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Artist of the Month
January 2015

Artist of the Month

Matthew Fine

Matthew Fine is an independent studio artist working in his private studio in Norfolk, Virginia. His work is inspired by the interaction and juxtaposition of hot cast glass and granite. Fine was raised on the oceanfront in Virginia Beach, and this relationship with sand and sea continues to inspire his work. Fine is represented by Okay Spark gallery, Norfolk, Virginia.

Click on each photo to the right for a full picture. 

Matthew Fine

Artist of the Month

Artist Statement:

My love and respect for the materials I use to sculpt should be evident in my work. The irreducible realities of the hardest granite is unmistakable. Boiling earth that has cooled and somehow found its way to my studio is a wonder all its own. Creating liquid glass, so that I may playfully form and shape it, is like a dream come true. These two very different materials have become the way that I explore my world. So different yet so similar, their juxtaposition leads me places in a dialogue that always surprises and informs. I spoil myself with materials and tools. This self-indulgence creates its own lexicon of responsibility to the materials and myself. Not reaching for honest expression would be such a waste.

My influences are many, but like most things in my life have their own polar relationship. Isamu Noguchi and Marsden Hartley are probably not commonly put together. For me they represent the journey of art that I find most intriguing. Noguchi's reverence of materials and process were wrapped up in an Asian aesthetic that he felt akin to, but was also rejected from. This informed his work and his life in a very unique way. Similarly, Hartley was not accepted into the culture where he yearned for acceptance. Hartely painted from his mind's eye in a way that I find irreducibly honest; brush strokes that are not supposed to look like clouds, but rather are supposed to look like what Hartley thought clouds look liked. This subtle difference is one that I adopt in my work. These two men spent their lives in pursuit of an expression that was their own, one that reflects who they were.

My work, when looked at from a multi decade perspective, has one truth. My work is me and I am my work. I now see my art as self-portraits. I try to be as honest about myself and my human condition as I can possibly be. My work is not about perfection or beauty for the sake of beauty. I see myself, like most people, as very human and try to make work that reflects this. My sculpture always yearns for grace and beauty but is always held back from attaining this expression. I stay away from processes that could mechanically create perfection. Every surface is done by hand, guaranteeing they are as flawed as I am. There is a bit of imperfection in every aspect of my work, an undeniable relationship to the human condition. 

About Matthew Fine

Matthew Fine has been a sculptor since 1983 when he took his first sculpture class as a college freshman. He had been searching for a form of artistic expression and was immediately taken by the pairing of both physical and mental. For more than half his life, he has used materials to learn about himself. These discoveries and explorations have allowed him to learn about his impulses as an artist and a person. The dialogue with sculpture has become the one constant in his life that always reminds him of who he is, where he has been and all the endless possibilities that remain.

As a successful businessperson outside of art, Matthew's motivations for making work get to be removed from financial concerns. He seeks to push himself, always trying to further an idea as oppose3d to repeating something for the marketplace. Sculpture, for him, is a chance to realize truths about who he is at a moment in time. 

Acknowledgment of Gallery:
We are grateful to Okay Spark gallery, Norfolk, Virginia, for providing the Artist of the Month.

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Our Mission

The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to further the development and appreciation of art made from glass.

The Alliance informs collectors, critics and curators by encouraging and supporting museum exhibitions, university glass departments and specialized teaching programs, regional collector groups, visits to private collections, and public seminars.