Tower."

The Big Bang featuring work by Matt Relkin opens at 8 pm on July 12th at Beep Beep Gallery.

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