Matt Smoak

Birth placeNorth Carolina Birth date1986

''One time I imagined myself as another body, a mix of bodies: a rice farmer, an old paint brush, a seducer of demigods. I wanted to write a poem, because in my head I saw the most beautiful poem in the world. But when I thought about it, the poem forwent words because it's hard to cup words with your hands and pinch them with your fingertips, so I decided to make the most beautiful painting in the world. Another time I tried to run away from being biracial. But where was I going?

And when imagining if I was a color, I couldn't decide between indigo or yellow-grey. So instead I tried to imagine what shape I would be, but how do you describe the shape of impermanence, touch, heartache, labor, skin, sun, and myth-making?

My paintings are based on expressions of the body. Using materials and memories to wrestle with notions of the self.
I think a lot about the folklore of Japan and the American South and their ability to reinterpret the everyday. So I paint and stain clothes, hand-written letters, and ephemera from my personal history, capturing memories, products, and expressions of a cross-cultural body as a way to discuss societies and examine broader conceptions of image and object.''

Matt Smoak

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