Andy Mattern: Melt
I found Andy Mattern’s work while I was at graduate school. I remember in particular seeing his Average Subject / Medium Distance series and thinking of it everytime I looked at the Kodaguide I hung in my office. Andy is able to take everyday objects and explore their aura. Sometimes these are photographically significant objects like photo paper boxes or film holders, and other times they are meaningless objects like dirty snow. I think of Melt each year when we get our first and last snows. The first snow is always so pure and a blank canvas for the winter. The last snow is usually so dirty and grimy and, at least in South Dakota, seems to last for far too long. Andy is able to capture that seemingly endless feeling of urban snow in Melt.
Andy Mattern is a visual artist working in the expanded field of photography. His photographs and installations dissect the medium itself, reconfiguring expectations of photography’s basic ingredients and conventions. His work is held in the permanent collections of the SFMOMA, the New Mexico Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, among others. His photographs and exhibitions have been reviewed in publications such as in Artforum, The New Yorker, Camera Austria, and Photonews. Currently, he serves as Associate Professor of Photography at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. He holds an MFA in photography from the University of Minnesota and a BFA in studio art from the University of New Mexico.
Follow Andy on Instagram: @andymattern
Melt is a series of photographs that documents the residue of urban snow. Arranged as passive drawing tools, unique snow formations are suspended above drawing paper in old photography trays and allowed to gradually disintegrate. The result is photographed straight-on and reprinted at actual size. This is a sibling project to a series of photographs, Driven Snow, that focuses on the masses of snow and ice that accumulate under cars during the Minnesota winter. A byproduct of weather and urban transit, these solid formations are temporary automatic sculptures that exist somewhere between natural and human made.
Epiphany Knedler is an interdisciplinary artist + educator exploring the ways we engage with history. Using Midwestern aesthetics, she creates images and installations exploring histories. She is based in Aberdeen, South Dakota serving as a Lecturer of Art and the co-curator for the art collective MidwestNice Art. Her work has been exhibited in the New York Times, Vermont Center for Photography, Lenscratch, Dek Unu Arts, and awarded through the Lucie Foundation, F-Stop Magazine, and Photolucida Critical Mass.
Follow Epiphany Knedler on Instagram: @epiphanysk
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Brittany Marcoux in Conversation with Douglas BreaultJanuary 22nd, 2024
Andy Mattern: MeltDecember 29th, 2023