Current and Past Exhibitions and Events

Brighter Than Real: New work from Mathew McConnell

Exhibition Dates: Friday, August 7–Saturday, August 29, 2009
Opening Reception: Friday, August 7, 6-9pm, and Friday, August 29, 2009, 6-9pm

Artist Statement
Brighter Than Real
VERTIGO Art Space, August 7-29, 2009

In a conversation with a friend I had not seen in several years, she described to me a project she had been working on. During her short description of what she was creating I realized the project she had taken up was not altogether unfamiliar to me. What she had described was a project that I had once described to her, a project I had helped another artist with, a project that was never fully realized. I chose not to remind her of our long-forgotten conversation.

My most recent project bases itself in the work of other visual artists. Often using a singular form or image of another artist’s creation as a starting point, I recreate the work with alterations to suit my own aesthetic and conceptual preferences. The resultant forms vary between what could be mistaken as a miniature facsimile of another artist’s work and original artworks with a source seemingly outside any individual referent.

Choosing works to remake and alter is as intuitive as it is arbitrary. I find myself primarily drawn to objects that question their role as objects of art. Conversely, I am also interested in objects that raise questions about their potential role in the world if they were not to be viewed in the context of the gallery space. Many of the objects and images I am interested in have a direct lineage to the works of a previous generation of artists; they too are a reworked response to their predecessors and contemporaries.

In the construction of these replicant objects and assemblages I often find myself trying to pinpoint the exact moment at which the work becomes more mine than theirs. Sometimes this moment occurs in the mere selection of a form, and at other times it does not occur at all. Through careful arrangement of these simulated, manipulated, exalted, and subverted forms, I find, at the best of times, a means of reconciling the difference between what is the art of someone else’s creation and what is an art of my own.

Mathew McConnell (photo by Ken Hamel/

Press Coverage

Read a review of this exhibition by Ken Hamel at

Previous Exhibitions »