Andy Mattern (b. 1979, Albuquerque, NM; lives in Stillwater, OK) holds a BFA in Studio Art from the University of New Mexico, 2002 and an MFA in Photography from the University of Minnesota, 2012. He is an Assistant Professor of Photography and Digital Media at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater and is represented by Elizabeth Houston Gallery, NY. His photographs have been exhibited at Lawndale Art Center, Houston; Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh; Candela Gallery, Richmond, VA; and New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe as well as the Photographic Centre Peri, Turku, Finland, among other venues. His projects and exhibitions have been included in publications such as PHOTONEWS, The New Yorker and Camera Austria. Mattern has received awards for his work including the Arthur Griffin Legacy Award presented by the Griffin Museum of Photography; Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board and Art 365 and Individual Artist’s Fellowship from the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. His work is included in the permanent collections of the BMO Harris Bank, Chicago; Tweed Museum of Art, Duluth, MN; New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe; and Photo Center North West, Seattle.
Statement from the Artist:
Turning the camera on its own logic, the photographs in Average Subject / Medium Distance reconfigure paper guides once used to determine exposure and other image settings. Stripped of example imagery, technical numbers, and explanatory text, these relics from midcentury photographic practice are reduced to their underlying structure. In the process of removing this information, digital traces are created, shifting the surface into a rupture between physical and virtual, analog and digital, functional and useless. This process creates a new surface that hints at formal mandates in the medium. A single word remains in each composition in its original location, while all other information has been neutralized. This word operates as a springboard for interpretation while pointing to the priorities and conventions conveyed by the original object.