Matt Belk

08.02.2024 — 19.05.2024
Matt Belk in the studio, 2024.
Matt Belk in the studio with work in progress, 2024.
View over Kostyál residendy, Blidö, 2024.
Hunting at Erstavik, 2024.
Erstavik, 2024.
Erstavik, 2024.
Gift for Carl af Petersen (owner of Erstavik).

Exhibition Text

Matt Belk was born in 1988 in Omaha, Nebraska, where he is currently based. He was raised hunting, bringing lived experience to his paintings. He notes politely the occasionally condescending nature of the city folk, and from his outside-the-artworld position chooses to make his work more playful, inviting and accessible to those who may be unfamiliar or dismissive of the culture and history of hunting.

Belk creates landscape paintings that portray the natural world through an uncanny gaze with a complexity and precision that belies the distinction of real and imagined. Using airbrush, tape and X-acto knife, Belk layers plants, animals and unexpected guests with precision and wit, giving image to the wild using a digital aesthetic. Belk hand-makes compositions that contain two worlds in crisp contrast: above and below the water line.

Matt Belk has during his stay at Blidö, also visited various famous manors around Sweden to immerse himself in the archipelago nature. Here is a testimony after his visit to Erstavik:

“Carl my brother! It was one of the top hunting experiences of my life! The game has been changed, yes me and Lubbe had a trow down with a heard of fallow deer toward the end of the day on a ridge looking down, it was so crazy! I dropped one and the pack scattered, then I see Lubbe running after them like some kinda super freak spider monkey, and from my vantage point his shot was ridiculous, cannot believe he landed it!

Yeah those guys taught me a lot, really really great people. Cant thank you enough for setting that up and I cant thank Carl and his cousin enough (been thinking about the hunt all day lol while trying to paint haha)

Anyways yeah I think I got some pretty sweet pictures and a bunch of terrain shots to introduce into the paintings, super excited about that. Carls property is like a computer desktop screensaver everywhere you look so it wasnt hard to find top notch reference. ”

-Matt Belk