Artists: H - Z: Matt Haffner
This work is about the memories of my home, my family, of stories that were told to me by my dad, and coming to terms with how these things have shaped me as an artist. It is also about evoking a sense of place that is specific yet is difficult to summarize. The layers and transparency that are evident in this work are about memory, loss, nostalgia, and a love for the city’s periphery and all its complexities.
I am a multi-disciplinary artist whose works are derived from urban themes and narratives. As a former street artist, my works are often aesthetically graphic and have a variety of size differences from small and highly detailed to extremely large and startling. Recently my work feels more nostalgic than some previous film noir and comic book inspired pieces. This shift is a part of embracing my blue collar, Midwest roots and my love of the fringe of the urban environments I inhabit, and a move away from the fictions and fabrications of earlier works.
I often mine art history, popular culture and contemporary life for styles, sources and imagery. I look to low culture and street aesthetics for inspiration, creating works that both live in the contemporary art world and outside the traditional gallery space. The narratives that I use are fragmented parts that compel viewer participation and personal memory. The characters in these narratives are not gods or superheroes, but ordinary urban residents made extraordinary through a new kind of representation.
Matt Haffner graduated from the University of Akron (BFA) and Tyler School of Art (MFA). He had multiple solo exhibitions such as “Dreams of a Sleeping Giant” at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, “Tales From the Lonesome City” at Pentimenti Gallery, and “Used Fiction” at Lyons Wier Gallery in New York. Matt Haffner is represented by Pentimenti Gallery. Haffner has participated in group shows such as “MOCA GA Collects: The Photographic Image” at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, and “Spark, Borrow and Steal” at Pentimenti. His work has been purchased for multiple collections including Kunstwerk Museum in Berlin, Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia, Alston and Bird LLP., in Atlanta, Charles McDougall the director of Desperate Housewives, Anglo Irish Bank Alabama Theatre, Temple Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, and the University of Akron as well as in various private collections.