MATTHEW GARVIN

ZIMBABWE

I am an emerging international artist from Zimbabwe who has just finished studying Fine Art (BA) at the University of Wolverhampton in England. I have always had a strong desire to create, which has been nurtured throughout my time spent studying art. Recently, I have been exploring the idea of concealment of the human figure and having the narrative, or story of a painting, existing outside of the frame, thus, we are only given a glimpse of a scene, allowing the viewer to be liberated from forced or set interpretations and given the freedom to draw their own conclusions.

It is both the human body and the human condition that captivate me, and they have formed the retrospective of my oeuvre. Through the removal of various aspects and features of the body via the layout of the composition, I have begun to question how we view the human form and the narrative surrounding it when we are unable to see the full picture and what connotations arise when this happens. The viewer has been given a fragment of a narrative within the painting, whilst what is truly going on exists outside of the viewer's gaze. It is almost as if the viewer is too late to the scene and something has already taken place and we are left with the aftermath of a passing moment. In a sense, the viewer acts as a voyeur and finds themselves gazing upon a scene that otherwise would be kept hidden from the world. Resulting in a more intimate connection with the figures within my work.

Through my paintings, I seek to re-examine the way in which we interpret not only the human figure, but ultimately to bring to light the relationship between the figure and the space surrounding it. My paintings are not just another figure painting or portrait, but they deal with the unknown, the unexplained and they seek to lay bare something ‘other’. I hope that they will allow the viewer to not only take a retrospective view of the figures themselves but also an inward retrospective of one’s own self.

Alongside my figure paintings, I often spend time drawing in fine liner pen and coffee. As a result of living in Africa, my subject matter is often that of wildlife and the locals. This often forms a large part of my commission requests done in fine liner.

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