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Work / Publication

Matthew Craven creates a new handmade universe in his book, Primer

Los Angeles-based artist Matthew Craven works with found imagery and geometric patterns. His new and first book, Primer, takes in the ceramics, textiles and sculpture practices of ancient cultures; spliced with both contemporary references and vintage film posters.

Gathering material by “digging through bookstore basements, local libraries and school storerooms,” the artist found imagery of lost relics, or “archaeological curiosities”. By cutting, pasting this found imagery, “overlaying tribal and Greek sculptures onto his hand-drawn optical designs, or on the back of vintage movie posters,” Matthew’s illustrations seek to create “a new handmade universe, juxtaposing imagery from different cultures and time periods to celebrate commonalities”. Photographs of archaeological remains and the natural world are overlaid on colourful textiles drawn on the aforementioned film posters, creating a new vernacular symbolism.

The book, published by Anthology Editions, is Matthew’s first publication – although he’s exhibited his work in solo and group shows all over the USA for the last few years – and it makes for a great context for conveying the level of detail inherent to his practice, as well as the visual and theoretical complexity of juxtaposing historical narratives.

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Matthew Craven: Primer

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Matthew Craven: Primer

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Matthew Craven: Primer

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Matthew Craven: Primer

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Matthew Craven: Primer

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Matthew Craven: Primer

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Matthew Craven: Primer