Hartford, Connecticut based artist Matthew Best received his BFA in Painting from the University Of Hartford Art School and his MFA in Painting from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Formerly a Resident Studio at the Arlington Arts Center and has been in numerous shows on the local and national level. Best teaches at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, CT.
My work aims to use the vocabulary of painting to find new ways of depicting the body, or more accurately, being a body; one that is subject to internal and external forces, desire, pain and pleasure. Shapes and colors within the paintings alternate between conflict and unity, push and pull, support and instability. The inspiration for this work has been my study of yoga which has deepened and expanded my awareness of my body, both positive and negative. Yoga requires great mental focus and physical strength to maintain the poses, if one of these elements is missing, you fall. These paintings strive to achieve this same balance. The body is represented metaphorically as an awkward and complex structure. Varying weights of color, shape and line balance against one another; removal of any one element would result in the collapse of the painting. The body is also depicted as a particular kind of space. This space exists in-between the micro and macro, natural and artificial and of the interior (the mind) and exterior (the body and/or landscape). Layers alternate between an opacity that obscures and a revealing translucency. Some shapes are completely hidden; other shapes are more deeply embedded in the picture plane, exposed by scrapped and sanded the painting down. In this way, the conflicting spaces are collapsed into one another.