Matt Leines: You Are Forgiven
Introduction by Gary Panter. Text by Taylor McKimens.
If I stumble upon something, I'll just try to draw it in my sketchbook as quick as possible, New Jersey-based artist Matt Leines has said of his process. "I like to look at a lot of paintings from different cultures where you have to infer what is going on. If there is something I come across, an image, a composition, an idea, I just draw it--and I'll use the word bastardized--until the initial influence has disappeared and it exists only in my world." Leines--who was born in 1980 and remains inspired by all of the WWF wrestling and He-Man cartoons he absorbed in his youth--was at Providence's Rhode Island School of Design during the tail end of the now mythic scene that grew up around the raucous, DIY art space Fort Thunder. Leines, who studied illustration at RISD, has poured these influences into a graphic, illustrative technique that blends his experience of suburban American culture with styles he borrows from primitive and non-Western art, creating a highly original, new-fangled psychedelic stew. Recent obsessively detailed, highly patterned works done in ink, watercolor and pencil on paper feature a cast of aboriginal-looking men posing with spears or shrouded in ornate masks. For those not lucky enough to have bought a drawing when this now highly collectable artist was selling on eBay to the highest bidder, this volume-his first monograph-will more than suffice.