Melissa Brown and Mat Brinkman at M+B- Art Scene (March 2009)
Friends and contemporaries Melissa Brown and Mat Brinkman exhibit their new works on paper at M+B. At first inspection, Brown’s playful manipulation of Technicolor discarded scratch lottery tickets and Brinkman’s often, frightening paintings of mutating monsters engage in separate dialogues with the viewer and in nearly no conversation with each other. Brown’s calculated handling of discarded lotto tickets transforms trash into a kaleidoscopic wonderland of words, shapes, and colors. Lotto tickets indicate the possibility of money, but Brown has turned them into signs that promote the promise of “Big Bucks” and the “$1,000 Club.” Brinkman’s paintings are crudely pinned to the wall, the majority of which appear in a separate room saturated by a green light bulb, and trace how the artist creates a face. The works operate in sequence beginning with a form so undecipherable that the viewer can hardly decode the image while competing with the glaring green light. The final images depict twisted, gnarled visages with sunken eyes. Both Brown and Brinkman examine the darkness that creeps within the loins of humanity- whether it’s our demented psychosis or the seduction of one of the greatest deadly sins: greed.