Maps and nautical charts are more or less obligated to objectivity. What these to-scale illustrations are lacking is exactly what Matthew Cusick gives them: impulsiveness, emotion, and power. In Map Works, Matthew Cusick puts together pieces of maps like a puzzle, creating an intoxicating and “roaring” new image. Massive waves rise up where there would otherwise only be numbers and lines.
A crown of foam, the northern Pacific dances atop the other oceans. Through Cusick’s collages, a feeling of three-dimensionality arises from cartographic two-dimensionality, doing justice to the gigantic proportions of such an overwhelming wave. Matthew Cusick found his way to the wave motif through Japanese art, particularly through one of the most recognisable works of Japanese art in the world: Katsushika Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa”.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Matthew Cusick was born in 1970. More than ten years ago, he discovered a box full of old maps in his studio. The artist then began to experiment and was immediately fascinated with the possibility of creating his own places and time zones with just a few snips. Since then, he has created an extensive body of work that has been exhibited internationally and reproduced in publications such as The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, and Art in America.
Common themes in his work include immense waves, landscapes, and even portraits. His work has received numerous awards and can be found in many collections around the world. Though he is originally from New York, Matthew Cusick now lives and works in Dallas.
Masterful Collages Made of Maps
Cusick uses atlases for his powerful collages, uniting pieces of the landscape that are actually quite far apart to create his own new world. Armed with scissors and a craft knife, the artist playfully rearranges the fundamental organisation of modern society.
Matthew Cusick is impressed by the colours, shapes, and creative possibilities found in maps. His works are an homage to the unfamiliar, to the past, and to travelling. Reality and fantasy could not be merged any more ingeniously.
Maps provided so much potential, so many layers. I put away my brushes and decided to see where the maps would take me.
Lives and works in Dallas, Texas, USA
2010 Artistic Scholarship Award, Meadows School of the Arts, Dallas,Texas, USA
2008 Artist Residency, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, Nebraska, USA
2008 Claud Vance Memorial Award for Art in the Metroplex, Fort Worth, Texas, USA
2005 Grant in Painting, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York, USA
Progressive Corporation Art Collection
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
The Mattsson McHale Foundation
The Robert & Jereanne Chaney Collection
Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection
Jeri L. Waxenberg Collection
Eloise Retallick, Profiles: Matthew Cusick, Juxtapoz, n126, 2011
Dick Goody, Borders and Frontiers, Gallery catalog, Oakland University Press, 2011
Collage: a Portfolio: curated by Pavel Zoubok, The Paris Review, Spring 2011
Simone Achermann, Land In Sight, Abstract, W.I.R.E., Switzerland, #1, 2011
Nicola Nosengo, Geopolitics: An Interview with Parag Khanna, Oxygen Magazine, Codice Edizioni, Italy, 2011
Charissa N. Terranova, On Wheels at brand 10 artspace, Glasstire.com, 2011
Volti “Geografici” di Matthew, La Repubblica, Italy, 2011
Andrea James, Map collages by Matthew Cusick: portraits, seascapes, & more, BoingBoing.com, 2011
Marica, Happy Endings: a collage series by Matthew Cusick, Who Killed Bambi.co.uk, 2010
Aditi Justa, Amazing collages: When old maps and book pages become the canvas, GreenDiary.com, 2010
Rob MacDonald, Sixth Finch Fall 2010, Sixthfinch.com, Fall 2010
Tanja Laden, Matthew Cusick, Flavorpill.com, Daily Dose, October 1, 2010