Trek Matthews

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Painter Trek Matthews may be Wisconsin-bred, and his work may appear everywhere from Atlanta, Georgia, to Tokyo, Japan, but it’s Weimar, Germany, where he now finds his influence. “My current work is based off Bauhaus’ ideas of construction, composition and form, but working within a natural contemporary context with my palette.” For Matthews, this German approach translates to his creation of abstract spaces using letter and character forms in addition to flat planes of color in soft, muted tones to illustrate travels made in different places. “I want to create space that is not clearly identifiable in its scale in relation to the viewer,” he says.


Medium: Painting
Location: San Francisco
Date: 2015

And for Dolby®, it translated into a Visual Study of Sound Layering; an abstract visual representation of sound moving within a space. Relative to creating an audio experience through the mixture of sounds and noise, color can be used in transparent sheets to build up a solid, brilliant hue. By creating an abstract mural populated by flat, geometric forms in an axonometric layout, the work builds into the real scope of sound surrounding it. “I used all of the rectilinear forms in a space and formed them and on top of that added the white transparencies to act as the final filters like in a sound recording,” Matthews explains. To bring the idea to life, he created a vector sketch on the computer then made a rendering to scale in order to translate it to the wall with chalk. “From a rudimentary standpoint, it’s like paint by numbers,” he says. “I have a sort of limited palette, so mixing colors gives me about 20–40 tints overall in order to add all of the depth and shadows.”

Trek Matthews

The softer color palette is on purpose. “I’m exploring properties of op art that are clear connections to its masters, such as adjacent hard-edged forms of complementary properties, and how a color's relative appearance is entirely dependent on its surroundings,” Matthews shares.