MATT BILFIELD

Untied States

Vantage Point
Project Room
October 8th – October 29th

Opening Reception:
Saturday, October 8th
7-10pm
Free & Open to the public
Artist in attendance

We welcome Los Angeles, California based artist Matt Bilfield to the gallery for a project room solo show called “Vantage Point”

Television graphics animator by day, his job requires him to think about the viewing experience and how to engage an audience that is stationary and focused on a confined space. In conceptualizing a new series of artwork he wanted to think outside those constraints by creating the image through a viewer’s vantage point. Activating the viewer to change their position results in an entirely unique experience for every person.

To achieve his goal, he combines a traditional painting technique called pointillism with wood dowels to create a 2D image that varies in color and design depending on the angle it’s viewed from.  Each 2″ dowel is painted a certain color and glued in place within a grid to construct an image. When viewed straight on, a series of colored dots forms an image against a white background. As you shift your viewing angle the once predictable pattern suddenly begins to blend into a mix of color and optical illusion. The results achieve both a functional and aesthetic experience that Matt set out to accomplish.

Being somewhat of a neat freak and minimalist who thrives on order and pragmatism, I’m drawn to specific outlets to express my inner visions. Naturally, graphic design fit the bill when it came to career selection.

In the framework of the television graphics I create, I noticed it was always the image that constantly changes as the viewer watches, inactively. In conceptualizing a series of artwork, I wanted to create pieces where the vantage point dictates the image and abundance of color, in turn activating the viewer. Where the television screen has the screen framework as its boundary, I wanted to extend that boundary to the dimensions of the room itself. My idea was that everyone viewing the art gets his or her own unique perspective.

I enjoy the challenge of getting the most functional and aesthetic impact out of design simplicity. In creating the subject matter for my work, my goal is to push the amount of emotion I’m able to portray using a methodical medium that forces me to make definitive color placement choices. Often times the placement of only a few pegs can directly affect the overall mood of each piece.

What is more important – Content or technique?
As it relates to my work, I believe the content is enhanced by the execution and construction of the piece. Without the technique it would be a flat illustration and with only technique the piece would be a detailed wood working exercise. It’s the union of the two that complete the aesthetic and bring both to life.

How many hours do your pieces generally take to complete?
It depends on the size, but a 4’x4′ piece takes about 30-40 hours from design to fabrication of materials to assembly.

What are some of the responses you hear in regards to your work?
Most often they want to know how many pegs are in the pieces. A fun way to demonstrate 100 pegs is to have them count out a 10×10 square – they’re always surprised when they realize how small of a section that is. Many people who see my work like to comment on how patient I must be to create it. I also find a lot of people trying to share a cool angle they found with a friend. One thing I love about this medium is that as hard as they may try to share, everyone gets to have their own unique view of the work as its very difficult for two people to see it from the exact same perspective.

What is currently influencing you that might surprise people?

I’m very influenced by architecture and interior design. Every time I see a potential spot for my work, I think about how I can create pieces that will make the best use of the space. When I made my first piece in this style I was trying to solve a problem. I had a huge wall but didn’t want the artwork on it to completely take over the room. I wanted to be able to choose when and how I interacted with the artwork. From the front the pieces have a certain subtlety and as you move around the room the colors and imagery start to pop out. I love spaces that allow for unique vantage points and architecture really plays a role into my work for that reason.

Describe your work environment – Music, TV, Movies, things you drink/smoke, time of day etc
If you couldn’t tell by my work, I’m a bit of a meticulous guy. My studio is very organized down to the bins of pegs and labeled shelves. I don’t have a TV in there, but listen to a ton of music while I work. And there’s always a mini fridge stocked full of beer and few bottles of wine and whiskey laying around.

On average how many pegs does a piece require to compete?
They range from about 700 on the smaller pieces to about 5,500 on the larger ones.

Any plans to work with different materials?

I’m in the experimental stages of a Plexiglas series where the pegs are shorter and embedded into Plexiglas so that the face is smooth. I’ve built some successful smaller prototypes but there have been some fabrication challenges when working full size. Stay tuned.

Your work is a combination of “styles” – Have you coined a term for it?
I’ve always struggled to describe my work in a concise way. I guess a picture is worth a thousand words. Any ideas?

If you could choose only one, would you rather be thought of as a great artist or a nice person?

Nice person any day of the week.

AVAILABLE ARTWORK

“VANTAGE POINT” INSTALLATION VIEWS

MARIO (SILVER)
Media: 729 painted wooden dowels in architectural plywood
Size: 15 x 15 inches
Edition: 1/3
Year: 2016
Price: $700
Availability: Inquire

LUIGI (SILVER)
Media: 729 painted wooden dowels in architectural plywood
Size: 15 x 15 inches
Edition: 1/3
Year: 2016
Price: $700
Availability: Inquire

PINKY
Media: 729 painted wooden dowels in architectural plywood
Size: 15 x 15 inches
Edition: 1/10 – Sold / 2/10 Sold / 3/10 Avaialble
Year: 2016
Price: $700
Availability: Inquire

INKY
Media: 729 painted wooden dowels in architectural plywood
Size: 15 x 15 inches
Edition: 1/10 – Sold / 2/10 Available
Year: 2016
Price: $700
Availability: Inquire

JURASSIC PARK
Media: 729 painted wooden dowels in architectural plywood
Size: 15 x 15 inches
Edition: 1/5
Year: 2016
Price: $700
Availability: Inquire

GHOSTBUSTERS
Media: 729 painted wooden dowels in architectural plywood
Size: 15 x 15 inches
Edition: 1/5
Year: 2016
Price: $700
Availability: Inquire

GONE WITH THE WIND
Media: 1,849 painted wooden dowels in architectural plywood
Size: 23 x 23 inches
Edition: 1/5 – Sold / 2/5 Available
Year: 2016
Price: $2300
Availability: Inquire

BAM!
Media: 1,849 painted wooden dowels in architectural plywood
Size: 23 x 23 inches
Edition: 1/5
Year: 2016
Price: $2300
Availability: Inquire

Plan B
Media: 3,481 painted wooden dowels in architectural plywood
Size: 47 x 47 inches
Edition: 1/1
Year: 2016
Price: $6500
Availability: Inquire