Matt Saunders’s drawings, photographs, and videos employ the photographic process for painterly, moody expressions of character. Influenced by the films of Andy Warhol and Jack Smith, Saunders dissects how “15 minutes of fame” and persona are linked. He uses vintage avant-garde film negatives or stills from old television shows as inspiration, and paints them onto Mylar or linen. The image is then converted into a negative either by contact-printing or an enlarger. That negative undergoes a second additive process—Saunders might paint it with oil pigment or metallic ink, layer it with paper or tape—before finally printing the ultimate finished work. The artist often uses these negatives to create multi-screen projections that dissect the ways in which moving and still images might formulate a narrative.
Saunders has exhibited at institutions including Tate Liverpool, United Kingdom, Renaissance Society, Chicago, Aspen Art Museum, Colorado, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, San Francisco Museum of Art, California, MoMA PS 1, New York, and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others. He also participated in the Sharjah Biennial in 2011. The artist was awarded the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation award in 2009 and the Prix Jean-Francois Prat award in 2013.