C. Matthew Luther
My paintings seek the connection of dreams and imagery created in the subconscious sleeping world of the human mind and the visual imagery of a conscious waking world. I am often overcome by the powers of my own dreams and my memory of them, or lack thereof. I try to capture the energy, layers, and metaphors of my own dreams in my paintings by use of collage, color and texture to contain an often fleeting imagined story. It is not only the specific visual language of a dream I try to encapsulate, but why and how we dream. What influences dreams and how do we remember them?
Dreams are a preeminent example of a universal experience humans share, and the most subjective. Every human psyche may dream, but many may not be able to recall a dream. Dreams can be the single driving influence behind beliefs and ideologies in culture, and the quest for dreams and visions can drive people and civilizations.
Dreams and illusions have had a strong influence on the history of my work, from dark traumatic events, to lucid moments and altered states of consciousness, the images that arise in my mind play an important role in my creative process.Dreams have helped me overcome death and sickness and play a crucial role in my perception of the world.
I have developed a psychological landscape within the practice of painting, one I refer to as a “mentalscape”.Landscape, as a specific term used in painting, describes a work of art that depicts a natural geological structure or a scene of human interaction in nature. My “mentalscapes” are of the human mind that is profoundly influenced by the visual world through mass media outlets. The influences of cinema, photography, television in connection with the natural world create a psychological landscape in human psyche that is rich with layers of visual imagery. The imagery of the physical world collected in the mind feeds, into our subconscious imagination in dreams. Our dreams, in turn, can feed our interaction in the physical world as we challenge our interpretation of dreams through language. It is the geography of the mind that influences my work and how culture may or may not be influenced by media, dreams, and delusions.
Mystery surrounds all substances no matter how unfamiliar, familiar, or seemingly absolute. In these paintings, I wish to transform signs and symbols that invade my visually alert space and appear in my sleeping subconscious, into another space, as a psychological landscape of the human mind and paint. I paint landscapes not only of an organic nature, but of human nature that often start poetic in language and of memory, but end visually with texture and paint. It is this transformation I find intriguing, and that I will continue to explore in the process of painting and other avenues of creativity.