Matthew Stone is an artist and cultural provocateur who works across a number of disciplines, including painting, sculpture, photography, and performance.Read More
Combining the idiosyncrasies of the artist's hand with the possibilities of digital manipulation, Stone's impressive figurative practice involves painting brushstrokes on clear glass, photographing them, recreating them using digital modelling software, and then printing them onto linen canvases.
Following his graduation from the Camberwell College of Arts in 2004, Matthew Stone became a formative member of the !WOWOW! art collective. He went on to participate in a number of artist-led projects and infamous art parties held in abandoned buildings in London, events that have since gained the status of urban legend.
The artist's digitally manipulated paintings portray the intertwined bodies of Stone's friends and collaborators, stripped of their clothing and posed like mannequins in states of poetic revery. Works like Other People's Energy (2017) or Start (2021) take the form of large-scale digital 'tableaux vivants', in which the artist's trademark manipulated brushstrokes merge with and partially enshroud images of heavily fragmented bodies, recalling both the dynamic religious motifs of Caravaggio and the transgressive nudes of Robert Mapplethorpe.
One of Stone's major inspirations is the relevance of optimism as a vital force for avantgarde practice. As per the title of his 2011 solo exhibition at The Hole in New York, Optimism as Cultural Rebellion, much of his early work centred around the idea that to be optimistic is a catalyst for change in and of itself.
As his career evolved, Stone journeyed through a variety of complex notions and ideas—from the esoteric and the shamanic to the digital—as he examined the lens through which human behaviours exist and adapt. As a result, his work shifted from depicting purely passive or neutral utopias focused on the power of positivity to create images that are more ambiguous in their relationship to power structures, using the human figure to explore concepts related to identity, conflict, and healing.
Stone has garnered a number of ardent fans, both in the art world and online, and he enjoys a thriving market for prints, pins, t-shirts, and NFTs. Stone also frequently collaborates with musician FKA twigs, who commissioned him to create the cover art for her 2019 album, Magdalene.
Matthew Stone has been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions.
Select solo exhibitions by Matthew Stone include A Portrait of the lost artist into the metaverse, The Hole, New York (2021); Small Awakenings, Choi&Lager Gallery, Seoul (2019); Neophyte, The Hole, New York (2018); Back Into the Body, Choi&Lager Gallery, Seoul (2017); Healing with Wounds, Somerset House, London (2016); Cosmic Flesh, Union Gallery, London (2015); Love Focused like a Laser, Art Basel Miami Beach (2013); Unconditional Commitment to Sacred Love, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen (2012); Optimism as Cultural Rebellion, The Hole, New York (2011); Future Hindsight, Union Gallery, London (2007).
Select group exhibitions include Song of Songs: Representations of the self, spirituality and states of mind in art, Unit London, London (2021); Interconnected, John Wolf Art Advisory & Brokerage, Los Angeles (2021); Today's Special #6 and #4, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen (2020); The Barn Show 2018, Johannes Vogt Gallery, East Hampton (2018); Shock of the Now, CVA Gallery, Kent State University, Ohio (2017); NOT A PHOTO, The Hole, New York (2015); Group Show 2014, Choi&Lager Gallery, Seoul (2014).
Fay Jackson | Ocula | 2021