Matthew Monahan - Contemporary Artists

The Family Tree

The Family Tree The Saatchi Gallery

Matthew Monahan

The Family Tree

mixed media

285 x 82 x 63 cm

Straddled between representation and invention, Matthew Monahan’s Untitled molds a monumental drawing into architectural form. Rolled into a giant obelisk, Monahan’s portrait of a venerable muse is rendered in charcoal, giving the illusion of stone or earthy substance. Untitled’s strange cylindrical form suggests a variety of functions: icon of worship, stylised geological formation, or futuristic tepee encasing magical power. Through an opening in the back of the sculpture, Monahan reveals his construction as pretence: his immortal god is a paper effigy. The ballast within, however, stops short of actually supporting the object, instead becoming an altar for a simple fetish; leaving the physics of the structure as a mystery of equilibrium and balance.
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