Matt Lively: When walking into Turning Point Gallery, his pieces caught my eye first. They’re fun and bright, with fun little touches in them. Everything he draws is either very round, like the Helium Balloons in “Helium Short”, or has a sort of lopsided look, like the windows on the house in “The Pink House”. Although he paints natural things, he also paints more fanciful pieces, with Doug the Dog and creatures called Beecycles.
The way he paints is unusual. The colors he uses, and the things he draws, remind me of old sepia photographs from the1920’s.
Along with his paintings, he has some sculptures of sheep, which look all blobby and as if they were made out of cotton candy. Even though they’re all drippy and blobby, they still retain their sheepiness in an adorable way.
I would love to have some of his pictures on my wall. They would brighten up the house on dark and gloomy days.
I am right there with Kaisa on the fun of Matt Lively's pieces. When I came round the last corner at Turning Point Gallery and saw the Beecycles painting I laughed right out loud. They are wonderful, very inventive, the cross breed of a fertile imagination in an odd world. I also got a 1920's/1930's sort of feel from the paintings - in the lighting, the proportions, the way houses and rooms are proportioned, the colors (even though our record of the 20s and 30s is primarily black and white). Mr. Lively handles his oil paint like a master, using scumbling with great precision to create the wonderful shading. Everything is rich and fat not just in shape, but also in surface. Things look good enough to eat, and the surfaces look old and complex.
Look to Matt Lively's website, or the Matt Lively webpage at Turning Point Gallery's site to learn more about his work, and to see samples. But you really need to see these in person to appreciate the rich surfaces and the deep tone of the whimsy. Misbehaving machines, surfaces that do unexpected things, furniture with gender and personality, Doug the dog, hybrid creatures... It's a personal and fascinating world.