Blood for Oil
160 x 62 x 62 cm
Corporeality is central to Matthew Monahan’s work. His figurative references are often distorted to near abstraction, their forms both glamorised and tortured by their material construction: suffocated in lacquer, contorted through folding, pierced by objects, and smothered beneath glass. Through his work, Monahan presents images of both promise and anguish, edging towards an unsettling spiritualism. In Untitled, Monahan’s forms hint at military display: adorned with heroic regalia, his ‘uniforms’ are crumpled and gaping with suggested viscera, implying both honor and horror. Preserved in glass cases, they exude a reliquary aura of reverence, and a disturbing threat of contamination. Crowned by a veiled and severed head, Monahan makes religious references; splattered ‘blood’ denoting sacrifice and catharsis.