Mattew Craven’s Collages of lost civilizations
Mattew Craven is a visual artist who lives and works in New York. His research is ascribable within the current wave of artistic investigation on atlas, archives and catalogation, with the subjects referring, in this case, to anthropological and archaeological sources.
The remains of generic “lost civilizations” are exposed in the form of collages of multiple pieces: coins, helmets, masks, statues; the classical repertoir of museums collections is transformed in compositions where the single meaning of a piece is lost in favour of the aesthetics of the arrangement. Sometimes alternated to geometrical patterns, the fragments are chosen and composed together according to their plastic values and figurative features rather than for their common origin, and end up echoing original atlases like the XIX century “Description de l’Egypte“.
The results look like an imaginary exploration of the repository of an archaeological museum, where all the pieces freely dialogue one with the other, deprived of a scientific classification but combined for their visual pleasure.
(Selected works from: Oblivious Path, Ancient Pleasures, Calvary Scars, History is written by the Winners)