Matt Lipps’s photographic practice is heavily reliant on acts of appropriation. His pictures showcase meticulous, collaged dioramas, their elements sourced from the pages of disparate publications like Time-Life magazines or Ansel Adams coffee table books. After his choice images have been extracted, Lipps’s process involves re-organizing the cutouts into new compositions, which are defined by contrasting elements—anachronistic associations, juxtaposing scales, or a conflation of familiar iconography with obscure imagery. Lipps then photographs the staged montages against colorful, precisely lit backgrounds. The resulting photos are decidedly idiosyncratic as well as challenging; within Lipps’s reinvented contexts, the appropriated imagery questions ingrained hierarchies and categorical thinking.
Lipps received his MFA from the University of California at Irvine in 2004. His work is in a number of important collections in Los Angeles including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Hammer Museum. Lipps has exhibited at galleries and institutions throughout the United States and Europe. He is currently an assistant professor of art at San Francisco State University.