MGA COLLECTION ARTIST
Matthew Sleeth is very much a man of his age. He deals with the external world, and especially its social constructs, while understanding the tenuous relation between the mechanical tracery of the photograph and the direct perception of experience. “I want my photography to move past the constraints of aspiring to a transparent objectively; to depart from the orthodox traditions of the documentary,” he explains. “I want to engage with my times – to make pictures that grapple with social and political ideas.”
His visual language is one of dynamic design, uncanny juxtapositions and telling marginal detail. Witty and with a strong sense of style, his apparently relaxed ‘snapshots’ involve a complex and at times unorthodox visual syntax.
What raises Matthew Sleeth’s images above the simple interest-value of their subject matter is his willingness to engage with the beautiful – a recently much mistrusted quality. Not the aesthetics of classically beautiful objects and people, but the coaxing of beauty from the chaos of the everyday. In this, he is very much in tune with the new generation of practitioners who, disillusioned with the downward spiral of postmodern intellectualism, seek to engage with the world through the language of popular culture, fashion and, especially, design.