Matt Killen
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Artist Statement

The basis of my work is the elaboration of an “aesthetic of entropy.”  According to the laws of thermodynamics, entropy is the evolution of order into disorder.  Corrosion, erosion, deterioration, and other forms of destruction are vehicles that lead to an ultimate “entropic” state.  I have explored entropy through representation of the urban space in a state of decay, by working in media with particularly entropic properties, such as encaustic and tar, and through use of digital photographic manipulation and malfunctioning technology in the planning process.

Recently, the content of my work has shifted from paintings of urban spaces to the depiction of “found still lives”, piles of demolition/renovation detritus, initially found on the street and, more recently, documented from the transformations to my own abode.  Whereas my previous work was more focused on aesthetic commentary, these recent paintings are more concerned with compositional structures:  lines from the piles of detritus flow in various directions across the canvas, sometimes challenging perspective; logical ordering of forms is suspended in favor of layering and transparency; photographic sources combine original photographs with digitally manipulated images, creating unusual contrasts and confusing the space and depth of field; detailed images in the foreground are layered over silhouetted images of completely different piles of debris (essentially painting two paintings on top of one another).  The objective is to build complex compositions that feature contrasts between form and content, flatness and painterliness, while still maintaining compositional and thematic cohesion.