Interview with Artist Matt Mignanelli

Installation shot of "Two on Two" at the Hole
Installation view of “Two on Two” at the Hole, NYC

Recently, I saw your work in an exhibition at The Hole and was intrigued to learn more. You’ve stated previously ‘A lot of my works are based on industrial facades and architectural elements.’ How does working from your studio in Bushwick, Brooklyn influence your art? 

Installation view of "Two on Two" at the Hole, NYC.
Installation view of “Two on Two” at the Hole, NYC

The entire city has been a source of great inspiration, but the industrial landscape that Bushwick is comprised of has critically influenced the works as they have developed over the years. The roll down gates, corrugated metal walls, sidewalk hatches, diamond plate steel, surfaces in the subway that have been repainted hundreds of times all fascinate me. These industrial surfaces and the utilitarian applications of paint feel so pure to me, and something I strive to bring into my own works.

I am immediately drawn to the meditative quality of your paintings. Please discuss your process and the importance of repetition. 

When analyzing the construction of surface, repetition is at the core of all we construct. It readily appears in the natural world; such as blades of grass that repeat to create a lawn, and has been copied by man to create surface as well, such as in the bricks we build structures with or the brush stoke that endlessly repeats to coat a wall. Repetition presents itself again in the form of time, and our daily routines.

Within this line of thinking, repetition feels so natural to me. Within my works, the choice to focus on repetition creates immersive environments.

The works are begun with gestural brush strokes using large house painting brushes to lay down a base coat. The painting is measured out with a pencil and ruler, and then painted entirely free-hand in enamel. The work is painted flat on a table. As I move quickly through the shapes, the viscous enamel splashes onto the surface.

Installation view with Brian Rochefort, 2016 Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles
Installation view with Brian Rochefort, 2016, Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles

Currently you have an exhibition at the Richard Heller Gallery; can you talk about the work you have included?  

NYPD Blue & Kind of Blue, 2016 Installation view with Brian Rochefort Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles
NYPD Blue & Kind of Blue, 2016, installation view with Brian Rochefort, Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles

The new works being exhibited at Richard Heller mark the first exhibition where I have departed from the subtle black on black and white on white works, and returned to color after more than 4 years, moving into bolder black/white, blue/white, and blue/black works.

I have been thinking about these new works as “Disruptions,” as the different shapes disrupt these repetitious fields and create a sense of movement within the picture.

Many of your works explore harsh light and structure. Would you ever consider an artist residency in the desert? 

The desert does interest me quite a bit, the desert light enhances such a unique landscape. I would certainly consider working there, I have a couple of friends who have recently decamped to Joshua Tree and absolutely love it. I have been inspired by the structure and light in Mexico. The painted stucco in the harsh sun creates such beautiful shadows.

I can’t wait to see more of your paintings! What’s next? 

I’m going to continue to explore the works focusing on disruption, and the reintroduction of limited color.

 

Interview by Laura Mylott Manning

Photographs provided by The Hole, Richard Heller Gallery and the artist

Midnight & Summer Moon, 2016 Installation view with Brian Rochefort Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles
Midnight & Summer Moon, 2016, installation view with Brian Rochefort, Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles
Summer Moon detail, 2016 Enamel on canvas 60 x 48 inches (152 x 122 cm)
Summer Moon detail, 2016, enamel on canvas, 60 x 48 inches (152 x 122 cm)
Untitled (Disruption III), 2016 Gloss enamel and acrylic on canvas 60 x 48 inches (152 x 122 cm)
Untitled (Disruption III), 2016, gloss enamel and acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 inches (152 x 122 cm)
Untitled (Disruption III) detail, 2016 Gloss enamel and acrylic on canvas 60 x 48 inches (152 x 122 cm)
Untitled (Disruption III) detail, 2016, gloss enamel and acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 inches (152 x 122 cm)
Midnight & Summer Moon, 2016 Installation view with Brian Rochefort Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles
Midnight & Summer Moon, 2016, installation view with Brian Rochefort, Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles
Laura Mylott Manning

Laura Mylott Manning

Laura Mylott Manning is a New York based artist and curator. Manning studied at Rhode Island School of Design, 2001 BFA Sculpture, and holds a MFA 2009, Interdisciplinary Arts, from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has also studied at Pont Aven School of Contemporary Art in France. Her work has been exhibited in New York as well as internationally, including ArtNow NY, NY; The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, CT; and The Baur au Lac, CH. She has received an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Associated Press, Boston Globe and the Wall Street Journal among others have reviewed her work. Recent curatorial projects include Bottles in Bloom, Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, NY. Manning contributes to the World Council United Nations journal Centerpoint Now. To learn more please visit: www.lmylottmanning.com

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