Matthew Stone “A Portrait Of The Artist In The Metaverse”

The Hole

poster for Matthew Stone “A Portrait Of The Artist In The Metaverse”

This event has ended.

The Hole presents a solo exhibition with British artist Matthew Stone. He was the first artist we represented when we founded the gallery and it is such a pleasure to have grown and explored so much together. His pioneering work with digital technology has recently expanded into NFTs and the metaverse, so of course we will follow him there!

For this exhibition Stone presents works on linen and video in the gallery as well as related NFTs in the Metaverse. The centerpiece of the show is a large diptych where one panel is a heroic composition of figures on linen and the other panel is a giant LED screen “playing” the same figures and draped fabrics in fluid motion. Having long used 3D software to compose and combine his scanned brushstrokes, it was only natural to draw on his experience making lens-based works and expand his use of these programs to include movement and shifting camera angles. The artist was inspired to use a time-stretched version of the famous “Hitchcock Zoom” camera technique, where he zooms in and pulls away at the same time, often used to communicate a life-altering shift in perception, that “things will never be the same.” Add the moving, blinking figures and the paintings seems to be “awakening” and edging deeper and deeper into a parallel and limitless world. The artist suggests that we might think of painting as an early form of VR, which is an intentionally provocative statement pointing to how all image making is rendering subjective visions of reality.

The image above features Stone’s avatar from Cryptovoxels where he has been exhibiting art and hanging out with new online friends. The head is a unique wearable item, as is the magic wand standing in for a paint brush. This exhibition will be paralleled with a virtual exhibition and event in his Cryptovoxels gallery “Magic Energy”; more info on that forthcoming. The sense of floating and antigravity in the avatar gives expression to the experiences the artist has while working in 3D software, inhabiting these virtual spaces and also in meditation.

One wall of the show features thirty portraits, available as linens paired with free NFTs, or NFTs paired with free linens, depending on your entry-point and orientation. They pay homage to the seminal 2017 “Cryptopunks” NFT project and explore the phenomenon of ownable jpgs as avatar, digital portraiture and of shifting creative identities in the metaverse. A suggested use for these works is that their collectors use them as profile pictures on social media. They are also a love letter to all he has been learning about and experiencing the past year.

The biggest visual innovation in this part of the show is a new digital painting technique that utilizes glass textured brush strokes, to blend and distort his established gestural brushwork. These works open a space where Stone is really letting loose, getting past his own “restrictive rules”, having fun and sharing quite transparently (no pun intended) the variety of ideas and options and expressions he is able to share in this unique context.
Matthew Stone’s work combines the particularities of the artist’s hand with the possibilities of digital construction. Born in London, 1982 and graduating from Camberwell College of Art, Stone has exhibited widely with solo exhibitions in New York, London, Copenhagen and Seoul. Including a recent solo exhibition at Somerset House, Stone has participated in projects and exhibitions at the Serpentine, the Baltic, the Royal Academy, ICA and Tate Britain.



from September 07, 2021 to October 10, 2021

Opening Reception on 2021-09-07 from 18:00 to 20:00


Matthew Stone

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