Giving the deceased a second life is a fundamental aim of Matt Lipps, who has always felt profoundly affected by the premature deaths of legions of gay men at the peak of the AIDS crisis. As a teenager he had felt a deep longing for the beautiful faces and bodies he saw in magazines and posters, and these glossy idols would become the primary vehicle for his art.
By cutting them out and mounting them on cardboard, these lovely, vanished beings could once again stand up and be counted – a “magical, miniature resurrection” shared with the artist for a brief moment before being returned to what Roland Barthes (Lipp’s guiding spirit) has called the “flat death”.
Lipps’ dream-like Home series also deals with the past and another kind of yearning: the call of the wild.
Father-figure Ansel Adams makes his appearance on this stage in the form of his Yosemite pictures, fragments of which float like clouds through mundane but reassuring domestic interiors – the maternal domain.
Adams is also to be credited for inspiring Lipps’ Horizon series: it was his famous Storeroom, de Young Museum, San Francisco, 1933, showing a jumbled basement of classical sculpture, that inspired Lipps to invite his own cut-out heroes of the past on stage for a curtain call.
ext by William A Ewing