Matthew Hopson-Walker

My art is inspired by the complexities of adulthood as filtered through the moralizing and exaggerated emotions of childhood entertainment: video games, the Three Stooges, heavy metal, and comic books like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. These works of fiction use over-the-top or exaggerated emotion to belabor a point. Beyond reinforcing a narrative, the action in these stories reflects negative emotions that are often sublimated in social situations where maintaining harmony is prized over honest expression. I am very interested in the consequences of having conflicting thoughts or engaging in behavior that contradicts personal, social, or moral responsibility. When those animal motives that are said to lurk beneath human ones run rampant as selfish disregard, wonton laziness, and willful ignorance.

Fables, mythology, and folk tales have often explored similar territory to explain detrimental elements of the human character with graphic detail. Like release valves of posturing, these seemingly random stories often unmasking of the selfish intent laying within altruism or revealing the brute behind the human intellect. My images document personal experience, social hierarchies I’ve navigated, and people as darkly psychological beings. With my images; printmaking, collage, and drawing techniques and materials are employed in a way that I relate metaphorically to the function of memory and experience. The process of how my images are made being an important part of the existential quandary my work is grappling with.