Matthew Ivan Cherry
I have painted the nude throughout my life as a way to formally see, paint, and tackle narrative dialogues revolving around identity. The potential for pleasure and pain is always present with a body (physically, mentally, and spiritually.) I feel that death too is always close by. Formal decisions regarding composition, size, scale, and vantage point are deliberate and present the individual in a way that is matter of fact...like a mug shot. I see them as beautiful but not in a stereotypical way. They are not nudes for the voyeur...yet acknowledge the fact that they have subjected themselves to be looked at. The nudes I create challenge the viewer. They do not wait to be seen discreetly from the side of one's glasses. They stand, face forward, confronting the viewer, soliciting more than a casual gaze. They are titan-sized and positioned in a stance that makes the viewer the object scrutinized. They are aware and together form a front that forces the audience to look at while looking within. We all share universal similarities and yet we are collectively unique. To continue this dialogue I place the bodies in similar poses right next to each other...repetition variation of the sum/group helps me understand the individual even more.