Artist Profile: Mat Collishaw

This blog post is the first in a series of mainly visual artist profiles meant as an inspiration for artists wishing to apply for Nature Morte. These posts will feature contemporary artists that re-imagine Still Life. 

"Central to Mat Collishaw’s work are the themes of illusion and desire, which he uses to draw us into an arena where every-day conventions are broken down and questioned." Saatchi, 2018. 

"What haunting images of beauty and ruin, life and death." Jones, 2013. 

Insecticide series, 182cmx182cm, C-Type Photographs, 2006, Mat Collishaw. 

“Collishaw's Last Meal On Death Row series is one of the eerily paradoxical works in which this powerful artist confronts beauty with horror.” Jones, 2013. 

"This grease-slicked and deftly illuminated display is a re-creation of his last meal...It’s indulgence—literal and spiritual—in the face of death, on the brink of death, and as a stand-in for the dead man himself, each the visual equivalent of a last gasp for air." Wolff, 2014. 

Last Meal On Death Row Series (left to right), James Beathard, 70cmx61cmx6cm, Stacey Lamont Lawton 57.5cm x 57.5cm x 6cm, William Joseph Kitchens, 67.5cm x 54cm x 6cm, 2010, C-Type Photographs, Mat Collishaw. 

“he seduces and confounds the onlooker, Collishaw's flowers are his most beguiling and disgusting achievements. "I make a beautiful flower," as he puts it, "and then I have to go and infect it” Jones, 2013.

“The series is a clever take on the morbid, often vanitas-laden visual syntax typical of European still-life painting from the 16th and 17th centuries—a coded vocabulary that rendered fresh flowers, ripe fruit, raw meat, shucked oysters, skulls, feathers, shells, and other exotic curios as emblems of death. And it’s a motif that, in the 21st century, has undergone a resurgence” Wolff, 2014.

Burning Flowers Series, (Left to Right) Effigy, 1200mm x 89mm, Fading Memories of the Sun, 2200mm x 1830mm, The Poisoned Page, 1550mm x 1160mm, 2014, C-Type Photographs, Mat Collishaw.