Pardee's Picks: Matt Ritchie Studio Visit

December 19, 2013

A few weeks prior to Patrick O'Connell's in-depth interview with "Imagination Issue" artist Matt Ritchie, photographer Chloe Rice and I went to pay him a visit in his home studio and wood shop in Castro Valley, CA, and submerged ourselves in the hand-carved, scratched and painted world that he has created for over two decades. That world is aesthetically tiny. Paintings and wood carvings as small as 1" in diameter populate rows and rows of drawers, most of them hidden, pinned and bagged like minute taxidermic insects. However, the deeper we dove into these drawers, and the more minuscule paintings we uncovered, that tiny world slowly became GIGANTIC. Matt Ritchie has hand-crafted hundreds upon hundreds of elements and inhabitants of his universe. Some made of wood, some of canvas, some of plastic. Some of paint, some of ink, some of pencil. Some simple, bold character-cut outs, some fully functional and dimensional dioramas, and some act as intricate narrative gateways to other pieces.  When we finally dug out almost all of his pieces, Chloe and I both felt like we were living inside a cartoon.      -Alex Pardee   Read all about Matt Ritchie's inspirational world in the current "Imagination" Issue of Juxtapoz.   All photos by Chloe Rice