The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World

*Variable Foot*

Matt Connors. Variable Foot. 2014

Matt Connors. Variable Foot. 2014. Acrylic on canvas, three parts, each 18′ × 44″; overall: 216 × 132″ (548.6 × 335.3 cm). Courtesy Herald St, London, Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles, and CANADA

MATT CONNORS: Hi, I’m Matt Connors.

The particulars of making art right now is that artists—not just artists using computers or the Internet—do have a kind of unparalleled access to art history. I am a hoarder of information and knowledge. That's my temperament. And I think that that has definitely affected the way I make painting, which is my chosen medium. The references are very personal, maybe, and not necessarily visible to the viewer. But they're in there.

I've come to consider a large percentage of my art-making to be not the physical making of art but the staring at other art and staring at my own art and moving things around physically and mentally.

In the beginning of my life as an artist, I didn't really consider myself an abstract artist because I was always, in some way, making observational paintings, and maybe the end result turned out abstract. But it was usually a focus on a pattern or a textile or an architectural detail or a font or a piece of furniture or something. And as I became a little bit more confident, I gave myself permission to learn from all that and take off into some sort of pure invention. And the focus turned a little bit inward, to the process that I had been using to make those paintings and the physical object of the painting.

My paintings have gotten a bit more focused over the past years on color, where I'm trying to see what will happen between two colors that aren't particularly pleasing or compatible. And the energy that's created between those two colors will then suggest another color idea for the work. So the color choice is happening in tandem with any mark-making choice. It's a little bit like call-and-response.

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