07.21.18 Press

Matt Mignanelli Interviewed by Abstract Magazine

Tell us a little about yourself, where did your passion for art begin and how did it become your work?

My passion for art began as a child and has been a lifelong pursuit. The painting has always fascinated me and continues to engage me endlessly. Not only is it a language for me to communicate, it’s how I continue to explore life. For me, the pursuit of painting is all-consuming, so it was a natural path that it became my life’s work.

We would like to know more about your style, what meanings do you want to convey to the viewer? How can it be achieved with this geometry?

The work is based in light, cast shadow, structure, and architectural elements. The visual relationship that results represents the balance between the manmade and natural world. I really love that such a complex relationship can be represented simply through light and shadow. In my work, I’m constantly exploring how I can create movement within that space through the arrangement of shape.

The paintings are gridded out with a ruler and pencil but are all painted completely free-hand, the evidence of the human hand within the hard edge is extremely important to me. The splashes of paint build up organically as the brush returns repeatedly to the bucket of paint while the paintings are made flat on a large table. Those trace elements serve as a record of the process and movement of the hand while creating the work.

Within this newest body of work, I’ve begun working with washes of the same blue paint to create emotive fields that bisect the piece. I love the depth and contrasting feel of the two parts of each work that unify albeit a tenuous balance.

How do you think, is it necessary to have meanings put by the author in contemporary art? After all, many even famous paintings make no sense. It is interesting to know your opinion.

No, I don’t feel it’s necessary, and even when meaning is put forth by the artist I have always felt it’s extremely important to leave room for the viewer to enter the work with their own thoughts. In art, the viewer brings so much of themselves forward when viewing a work and is able to project personal experience into the work. To me that engagement is critical, otherwise, you’re left strictly as a voyeur.

What does colour mean for you? Is it possible to tell your mood by the colour in your works?

Color for me is a means to convey experience. Memory and one’s relationships to place and things are linked directly to color. Color and mood can certainly be linked, but it’s not how I utilize it in my work.

Blue is my first foray back into color, after having worked in just black, white, and grey for the past 6 years. Navy blue is both utilitarian through its use painting mailboxes, dumpsters, doors, and linked to the natural world in twilight and the sea. I love how that duality fits into the conversation of my work.

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