Good artists are few and far between. I know that’s a bold statement but I feel that’s because today’s social media has made everyone’s self-expression accessible. It’s easy to look through your feed and see something pretty. But for something to stop you and make you feel certain things is quite difficult. Unless you’re someone like Matthew Adam Ross.
In his early years, he was exposed to his mother’s creative energy. She’s watercolorist and would invite then young Ross to help her out. At 8 years old, he won a local art competition only to discover his love for art much later. In 2014, he had an exhibit in New York’s The Empire Hotel. His growth progressed quickly since then. In 2016, he got a residency at the Berlin Art Institute. Early this year, he was part of China’s CS FairDay.
Working with white paint and white pastel as his go-to materials, Ross cites Cy Twombly along with Dash Snow, Dan Colen, and JIMJOE. In an interview with Urban Outfitters, he also mentioned that he’s also influenced by Baroque painting, citing Caravaggio as a genius.
Ross’ works are marked by chaos that still somehow make sense. They are colorful but not intrusive. I like how they difference in techniques also gives the interplay of textures.. There is a right balance between skill and simply letting his intuition take him where it wants to go. There is a sense of how he’s constantly busy and how he tries to master over it. He tells Flaunt, “I like working on multiple pieces at once, having tons of canvas and paper around me that I can alternate between. I usually will paint about 70 percent of a piece very quickly, and then the last 30 percent is an extended period of adding, taking away, yelling, wanting to destroy it, and then somehow figuring it out in the end… sometimes not.”
He also invited the audience into a room of interpretation, rather than making his own opinions the dominant one. I think he’s statement for his profile says it well, “I don’t have answers yet. I have questions. Questions about form and technique. Questions translating what of who I am that I am not. My work asks questions of myself that I dare yet ask the world. My works are those journal entries we don’t share because they are not intended for a third party. My work is a demonstration of the questions I ask every single day, be it on my knees working on paper or upright working on canvas. The question; who am I and where am I and what am I in this space; the space of art, the space of my parents dreams, the space of my audacity, the space of love’s and depression’s embrace, the space of my bright fears and glaring ignorance. I am constantly asking questions with my work. Using color, texture, dark and light emotion to punctuate my curiosity, to discover the best function of my time to arrive at a place I can give answers to the chaos. The questions I ask are life rafts to the noise in me, that I dare hope, dare believe, is in you, and is in us.”
Matthew Adam Ross will be having his Manila debut this month via an exhibition entitled “The Complexity of Nostalgia.” The exhibit will be at Manila House with the exhibit opening and artist walk through on Oct. 9 at 6 pm.