Matt McCormick (b. 1987) is a multimedia artist, whose artwork assimilates a diversity of cultural influences culled from the American West into an artistic vision that is as unique and dynamic as the topography itself. Within McCormick’s body of work, seemingly incompatible elements cohabitate with ease—reflecting the conflicting histories of California, McCormick’s home state. Here, as in his paintings and drawings, nostalgia for a fabled past abuts the realities of poverty and strife that confront him daily in Downtown Los Angeles, where his studio is located. The artist embraces these gritty aspects as equally formative to the Golden State as the homestead towns, gold rush bonanzas and 1920s Hollywood glamour that captivate our popular imagination. McCormick’s art embodies the true spirit of California, replete with renegades, risk takers and outlaws.
His latest body of work continues to explore Western mythologies but this time, without the artist’s familiar leitmotifs. There are no cowboys, no text and no East L.A. gangsters. Instead, we find prefabricated homes intruding upon open prairies, faded signage and telephone poles that seem to lead to nowhere—vestiges of the modern day ghost town. These works ruminate on the striking contrast between the physical inheritance of the Wild West, populated with dejected and disposable objects, and the vibrant cultural legacy that remains as alive today as ever before.