Anthony Mastromatteo: “Incurably Atomic”
From the artist:
My freshman year in college I enrolled in a class titled “Introduction to Modern Philosophy.” First on the syllabus: René Descartes’s “Meditations on First Philosophy.” My woefully immature mind succumbed easily to the procedural doubt embedded in the meditation.
I remember walking up to trees as I made my way across Princeton’s campus so as to be able to touch them. To test whether I could trust my eyes. To feel if the tree was a real existent Thing outside of me. The tree always pushed back against my touch. I felt the texture of its bark assert itself against my fingertips. The tree declared its concrete facticity in no uncertain terms.
“Are you real?”
Inside my head I spoke to the tree.
Much to my surprise,
The tree spoke back to me,
“I wondered the same thing about you.
Creature of my dreams,
Or living and true?”
And so, I became a realist painter. As much as I would express the infinity of myself, I am equally enthralled by the limit placed on the shape of that infinity by the existent Things I bump into wandering around in the field of that personal infinity. And so I have come to realize that in declaring myself I am forced to declare not-myself — the Things that push back against me . . . that demand recognition not in terms of my existence but in terms of theirs. And so my realism is a painting of myself, a painting of Things, and a painting of the field of relationships upon which these first two entities meet.
“Incurably Atomic” featuring the art of Anthony Mastromatteo is on view through February 23, 2019, at Cleveland State University / The Galleries at CSU (OH).