Colin Matthes is one of the great Midwestern printmakers centered around Josh MacPhee’s Justseeds radical art distribution service whose work may be little known to New York City street art buffs but deserves exponentially wider recognition.
He’s produced posters for the Celebrate People’s History series, co-edits the Cut and Paint zine, was featured in the Paper Politics and Drawing Resistance shows. He also produces the phenomenal art zine Ideas in Pictures. From a Punk Planet review of Ideas in Pictures #4:
The thing about a zine as beautiful as ideas in pictures is that it can never be fully captured in a shoddy 150-word review. You need to hold it in your hands and let your fingers run over the texture of the screenprinted cover. You need to put the your nose up to the page, to smell the sharp toner splashed across the white pages. You need to sit on a park bench, on a weekday afternoon, and let Colin seep into your brain with his distorted line drawings of working class heroes. His chronicle of a strike against Tyson Foods is insightful, “This next series of images is about meat packers who went on strike in the town I grew up in. My interest in the humane treatment of farm animals has led to an interest in the treatment of workers in ‘meat processing’ industries.” It’s another nod to the personal as political as art, and it’s fuckin’ awesome.
Colin lives in Milwaukee, WI and makes drawings, prints, installations, and zines. Keep an eye out for the new zines, Ideas In Pictures #5 (about relationships between business, warfare, and leisure) and Cut and Paint #2 (a stencil template zine put out by Nicolas Lampert, Josh MacPhee, and Colin Matthes).
To see more of Colin’s work check out www.ideasinpictures.org. Colin has three prints and one poster in the show, all featured here. Click the images for larger views: