Matthew Whitney (he/his/him) is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and pedestrian. He works between drawing, painting, photography, collage, video, performance, and group facilitation, with a focus on the metaphorical and spiritual power generated through the everyday rhythms of walking, making things, and stillness. He has a BA in Art from Whitworth University and an MFA in Visual Art from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Artist Statement

This series of drawings and paper-based experiments over the past several years form a body of explorations of the real – beyond representation and into that which is really real. These drawings incorporate walking and physical manipulations, excavating via markmaking – understood as a point moving through space, which can be a mark made on paper, a series of illuminated pixels, or a body’s path made by going through a walk. The crumpled drawings began with the cliché of crumpling up the paper upon which one had started a bad drawing or had a bad idea, to toss in the wastebasket. Upon unfolding and attempting to flatten the paper, the paper’s original sharpness and crispness is lost, and one is left with a surface that is softened and flawed. The creases mar the surface and are impossible to avoid. Rather than begin a drawing with a fresh sheet of paper, I attempted to work with the flawed body, and work within the creases, indeed making them a vital part of the composition. These creases as well leave the drawing no longer flat but textured and 3-dimensional. The resulting drawings are evidence of a phenomenological existing, and are left to be considered as such.

My previous work explored walking and mapmaking: medium and large-scale drawings rooted in the everyday places we all occupy, share, and move through. My visual vocabulary consists of the use of line and shape in relation to urban maps, street grids, and shared places in the city. I am interested in place-making – attentiveness, noticing, recalling, and naming – as these practices spring from being present to oneself, to others, and to the environment around you. My projects manifest through drawing, painting, photography, collages, video interventions, walking performances, technological experiments, and in the facilitation of community walks.

Land Acknowledgment

My walking practice, my studio practice, and my home all benefit from the land on which I live and work. I acknowledge this land as stewarded and blessed by the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People. I offer gratitude to the land itself and the Duwamish Tribe, and I support their fight for federal recognition and reparations through the Real Rent Duwamish movement.

For inquiries please e-mail me at matt at matthewwhitney dot com. Or you can use the form to contact me below.