The Artist As Peasant

7-11 AUGUST 2013

PAULNACHE is exhibiting Matthew Couper who is described by Huffington Post’s John Seed as “an artist with a Kafkaesque view of the world whose imagery suggests a pagan Catholic Cirque du Soleil”.

Couper was born in 1976 in Hastings, New Zealand and is now based in Las Vegas after immigrating to the USA in 2010. His practice over the past decade has appropriated aspects of western Art History including Trecento, Quattrocento and the Baroque. Through these painterly investigations, he discovered that history often repeats and helped him determine that the Modernist notions of originality held little interest for his practice. 

Couper uses the established narrative traditions of Spanish Colonial retablos andex – votos to discuss the space between myth, religion and art politics. He recently stated that ‘like any good Johnny Cash, Nick Cave or Pixies song, you’ve got to have sex, death and religion fueling the fire’ – ShareMag, Portugal, (Spring edition, 2011). 

The artist will deliver a solo performance each day of the art fair as a painting monkey, accompanied by a recent suite of work from his Las Vegas studio. PAULNACHE exclusively represents his work within New Zealand.

In conjunction with the art fair exhibition and performance, Couper’s new publication Thirty- Three will also available for sale. The full- color, 80-page perfect bound book accompanies his current traveling exhibition throughout New Zealand, with an essay by anthropologist and author Dr. Peter J. Howland.

CONVERSATION WITH PROF. JOHN SEED OVER A LIVE SKYPE FEED DIRECT FROM THE US... Couper will also share his Las Vegas and New Zealand, elaborate journal entries. John Seed is a professor of art and art history at Mt. San Jacinto College in Southern California. Winner of a 2002 Society of Professional Journalists award in art and entertainment writing, and a 2012 Creative Capital arts writers grant finalist, he has written about art and artists for publications such as Art Ltd, Harvard Magazine, The Huffington Post and Christie's and the Stanford Daily. He has worked at MOCA (Los Angeles) and Gasgosian Gallery; most prominently as Jean-Michel Basquait's assistant. Seed is also a fine art broker and co-editor for the Here is a selection of links that provide context to the connection/ relationship between artist Matthew Couper and Prof. John Seed: cr_b_2346530.html painter_b_1080307.html pai_b_779307.html#s179367&title=Matt_Couper_Palette

In addition: John Seed will be curating a solo exhibition of Matthew Couper's work at the Riverside City College Art Gallery in Los Angeles in September 2013.

Los Angeles filmmaker Eric Minh Swenson traveled to Las Vegas to visit New Zealand-born artist Matthew Couper, who recently immigrated to the USA. In his apartment in Las Vegas, Couper’s collection of religious Spanish Colonial paintings from Mexico provide a rich cache of narrative and allegory that inform the artist’s reactions to his new and unique environment. Over the past two years, Couper’s paintings have collected and collated visual and psychological symbols of Las Vegas, culminating in a hybridized form which Huffington Post artwriter John Seed suggests is ‘a pagan Catholic Cirque du Soleil’, accentuating the artist’s ‘Kafkaesque view of the world’.

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