Interview with Artist Matt Mignanelli
By Laura Mylott Manning, March 11, 2016
Recently, I saw your work in an exhibition at The Hole and was intrigued to learn more. You've stated previously 'A lot of my works are based on industrial facades and architectural elements.' How does working from your studio in Bushwick, Brooklyn influence your art?
The entire city has been a source of great inspiration, but the industrial landscape that Bushwick is comprised of has critically influenced the works as they have developed over the years. The roll down gates, corrugated metal walls, sidewalk hatches, diamond plate steel, surfaces in the subway that have been repainted hundreds of times all fascinate me. These industrial surfaces and the utilitarian applications of paint feel so pure to me, and something I strive to bring into my own works.
I am immediately drawn to the meditative quality of your paintings. Please discuss your process and the importance of repetition.
When analyzing the construction of surface, repetition is at the core of all we construct. It readily appears in the natural world; such as blades of grass that repeat to create a lawn, and has been copied by man to create surface as well, such as in the bricks we build structures with or the brush stoke that endlessly repeats to coat a wall. Repetition presents itself again in the form of time, and our daily routines.
Within this line of thinking, repetition feels so natural to me. Within my works, the choice to focus on repetition creates immersive environments.
The works are begun with gestural brush strokes using large house painting brushes to lay down a base coat. The painting is measured out with a pencil and ruler, and then painted entirely free-hand in enamel. The work is painted flat on a table. As I move quickly through the shapes, the viscous enamel splashes onto the surface.
Currently you have an exhibition at the Richard Heller Gallery; can you talk about the work you have included?
The new works being exhibited at Richard Heller mark the first exhibition where I have departed from the subtle black on black and white on white works, and returned to color after more than 4 years, moving into bolder black/white, blue/white, and blue/black works.
I have been thinking about these new works as "Disruptions," as the different shapes disrupt these repetitious fields and create a sense of movement within the picture.
Many of your works explore harsh light and structure. Would you ever consider an artist residency in the desert?
The desert does interest me quite a bit, the desert light enhances such a unique landscape. I would certainly consider working there, I have a couple of friends who have recently decamped to Joshua Tree and absolutely love it. I have been inspired by the structure and light in Mexico. The painted stucco in the harsh sun creates such beautiful shadows.
I can't wait to see more of your paintings! What's next?
I'm going to continue to explore the works focusing on disruption, and the reintroduction of limited color.
To see all images included in this article please go to: http://artefuse.com/2016/03/11/interview-with-artist-matt-mignanelli-124436/