Colin Matthes

Region: Midwest


City / State: Waukesha, WI

I make paintings, drawings, and objects that feel simultaneously absurd and plausible, such as my Rising Water Improvised Rescue Device, a helium balloon–powered, crudely built glider that carries a life jacket to those lost at sea. These inventions may not be about solutions but about questions, about seeing things to be done and saying, Let me do it, about wondering if irony still has a place in a world of unmanned drones, spray-on tans, and reality television. Concerned with “invention,” I make work that addresses economic and environmental crisis from a funny, critical, fatalistic, and industrious point of view. Within these works the viewer will find advertising, questionable science, obsessiveness, paranoid ramblings, and genuine concern laced with humor. By making I find my own version of beauty, of defiance, of Do-It-Yourself resourcefulness.

I work with Justseeds, a decentralized network of twenty-six printmakers living in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. We run a print collective, produce portfolios, contribute graphics to movements, co-publish books, and build installations.