Entries in collage (7)

New Online Store

I'm excited to announce I now have an online store: https://squareup.com/store/matthew-best-studio/.

I'm in the process of adding more and more items to it but for now I have a number of works on paper I have been working on as well as a few collages of Madonna and George Michael. I will be adding more items, including paintings over the next few weeks. Please check it out. 

The newest work in the store is a series I call "Thirty Days of Donna."  I am making from video stills of Donna Summer performing "I Feel Love" as a project  for pride month. I'm making at least one of these every day in June. Each piece is one of a kind and is made with acrylic paint and acrylic ink, executed on irregularly torn paper (there will often be the remains of an older drawing on the back). 


Related to this I'm offering a few collages for sale. 


Silence Breakers

Silence Breakers

  • Opening Reception, Thursday, March 8, 5-8pm.
  • Closeing Reception, Thursday, April 5, 5-8pm.
  • Ely Center of Contemporary Art51 Trumbull Street New Haven, CT, 06510

An unjuried exhibition in collaboration with Nasty Women Connecticut

This year, Ely Center of Contemporary Art is collaborating with Nasty Women Connecticut for the group exhibition Silence Breakers. We invite artists working across disciplines, to create artwork that addresses issues of abuse, consent, and identity as well as themes of domesticity and home. The show will look at the often-blurred line between security and insecurity in the home, providing room to explore ideas around gender, equity, sexuality, individuality and domestic life.

Each year during Women’s History Month, the Ely Center of Contemporary Art (ECOCA) showcases In Grace We Trust, an annual exhibition that commemorates the philanthropic work of Grace Taylor Ely.  During her lifetime, Grace transformed her home at 51 Trumbull Street into a space for local watercolorists and ceramicists to gather and show their work.  Since her passing, the Ely Estate and Friends of John Slade Ely House of Contemporary Art have carried on this tradition, stewarding the building as a nurturing pillar of New Haven’s artist communities. In Grace We Trust addresses ideas of tradition and change — a nod to the past as we confront current societal challenges, and rise together to create our future narratives.

Throughout the month of March, the Ely Center will host a series of programs related to this year’s theme, including a panel discussion moderated by Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, performances, film screenings, nights, workshops, and artists talks. 

On a personal level I'm really excited to be showing two pieces in Silence Breakers at the Ely Center of Contemporary Art in New Haven, CT. The two pieces I'm showing are shall we say, difficult pieces to place. They are openly political and come directly out of my fear and anger due to the election of Donald Trump as president: 

November 9, 2016  I went to the studio and wrote the word “FUCK” on a clean white canvas. It was all I could do that day. Fuck was the perfect word; it can be a declaration of anger or a declaration of exhaustion and defeat. It was all I could say that day. All other words failed me. 

It took days of fumbling around in the studio to figure out how to make art in this new world. The studio had always been my refuge from the world. This  place where I feel safe, where I go to rid myself of fears and anxieties, had been taken away from me.  My near constant anxiety manifested in my art. Colors became darker and more intense, shapes became twisted and tense.

The works in this show reveal my conflicting emotions in this new world. It represents darkness, satire, and even hope inspired by the march on Washington DC and other cities all over the world. New art for a new era.

Matthew Best: Paintings and Collages

Images from my recent solo show at the Canterbury School in New Milford, CT. This show was the first time I have shown my paintings, collages, and works on paper at the same time. It was also the first time I have shown my recent oil paintings. It was interesting to see the relationships that developed between such a broad cross section of my work of the last three years. 

Cool + Collected at Melanie Carr Gallery, Essex, CT

Cool + Collected was the first show at Melanie Carr Gallery in Essex, CT from October 21 - December 31, 2017. 

The gallery described the show as:

Cool + Collected features the artwork of 14 Connecticut based contemporary artists. All artists included in this inaugural exhibition are artists whose work I collect and have lived with in my home over the past several years. This exhibition includes a curated selection of each artist’s work. 


We all collect/acquire items and objects - some of us more than others. The thing about acquiring/living with original works of art, is this - as time passes, the meaning of the work may shift or change; become deeper, more challenging, more meaningful, or, more relevant. Not unlike relationships, the dialog and stimulation of looking critically at artwork over time is like having a conversation with someone that leaves a lasting impression, one that probes, inspires, and asks questions instead of answering them.  


All artists exhibiting in Cool + Collected are a group of dynamic artists, fully engaged in their practice, and in their creative lives. Enjoy the exhibition, and remember, looking is not seeing. 


-Melanie Carr

 It was an honor to be part of the first show in this exciting new gallery. Several of my collages, including the two below are still available from the gallery's flatfiles.

Alternative Facts at Ely Center of Contemporary Art, New Haven, CT

"YUGE" collage, 2017


Political post warning...

I will have several recent pieces (one collage, four small paintings) in the show Alternate Facts organzied by artist Joe Bun Keo (http://joebunkeo.com/) at the Ely Center for Contemporary Art (http://www.elycenter.org/) in New Haven, CT. The show will be on view Sunday, March 5 - April 9, 2017 with an opening receptions on Sunday, March 5 from 1-4pm. I'm very excited to be showing alonside Sheri Schwartz (http://sherischwartz.com/)  and David Borawski (http://www.rot8tor.org/). 

Alternative Facts is part of a group of five shows at the Ely House called "In Grace We Trust". The other shows will be “Nevertheless, she persisted,” “The Future is Women,” “Pay Attention,” and “Water is Life.”



These shows will take up the upstairs and then there will be another works downstairs.


The purpose of this is to honor Grace T Ely and to celebrate the gallery being reopened.


"Fuck Trump" 2017, gouache and ink on paper.

"Attempts to put out a forest fire with a shovel" 2016, gouache and ink on paper