Positioning historically and culturally significant subjects within a strongly visceral and highly textured figurative expressionism, Bobby Mathieson's paintings reflect the emotional complexity shaping his relationship to these figures through a portraiture that is at once provocative, grotesque and deeply reverent.
Over the last four years, Mathieson's work has evolved from painting scenes in which haunting and ominous landscapes expressively inform their subjects, towards a form of portraiture that is increasingly locating these signifiers within the subjects themselves.
The intuitive use of brushstroke and palette knife creates a sense of controlled chaos, marking the works with the rhythm and immediacy of their production. This alla prima or wet-on-wet technique bears an element of the violence and gestural abstraction associated with action painting while retaining key facial cues to allow a certain level of recognition and iconic legibility in the obscured faces of subjects such as MC Ride in Jimmy Page's Castle and MF DOOM in Great Day. Vampire teeth and pointed ears become playful motifs in Mathieson's work, confounding the elegance of posture and pose in works such as Thespian with monstrous and absurd qualities, forming characters that appear both amusing and terrifying at the same time.
Bobby Mathieson graduated the Vancouver Film School (degree in Classical Animation) and Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in British Columbia (BFA). He has had numerous solo exhibitions with Neubacher Shor Contemporary in Toronto, ON and has presented his work at art fairs such as Art Toronto, Art Southampton, NY and forthcoming AQUA Art Fair, Miami, FL. This is his first solo project with Lyons Wier Gallery, New York. Bobby Mathieson lives and works in Toronto, ON.