Matt Williams has been on the radar for a while now. He submitted to our Curator’s Choice issue earlier this year and although he was not selected for the publication, I keep going back to his work that was submitted in hopes to feature it online. Then fate happened and Matt and I were able to spend some time together at this year’s Review Santa Fe conference. When talking to Matt you can immediately see that he is the real deal. No bullshit. No pretending. This guy is passionate about making images and he isn’t afraid to prove it. I was really taken by his current body of work, Soft Proof, and I decided that I wanted to get this online first. Don’t think that this is the last time you will see Matt’s work on the website. This is just the first installment.
Matt Williams received an MFA in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2016. His work has been shown in galleries such as ClampArt in New York City and museums including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He is still aglow from his first solo show in the spring of 2017 at the Proof Gallery in Boston. In addition to working on Soft Proof, he has been at work on a new series of photographs based on the history of the Aberjona River.
I go back and forth incessantly about whether to talk more about my work or less. When I’m not convinced that I’m having the conversations in and through the work that I want to be having the words just keep coming, slipping out of my mouth or keyboard in an endless attempt to explain, to prove, to justify.
It feels like an ineffective crutch born of insecurity and inexperience. I am pledging here and now to speak less about my photographs and my art and trust that the work itself is infused by the ideas, thoughts, and concepts that are rattling around inside me during the making of it.
Things I am thinking about when making Soft Proof include but are not limited to: the often awkward interaction between humans and nature. The ways we humans try and leave our marks on the world. Consumerism and capitalism. The industrial revolution. America. Communication. How a thing, a place, a person can be monumentally strong and terrifyingly fragile all at once. And how today looks a lot like yesterday did and how tomorrow probably will no matter what mental gymnastics we perform to make ourselves think otherwise.
The above list is subject to change.
Soft Proof is a work in progress.
To view more of Matt’s work and interact with him, check out his website.