|My paintings aspire to be about the way body and spirit are (or
aren't) connected; and about the relationship between people, as well as between me and
the people I'm painting.
I'm more of a relationship/situation painter than a story or narrative painter, but if one wants to make up stories to go with my paintings they're welcome.
Although I feel strongly connected to my subject matter and have always felt the
importance of it, still, it's the way something is painted more than what is painted that
counts, that matters, that makes it art. Cezanne's apples and Morandi's bottles-though
important to them as subjects, as sources -- are not as important as the way they have
been painted. As for there being any subject at all: when Clement Greenberg said to de
Kooning, "It's impossible today to paint a face," de Kooning replied, "Yes,
and it's impossible not to." That's always been so for me. Somewhere there is a
Rouault painting entitled, Who Does Not Paint Himself a Face?
All images: Copyright 1998 © Paul Matthews
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