Heartthrobs, avatars, playboys and warriors, Matthew Cox

Heartthrobs, avatars, playboys and warriorsMatthew Cox at Pentimenti Gallery

Matthew Cox is a Philadelphia- based artist who embraces and joins a variety of media to produce several thematic series of work. Medical x-rays and embroidery, couture and crime, rubber stamps, short -story prose and paint all layer toward a darkly comic and anachronistic impression of the human condition in the twenty-first century.” – Matthew Cox website

Pentimenti Gallery presents Heartthrobs, avatars, playboys and warriors,  a solo exhibition of new works by Matthew Cox. A selection of hand embroidered x-rays, this new series of work explores the presence of the sometimes dark foundational elements which underline that which is seemingly idyllic.” – Pentimenti Gallery website

Recently artist Juli Snyder asked me what was my favorite art show right now? DoNArTNeWs supports and appreciates all art forms and tries not to pick favorites but the Heartthrobs, avatars, playboys and warriors art installation by Matthew Cox at Pentimenti Gallery is memorable and evocative on so many levels that it immediately came to mind. DoN had the opportunity to chat with Pentimenti Gallery owner Christine Pfister about the enigmatic artwork.

Tell us about the show by Matthew Cox with the embroidery and x-rays?

“The work is exceptional work, unique unto itself. He is an artist who is from Philadelphia and this is his third show in Philadelphia. He also received a Pew a few years ago. His work is very local and based on recycled x-rays. Most of them, but not all of them, are coming from the emergency room. When you pay a visit to the ER and you have no follow up, no emergency, they send you home and they put the x-rays in the trash. He has been getting these x-rays basically from that source, some are from people who donated their x-rays.”


Heartthrobs, avatars, playboys and warriors, Matthew Cox at Pentimenti Gallery

“We also have x-rays which have items which look like stars or birds, accessories that they forgot to remove when they took the x-rays. Basically all the metal you see are actually accessories they forgot to remove and the work is divided into several series. We have the avatars, we have the playboys, we have the warriors – these are connections to the people that we all know of as icons for America.”

What about the embroidery part of the art?

“The embroidery is actually related to an experience that is from homes, like a family growing up with traditions of embroidery that we no longer use as hobbies. When you think about the 19th Century, that’s what you would do in the evening. But now it’s a hobby you do by choice but is more artisanal. This is a way that you look back, to link us to homes, as well.”

So, you’re looking back in time and you’re looking through the art?

“Absolutely, and also he is using pins to support the art. The pins are used to make furniture, pillows or fabric on sofas or chairs, that they used for upholstery. This means it’s also an element that goes back to home again. This looks back to a traditional way of making objects.” – Christine Pfister

Heartthrobs, avatars, playboys and warriorsMatthew Cox at Pentimenti Gallery through October 19th, 2013. 45 North Second Street Philadelphia, PA 19106 T | 215.625.9990 E | mail@pentimenti.com

Written and photographed by DoN Brewer except where noted.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

admin September 21, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Dear Don,

Thank you so much for your review on our current show.
Beside your brilliant comments the images posted are great….

Have a good weekend!
Kind regards,

christine pfister

145 north second street | philadelphia, pa 19106
T +1 215 625 9990 W http://www.pentimenti.com

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