1. American Junk, Drips, & Ghosts

I’m seeking visual complexity, juxtaposing images of American icons, consumer goods, typography, cartoons and lists of words. The work is a mash-up of sensibilities formed in my early punk and street art days (Pit Bulls and Poets). The work maintains multiple provisional pictorial stylessmall disconnected facts that use the visual language of painting high and low. (All those fights and nobody remembered who won.) It is a celebration of decay and the romance of headless Greek statues. Fragments that give a simultaneous reading like the work of cubist outlaws (Buddha, Boxer, Abyss).

In this new body of work I have refined a process that involves covering-up and partially concealing images. Elements of my painting include gestural marks, and paint that is dripped, poured, scraped, sanded, stenciled, sprayed, stenciled, Krinked, applied by brush and hand. Bare knuckled painting using the strategy of street-art that defaces and violates the urban landscape. I’m focusing on the fugitive nature of graffiti rather than its conventional stylistic marks. The work is a tribute to the fading moments of now.( LIVE.SURF.DIE.)

All Images Matt Straub Copyright 2015

2. Pop Westerns

These paintings feature classic Western iconographic images of cowboys, cowgirls, guns and horses.
My work depicts the violent narratives and sentimental mythologies of the American West—a landscape defined by melancholy sunsets, badlands, gunfights, outlaws and red-blooded heroes. References include Hollywood Westerns and the bold visual vocabulary of the comics and pulps of the 1930’s-50’s. BANG! BLAM! My work was deeply influenced by hitch-hiking across most of the West and hopping a few freight trains. These paintings are more than a well crafted nostalgia of Western iconography, they examine a dark side of the American psyche and are a metaphor for a vanishing West. My Pop-Westerns are like graffiti splattered box cars rolling across the plains.

Matt Straub