June 15 – September 11, 2016
Andy Mattern’s newest series Standard Size, combines his minimalist approach as a conceptual artist and his studio art background, to create a collection of photographs that depict the surfaces of photographic paper that have been stripped of their text and images. Hyper-aware of commercial advertising placed on these boxes to evoke desirability, Mattern found frustration in the clichéd images and prominent branding represented. In an effort to rid his vexation with these pictures, he began to collage on top of the text to create the images seen in this collection.
This series strays from themes of Mattern’s past work where he has previously focused on the experience of searching and wandering to locate existing objects. Contrary to that process, this body of work began when he was incessantly staring at photo boxes strewn around his studio; a less purposeful and more organic journey than what he had been experiencing before. His austere and dense images speak to the conventions of the varying media of photography by attempting to exceed the visions of what photo companies produce.
Mattern urges viewers to go beyond the images represented and think about the hidden photos of happy families and magnificent mountain ranges that lay beneath the surface of these collages but also explore the new meanings of these creations. Mattern is trained in traditional photographic techniques, and his use of color in the series is indicative of both his previous experience settling minute conflicts of colors in darkrooms and the existing colors each photo box brings forth. Andy does purposefully leave space around each printed image to highlight the history of each box whether it be frayed cardboard or edges of subtle color. Each box is printed and framed at actual size to ensure each piece is represented as close to how they really exist, in their own standard size.
Andy Mattern was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1979, Andy Mattern is a contemporary photographer who uses everyday objects as sources of inspiration for his work. Mattern attended the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque where he received a Bachelor of FineArts in Studio Art in 2002 and later went on to continue his education at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis where he received a Masters in Fine Arts in Photography in 2012. Andy’s work has been showcased nationally in several exhibitions and most recently has been featured at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, St. Paul, MN, Masur Museum of Art, Monroe, LA, Texas Women’s University, Denton, TX, the Art Institutes International Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, the DeVos Art Museum, Marquette, MI, and the Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, NM. In 2015 he was awarded Juror’s Pick in the Daylight Photo Awards and more recently was honored with both an Art365 Grant and Concept/Focus Grant by the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. He is represented in the permanent collections of the BMO Harris Bank, Minneapolis, MN, Center North West, Seattle, WA, and Tweed Museum of Art, Duluth, MN. Currently based in Stillwater, OK, Andy continues his career teaching as an Assistant Professor of Photography and Digital Media at Oklahoma State University, where he has most recently instituted the first and only photography program ever to exist at OSU.