Matthew Ivan Cherry is an artist whose energies and oeuvre focus on the depiction of the face, head, bust and body. His work contributes to a dialogue on identity, individuality, gender, beauty, the ordinary joe and superhero complex and the self in reference to pop culture as he documents random people he connects with in life, on the streets and via social media. Cherry received his BFA from Northern Arizona University where he began painting as a figural artist exploring domestic narratives. After having received his MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he attended with the Presidential Fellowship, he set up his studio practice and began to exhibit in and around Chicago and the Midwest at galleries such as Lyons-Wier, Gescheidle, and fifty-50.

Matthew explains his work by saying, “I am fixated on the face, head, body, and naked soul, and all that makes up a portrait and contributes to a dialogue on identity. I transcribe my responses of what I observe through layers of colors and brush marks which result in a pile of thoughts and recorded impulses; the sheer accumulation transforms into a representation of that which I am painting. They are thoughts made manifest by considered responses expressing what I see and how I respond to what I see. I see the person in their physical form and through painting am able to visualize something else entirely different and yet equally as authentic. I can look at the subject for hours and then suddenly its like they have transformed right in front of my eyes, re-birthed and shed a skin. It is un-paintable. It is spiritual. I endeavor to create something just as real, just as living, just as authentic, just as spiritual. “
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Didi Menendez


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oil on canvas