Matthew Swarts, Untitled, 2006, Pigmented inkjet on aluminum panel, 42 x 30 inches
Matthew Swarts, Untitled, 2006, Pigmented inkjet on aluminum panel, 30 x 42 inches
Matthew Swarts, Untitled, 2006, Pigmented inkjet on aluminum panel, 42 x 33 5/8 inches
- Matthew Swarts
When my grandfather died, he left behind thousands of images, which I inherited. In making scans for some relatives, I realized I wanted to make work with these pictures—images for which I had a deep sense of childhood mystery. I was between projects then and the work I was doing involved downloading line art which I then transformed into screens to layer over my photographs. Because the photographs and their meaning were so personal, with my grandfather's imagery, I wanted to create something less mechanical and more with the quality of line made by my unskilled and shaky hands. I doodled on post-it notes and scanned them into the computer. Within Photoshop, I then built structures out of the crude mark-making. These I then layered over my grandfather's pictures from his personal album, adjusting the push and pull between the image and the drawn screen with the computer, confusing the perceptual experience of each image.
I did not do it consciously, but the ways in which the screen prevents the mind from entering and holding the image now feel like they have their analog in the arc of loss.