Matt Straub

New York City

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I was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming and I have hitch-hiked across most of the American West and even hopped a few freight trains. My work has a deep nostalgia for the the harsh landscapes of the West. With a bold Comic visual vocabulary and sensibility, these paintings echo the period of transition between Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art.

The narratives and the violent and sentimental mythologies of the America West are depicted in my painting. This is an America defined by melancholy sunsets, badlands, gunfights, outlaws and red-blooded heroes. References include Hollywood Westerns and the Comics and Pulps of the 1940’s-50’s. BANG! BLAM!

The West and its Icons have always been romanticized. For more than a century now, those remote places with no tin stars or jail cells, have fueled an imagination that has rarely matched the truth. There is the moral dilemma of violence. The dark side of the American dream. (The American Poetry of Crime) America has always seemed to have been a violent place. (Business for the Undertaker)

My work also looks under the hood of the present day reality of the American West, with its concrete plains and Mini-Mart cowboys—where the buffalo used to roam. These Pop-Westerns are like graffiti splattered box cars rolling across the plains. My paintings are a metaphor for a vanishing West.

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  1. So good to see all the time and effort that goes into a big painting like this. Sick layering.
  2. This is a great video, well edited, cool soundtrack. Matt is an interesting subject and it is enticing to see him in the process of making some damn fine artwork!