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Dwelling #2, 2018




General Information: Print only. Contact seller for framing options. Produced on Hahnemühle Fine Art Paper. A Signature Label with edition information is included with the print. It can be affixed to the piece by a framer. About the Series: Dwelling reimagines photographs commissioned by J.C. Penny during the 1970s for use in their catalogs. Through montage and multiple exposure, I create new, speculative interiors that explore the relationships between comfort, class, and tradition. I weave these found photos, like so many fibers, into a cohesive whole—a fabric, a construction. Or perhaps, a fabrication. Each photograph here is an invention; a lie. If one lingers for too long with a particular image, exiting that distracted mode of viewing—flip, flip, flip—that is so appropriate to a sales catalogue, the fictive tableaus begin to unravel. Objects cast no shadow, and shadows no longer correspond to nearby objects; patterns spill off fabrics and onto adjacent surfaces; walls, furniture, fixtures, and plants lose their materiality, bleeding onto, and into, one another. The soft white light and brilliant hues that at one time had enhanced the many items that populate the photographs has now become too saturated, too garish. Where they had once been intended to entice, conjuring up ready-made fantasies of suburban aspiration, these uncanny interiors now repel, as they reveal their artifice. Like the satisfaction promised by the advertisements that inundate our lives daily, the comfort that these alluring interiors initially promise slowly dissipates. Notes on Concept: Since the start of this project, I have framed the work as a disruption of comfort or dis-ease. The word disease comes from French, where its original definition referred to being physically uncomfortable. This led me to think about how the perceived comfort of home could be disturbed. Are there dis-eases inherent to domestic space? If so, how would such maladies manifest? Through my research, I learned that such disturbances emerge in two distinct ways. There are temporal disruptions such as anxiety, nostalgia, and melancholy as well as spatial disorders like claustrophobia, homesickness, and uncanniness. Themes of domestic comfort and its disruption run throughout the pictures. However, they feel more pronounced following the Covid-19 pandemic. Quarantines around the globe have forced individuals into their homes for prolonged periods of time. The home, often associated with comfort, now feels oppressive and isolating. Notes on Process: As an artist I believe that the processes I use to make pictures must relate to its content. For Dwelling, I felt it important to use techniques that refer back the source material’s origin as a commercial photograph. In an effort to link these dated images with the present, I appropriated various post-production techniques used by contemporary commercial photographers. Specifically, “focus stacking”; a method of combining multiple exposures with different focal points in order to create a single image with the greatest depth of field possible. I subvert the stacking program’s intended function, so it generates a digital multiple exposure comprised of disparate source photographs. The multiple exposure becomes a “foundation” for me to build on. I repeat the “stacking” process several times for each image, applying it to select parts of the composition. This allows me to retain some control of a process that largely feels like chance.

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30.00 x 24.00 x 1.00 in | 76.20 x 60.96 x 2.54 cm

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Matthew Cronin Studio

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Matthew Cronin Studio

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