Scribbles, doodles and throwaway marks made by customers testing out pens and pencils at an art materials store in Newcastle upon Tyne have been secretly hoarded behind the counter by Matt Antoniak whilst an employee over the last few years.
Rescued from the recycling bin these miniature works have been consistently archived and documented by the artist and given new status through his diligent and precise recreations in paint on canvas. These recent works shown for the first time at Workplace Foundation see an increase in scale, the monumentality of these paintings purposefully challenging the authoritative register of modern art.
Antoniak’s earnest endeavor is sharply contrasted by the unintentional artlessness and bathos of the subject matter and naivety of the imagery. Through such strategies he seeks to evade moralistic traps of art and high-culture and move towards a wholly aesthetic liberation.
Matt Antoniak (b.1991) is an artist based in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Recent and upcoming exhibitions include: Sasquatch, Test Space, Spike Island, Bristol; Testing, Unit 3 Projects, London; Manchester Contemporary, w/ Workplace Foundation, Manchester; Breaking in to Heaven, Conduit Club, London; The Everyday Political, CGP, London; The Bunt, Ginny Projects, London.