Matthew Porter: This is How it Ends
As with much of Matthew Porter’s work, the accumulation of images creates an experience of cinematic romanticism tempered by the realities of our time and an underlying mood of concern. A naturally gifted image-maker, the light and color of Porter’s pictures, often shot at dusk in and around New York and Los Angeles, create beautiful images while the subject of many of the pictures – cages, barriers, people on phones – convey the anxiety of life in the Covid era we live in.
Porter’s pictures – which mix fact and fiction - are at times amalgamations of location shots and studio shots to create the image Porter wants. However, the aim of the work is to create a mood that is as truthful to reality as the “sunshine noir” that Porter describes allows. In a world where muscle cars fly over deserted streets and a phone is not just a phone but a weapon, Porter’s graphic eye makes a strong case for the contemplative image in a picture-saturated culture.
The title of his new exhibition at Danziger Gallery, This Is How it Ends, sounds pessimistic, it is, but it also allows for the possibility of a new beginning. Consider the yellow skies not just as prescient images of the fiery west coast skies but as hailing a new dawn. The hovering cars not just as escapes from a dystopian present but as augurs of hope. Much can be read into the title, but for artists along with the rest of the world, Covid has presented a reckoning that Porter has chosen to confront head-on.