Look Both Ways: the photographic work of Matt Stuart

Exhibition Runs: 4 -26 February at KK Outlet, Hoxton Square, LONDON  N1

Matt Stuart

It is my belief that irony often runs poetically parallel to life. This is as true as Cheryl Cole is going to have less fans than a sausage roll, aided by a facebook group titled ‘Can this sausage roll get more fans than Cheryl Cole?’ of course… and with this soon to be Wikipedia fact in a world of finite size where man, woman and sausage rolls co exist history suggests that Art replicates life and then life replicates art.

So on the day that Cheryl Cole may eat the words that she probably didn’t write by fight fight fighting for the love of publicity I made my way to the KK Outlet gallery in Hoxton Square where photographer Matt Stuart, man of the honest and often humours moment has an exhibition showcasing his lasted work.

‘Witty, joyful, surreal, poetic and utterly accessible’ are the collective wordings from the streets of which Matt Stuarts work derives.

Matt Stuart

Matt explains that ‘a fascination with people and the way they live their lives and how they utilising the city space’ drives his almost obsessive’s ability to patiently wait for the impulsive moment and take a snap shot which often draws out the absurdity in the big and often faceless city that is London town.

Cheeky smiles and gut felt giggles have been the reactions to the warmth that exists within the frozen circumstance moments Matt opportunistically honors as his work.

It is a true skill and discipline of an almost stalker-ish nature to instinctively shoot everyday, everywhere you go, capturing what the naked eye of a heavily dressed city mind misses as it is absorbed into city life.

Matt Stuart

Not so long ago on a delightfully gray, grim and rainy day skulking about the underground I was catching a tube during rush hour. The train was rammed, crowed as folk can be, the doors opened and people scrambled to squeeze in pushing their way to find that all important space. In the mists of all the excitement some rather shady character got a bit narked and started to roughly push his way onto the train. His actions rattled a few suits and heated words were said. Then a middle-aged businesswoman in a smart trouser suit said in a strong, polite and clear voice  ‘Behaviour like a human being’.

This is what Matt and his Lecia (sexy little German camera), shooting on film with a 35mm lens, brings to light…the behavior of humans, in our actions, objects and moments of being. I found that the heart of the work exhibited lay in the sincerity of the work which comes about in a refreshing and accessible way where much of today’s contemporary art has found itself formed from the design school of ‘art for art sake with meaning concluded in art circles rather than acquired in public domain.

Matt Stuart

The camera in its purity is a tool to document life. Matt’s work is a contemporary take on such a respected past. In this day and age where the climate of the absurd and serious are hard to separate Matt has a great talent and an impressive body of work on show.

All in all the exhibition is a most excellent exhibition depicting street life as a moment that memory can love with open passion and fascination often much more than a sausage roll or to a lesser degree a Cheryl Cole.

To view more of Matt’s work check out his website – http://www.mattstuart.com/

If you’re interested in art of a similarly quirky yet manufactured moment then check out the Austrian Artist Erwin Wurm


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