OIL : Matt Carmean, Mario Joyce Harper
934 Cleveland Ave., Columbus, OH 43201
September 5 - September 26, 2015
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 5, 6 pm - Midnight
Closing Reception: Saturday, September 26, 6 pm - Midnight
*This exhibition is free and open to the public.
As the seasons shift, 934 Gallery brings to its walls an exhibition featuring the work of two Ohioans whose varying paths have taken root in the same medium of expression: oil painting. Matt Carmean and Mario Joyce Harper deliver diverse yet harmonious visions in their joint show at 934 entitled OIL.
Mario Joyce Harper (b. 1985, Columbus, Ohio) is a self-taught African American artist living in New York City. The celebration of contrasting communities and promotion of individuality motivate him to capture the parallels of basic human struggle and cultural identity in his work. His artistic process began early and was heavily influenced by religious and racial prejudice experienced while growing up in rural Ohio in a Jehovah’s Witness household. He began using both genealogical research and painting to further understand and share the social history of discrimination. Now, after a recent move, he is heavily influenced by human migration and how we adjust to new environments. Harper’s art is characterized by vibrant colors, strong lines and heavy texture, sometimes incorporating collages of relevant vintage documents into the backgrounds of his paintings. His work has been featured in a variety of group exhibitions, most recently at Greenpoint Gallery in Brooklyn, New York, and is privately owned by many collectors throughout the U.S.
Matt Carmean (b. 1958, Findlay, Ohio) paints daily and exclusively in oil. Though his painting is conducted in an environment of reclusive focus, he is otherwise engaged in the community through various avenues, including the Columbus Metropolitan Library and the Clintonville Community Market. Carmean’s work overflows from his home studio and carries waves of impressionism to new spheres, incorporating his personal familial symbolism through fluid backdrops that complement realistic portraits in a series of original works, and making societal commentary by overlaying dollar bills with miniature reproductions of the masterworks of Monet and Van Gogh. His longtime home studio is in Clintonville, Columbus, Ohio. Matt Carmean received his BFA and MFA from The Ohio State University and his work has been exhibited at Clayspace Gallery (Nelsonville, Ohio) and Mahan Gallery (Columbus, Ohio) and won Best of Show, Professional Division, at the Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition.