A Look into "Matt Bollinger: DIY"
When he started out as an artist, Matt Bollinger would take photographs and turn them into paintings. He explained how “the use of photography has to be individual, which is sometimes useful but sometimes not.” He then drifted away from this mode of producing art because photography did not allow him to turn a blank piece of paper into something — he could not visualize what he was looking at or turn it around into a work of art.
Matt Bollinger: DIY, on display now at the Schick Gallery, consists of many incredible paintings, graphite drawings, and sculptures that each give the viewer a glimpse into Bollinger’s life. Some of the subjects, such as his father and his Camero, make appearances in much of his work. Bollinger noted that this is intentional, and that he even conducted an interview with his father before featuring him in his painting, titled Independence I & II.
In an open dialogue with the other, Ballinger explained this interaction with his father in his studio before crafting an intricate painting, but then went on to explain he does not like people near him while he works. This is mainly due to him feeling self-conscious about his work with people he doesn’t know. He also uses the metaphor of cigarettes often, because of their connection between breath, hands, and the mind. This was another aspect into Bollinger’s life story, in which both of his parents smoked cigarettes.
Those in attendance for the dialogue were then encouraged to ask Bollinger questions, such as his biggest struggle in art school. He explained how he wanted to make good paintings, but producing good paintings ultimately eliminates risk taking. Bollinger explained how he constantly challenges himself to not rest on styles and techniques he already knows how to do. In art school, he often would spend eight straight hours in his studio working on one project — that would sometimes go on for weeks or months. He then explained another struggle he faced: accepting the feedback he would get, because it was often critical.
Matt Bollinger and his exhibit seemed to constantly amaze. After listening to his story, viewers saw just how much Bollinger pays attention to the little details of his work. Different aspects of his life are shown in each of his mediums, which is what makes Matt Bollinger: DIY a must-see exhibit.