Matthew David Crowther was born in 1980 in New York’s Hudson Valley. He earned a BA from Fordham University and an MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is currently based in Chicago, IL, where he serves as the director of the Chicago chapter of Crusade for Art, a non-profit dedicated to engaging new audiences with art. He is also the co-founder of Halfmoon, a publishing project dedicated to art and photography books and zines. Today we share his series, The Darkness Beyond Tomorrow.
The Darkness Beyond Tomorrow
I grew up in a small working class town in Upstate New York. I learned carpentry from my father, explored the woods behind our house, sat around campfires, and threw rocks at trains. As a kid I was always a little restless and curious about what else was out there so I went away to college in Manhattan. I didn’t belong in the city either, though, and I ended up in Athens, GA. There I made a living using the skills my father taught me, exploring new woods, drinking around new fires. There was still a sense that it could all go wrong any day, though. The fragility of living paycheck to paycheck, the loneliness of empty roads, a cloudy view of the future that kept me from looking beyond today. So it was back to school, then another city, this time Chicago.
My years in the city have only served to make me more certain that it is the rural, blue collar communities of my youth that have shaped who I am and how I see the world. My work keeps returning to those places and the people there. Telling stories about that life is a way to better understand myself, my friends and my family; mixing fact and fiction to get at some sort of bigger truth. I make the work in part to understand why, as a child, I couldn’t wait to get away, yet as an adult I’m constantly drawn back home.
To view more of Matthew’s work, please visit his website.