Dorothy Circus Gallery is proud to present the first European solo exhibition by the Ameri- can artist Matthew Grabelsky.
With a BA in Art and Art History and a BS in Astrophysics, both obtained cum laude from Rice University in Houston, Matthew Grabelsky is a contemporary hyperrealist painter known for his unique and amusing imagery. For his first European show, Grabelsky will showcase a brand new series of 5 paintings and 4 oil studies.
For the artist, science is the best filter through which we can see reality, but art is the preferred means of expression. Looking at his mythological creatures it’s not hard to see why; since the first time Grabelsky started to turn the people he met in the New York subway into animals, his artistic research and technique became more and more meticulous and detailed.
Looking at Grabelsky’s paintings, the artist’s inquiring eye seems to overlap with that of the viewer, as if they were sharing the same sharpness and obsession with every detail and every strand of animal fur. In a brand new series of paintings, the artist will change old assumptions on the human nature and society, which cannot always be dichotomous. Can technology be held accountable for our isolation? If we were not always occupied with our smartphones in our hands, would it possible to imagine ourselves looking upwards and towards “subway neighbour”?
In recent years, a famous photo, taken between the 50s and the 60s in an anonymous subway wagon, portraying all the passengers reading a newspaper everyone by himself, has made its comeback as the epitome of the antisocial drift we are experiencing, apparently because of our extensive use of smartphones. With similar irony, Grabelsky’s depicts in his works a slice of our common every-day life, made up with hundreds, if not thousands, of replicable but unrepeatable moments, in which observing our surroundings becomes a work of art. This, if elaborated upon with an attentive eye and imaginative mind, can reconnect us with a society that is in peril, swallowed up by a system that wants us to be isolated and hypnotised.
Charmingly awkward in their hybrid bodies, Grabelsky’s characters encourage and stimulate our curiosity towards the other, promoting tolerance, acceptance and self-identification in their animal-like features. Equally powerful is the artist’s reference to the state of captivity imposed on wild animals such as tigers, crocodiles, lions, to name a few. The message is emphasised further by the seemingly forced docile behaviour of the animal-human character caused by confined public spaces such as that of the underground. By achieving a pictorial result that is real and yet surreal at the same time, the artists hopes to invite the viewer to stop and reflect on our self-imposed captive condition within our contemporary society. By contextualising the animals in environments that are not familiar to them, Grabelsky tries to raise awareness of the issue of animal exploitation. The artist has as a result, attracted the interest of Moby, who - like other celebrities such as Leonardo di Caprio - is particularly linked to topics of climate change and animal abuse, and featured the artwork of Grabelsky on the album cover for "Everything Was Beautiful, And Nothing Hurt” in 2018.
Once again Grabelsky, on the occasion of this first solo show in Europe, will lead the viewer to pose questions on private and public issues, reflecting on those places we live in every day and to which perhaps we do not pay enough attention.