The works featured in “Ephemera” are the newest iteration of Pedro Matos’ masterful oil-on-canvas explorations, featuring a complex layering of texture, pattern and portraiture. He collects inspiration from a variety of sources, and photographs people, places, and aesthetic details to pull from for his finished works. Matos’ new canvases are a result of the piling-up of things he is drawn to, torn-up, remixed, and given the appearance of ripped paper – set to mimic the aesthetic of worn, shredded posters pasted to the side of a building. Through this visual language, Matos hopes to pull the viewer into a conversation surrounding impermanence, and the constant shifting of social, political, moral, cultural and aesthetic ideas.
His investigation of life’s ephemeral nature has led him to create a body of work that vividly juxtaposes beauty with decay, something he encounters daily in contemporary urban spaces. The patterning he utilizes in these works comes directly from traditional Portuguese designs, layered with advertisements from the street, rendered meticulously in bright oil paint.
Underneath it all, Matos works with portraiture based on subjects that lie outside of what popular culture craves: instead of models, celebrities or cultural icons, he works to represent the kind of people he regularly encounters. Family members, people that are a part of his immediate community, personalities encountered out in the streets, and other subjects that fall in this same vein. The forgotten, the overlooked, the underappreciated members of society all take precedence here, where the slick transience of advertising culture fails to do anything more than fade away with very little time.
About the artist:
Pedro Matos was born in 1989 in Santarém, Portugal and started painting at the age of 16, inspired by his immersion in graffiti, skateboarding and street culture. Pedro went on to pursue a formal education in painting and art history, which brought him to study at Central Saint Martins in London, and Ar. Co in Lisbon. Matos has exhibited works internationally, with previous shows in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portugal, Spain and London. He currently lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal.
New Works by Pedro Matos
Opening Reception: September 3rd 7-11 pm
839 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA
Look for Pedro Matos‘ debut Los Angeles solo show next spring with us here at Thinkspace… more details announced soon on that one!