When the cabbage fights the goat
Matthew Hilshorst, Alex Gartelman and Jonas Sebura
Animal: Goats are separated from sheep in a time of accounting. When pressed, most of us reconcile the sheep as the more precious contender. Vegetable: For millennia cabbage has been the lowliest of vegetable staples, the thing you eat when you have nothing. Vying for the goat in favor of the cabbage feels like a contest for the lowest standing. More tragic than a loss to a loser, relegation to the perpetual circumstance when winning that isn’t much like winning at all. How many of us occupy this deceitful relationship to possibility?
Alex Gartelmann and Jonas Sebura see their own likenesses in everything, but their narcissistic reflections reveal every counter to beauty. The heroic bronze reduced to vulgarity, filth, and weakness. Cheap underwear and socks cover the precious casting. Yellowed, greyed, ill fitting, worn. Inadequate sanitation and ill conceived architecture only further the compromises.
Matthew Hilshorst’s paintings appear to fare better on first glance, but deeper exploration reveals their place amongst the dregs. Of course, there is no intention of pitting Matthew’s works against those of Alex and Jonas. These are artists who occupy compromise as a world experience, as a point of view.
Matthew ignores the basics of representation in painting. His results have none of the advantages of illusion. They are built on an absurd contract with labor; he forces the paint to act like yarn, tape, and flower petals. What are we to make of someone who sees the universe in the bath mat placed in front of the commode? On the other hand, his rug will reject personal stains better than polyester.