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moderndallas.net
Special “Eye” to Watch
June Mattingly // contributing art writer

Michael Christopher Matson
“Exploring the Past in New Light”

Native Texan, Dallasite Christopher just received his BFA in printmaking and sculpture from SMU
on a scholarship as an honor student. In his brief career as a practicing artist he has shown his
ornately surfaced, space identifying sophisticated sculptures considering the fact they’re
without a recognizable subject matter and constructed from such a rudimentary material
as metal and occasionally industrial-based but subtle neon attachments. “My use of neon
creates an interesting juxtaposition. The ‘coolness’ of the metal in concert with warm neon
lighting facilitates an interesting partnership.”
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Ascension. sheet metal. 8'. 2010
Group-wise he’s been included at the Euclid Art House sponsored by Ro2, Craighead-
Green Gallery, Dallas Museum for Contemporary Art and the Old Jail Center in Albany.
Curators sufficiently impressed include him: Joan Davidow, Jordan Roth and Clarissa
Terranova – not bad for starters!

“My current body of work draws from the various Maya cultures and most specifically
the steles of the highland and lowland Maya cultures. The scale and presence
produced by these masterpieces of antiquity could turn-on any artist.” For true
inspiration, Christopher visited the magnificent cobblestone Hieroglyphic
Staircase in Copan, Honduras, (I have too) the famous Mayan ruins in the
cultural center of the Mayan civilization.  
Michael Christopher Matson with
And then it Happened. 5' sheet metal. 2010
The destruction and Copan Ruinas. 2010
“The iconography of my sculptures originates from my drawings. I ‘see’ the potentialities
and further their emergence. It remains essentially drawing and my choice of tools
facilitates a rich complex surface abundant in textual information. It is rough-melted
metal emerging from the circle of fire.”
My experience with neon commenced when I received an apprenticeship
glassblowing position with the family responsible for the construction of the
Pegasus in Dallas.

Typical of young artists these days Michael has a “passion” for exploring materials
and processes: ceramics, intaglio, large format film, glass blowing, metalworking,
neon and bronze casting. “I feel blessed to live a life of artistic discovery.”