Matt Maust | Modern Memory

July 14, 2021 - September 18, 2021

Yoshii Gallery is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition Modern Memory, opening on July 14th, 2021.  This exhibition will showcase the artwork of Los Angeles based artist Matt Maust.

Matt Maust’s passion for visual art has consistently been a driving force for the artist and an outlet for expressing his unique viewpoint on the world. Maust constantly finds opportunities to work on his art, either at home in his studio, or while on the road with his band. During these international tours, he draws inspiration from motifs, architecture, advertising, and conversations he observes. He combines these influences into powerful and expressive artworks consisting of many layers. Although the layering of colors, images, and text may seem chaotic, there is an undeniable presence of structure and balance within each work.

Maust’s multidisciplinary practice consists of his own photography, collage, painting, and drawing, with many works incorporating all of these components.  While he will often have an idea of the various elements he wants to include in an artwork, Maust rarely plans his pieces before they are created.  Instead, he relies on his instincts to dictate the direction of the artwork.  He enjoys playing with the viewer’s assumptions to cultivate a sense that the artwork was found in its completed form, rather than produced by the artist’s own hand.  To achieve this affect, he will sometimes photocopy an image multiple times to degrade it, and, in his own words, “make it look stolen”.

Some of these heavily crafted works are built over old, unfinished pieces that the artist recycles to produce an entirely new image.  The process can take years to complete, as Maust tears up and reworks the pieces, never settling until he arrives at the finished work.  He describes it as a constant regurgitation, as he glues old pieces onto new ones and layers new images on top of the old. The vernaculars that are scattered throughout his work stem from phrases and conversations, which, when stripped from their initial contexts become yet another layer within each piece, adding humor, insight, or reflection. These processes, when meticulously combined over time, result in artworks that seem both mass produced, yet deeply personal.

Maust’s works do not have a clearly defined foreground and background, but are a purposeful accumulation of media that imbues the works with depth and nuance. Each piece seems steeped with layers of emotion, some loud and bold, and others more soft and subtle.  Much like a live performance, the works exude a powerful rock and roll sensibility and a striking feeling of immediacy.  However, upon closer examination, one is able to peel back the layers to process and contextualize the meaning within.  By working on each piece intermittently, Maust is able to step away from his works and return with a refreshed perspective on how to best convey his message to the viewer.

Matt Maust is currently a band member and creative director for the bands Cold War Kids and French Style Furs. He graduated with a BA in Graphic Design. Maust has exhibited his work throughout the United States, with shows in Los Angeles, New York, and Miami Beach, as well as in the UK, with a group show in London. Modern Memory will be his first show at Yoshii Gallery.