Matthew J. Bindert — Woodblock Prints/Paintings
Born – Minneapolis, Minnesota 1978
Matthew J. Bindert is one of Minneapolis Minnesota’s most promising artists. His Work primarily consists of Woodblock prints on canvas, which he then reworks by incorporating
Serigraphy and Painting. His work has been included in the Minnesota National Print Biennial, The Minnesota Museum of American Art’s Biennial, and was selected for the International Print Center New York’s New Prints Program “selected by Kiki Smith.” He has received many prestigious awards, completed an artist residency at Highpoint Center for Printmaking in Minneapolis, and earned a Master of Fine Arts from UW-Madison in Printmaking.
I create large-scale mixed media individual works and installations utilizing woodblock printing, serigraphy and painting on both traditional and upcycled materials. The process typically begins with hand carving woodblocks that are primarily four by eight feet in scale, using imagery pulled from a variety of personal and historical sources – the iconography of the Roman Empire, camouflage, textile patterns, logos, DNA charting, empirical symbols and military graphics. These woodcuts are then inked and hand-rubbed onto a translucent film, transferred to silkscreen, and screen-printed onto canvas and upcycled materials. My work is a response to globalization’s dual nature as a force for both prosperity and destruction. The work represents the complex social, religious, economic, health, environmental, and political interdependence of the contemporary world. These ideas are expressed through the layering of marks, symbols, patterns, and the building of imagery that draws parallels between the past and the present. Creating these large, handmade and multilayered sets of images, I use printmaking techniques as a painter would; a way to make marks in the same way one uses a brush. The resulting images are both representational and abstracted while revolving around the interconnected issues such as poverty, war, racism, consumerism, exploitation, and the conservation of nature and culture. My process is fast paced, repetitive, intuitive, and blurs the lines between painting and printmaking. I’m a proud labourist, executing each piece from start to finish in a way that can take as much as a year or more to complete. I came into block-printing through volunteer work I had done with a nonprofit organization in Ireland working with hand tools that were refurbished and then sent to Africa. The rhythmic/meditative nature of the task, along with handling the physical materials and the need to make intuitive decisions as I worked, brought both an intentional, spontaneous quality to a body of work. I also found that working with an unpredictable natural material such as wood, while using a nontraditional approach to carving, leads to a collaborative-like quality with room for the element of chance in the work.