Artist Statement

Painting is a search for true self and true authenticity in a time governed by the very perils that the Existentialists prophesied decades ago.  We have become a homogenized society that fears the individual. Art gives voice to the individual. A revelation of true individualistic self.

Painting is the essence of cathartic transcendence.  One transcends time, reality and the now; Nothing takes precendent in the moment that is invested in the ritualistic practice of catharsis.  Manifesting and spilling itself on the canvas. It consumes without notice. Taking you to the depths.  The depths of repressed and unconscious.  The raw expanse of human emotion.  The piece is the ultimate culmination of the ritualistic practice.

I believe that truly great art is participatory.   In all great abstract art, the maze of abstraction demands the focus of the spectator.  Within that labyrinth, a veiled imagery reveals itself.  What shapes the imagery are the experiences, feelings and memories that are solely unique the to spectator.  That allows for various readings of a single piece.

When I paint, it is as much about the process, or the path, than it is the piece itself.  That in part draws from the COBRA movement, who placed a greater emphasis on the process.

All art published on Subterranean Atlas or is created by Matt Schinner.

11 thoughts on “Artist Statement”

  1. What you say about the various readings is totally true Matthew. This is how abstracts get its magic. When people see differently through a painting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I found your site through one of my favorite blogs ( and must say I really enjoy your blog. I love your description of your inspiration, your paintings, your transcendence. I do not have much of an understanding of abstract art, but ever since I started my Sunday Evening Art Gallery for unique art, I am beginning to understand a bit more. I want to continue learning, and your blog will encourage me….and others.


    • Thank you. I appreciate the kind words. I think that there is a misconception with abstract work. The best way for me to describe abstract art as it being similar to a rorschach test. We all see something different with the abstract of the ink blots. The Surrealists were very adamant about the power of automatism. Pollock was a believer. I would highly recommend reading Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith’s biography Jackson Pollock. It is truly informative. Even with abstract art, you have so many different movements that are all unique: The Abstract Expressionist, COBRA and Les Automatistes. I hope that helps a bit more.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I must say even the internet becomes a small world. I read several of the bloggers that follow you. Never worked on enamel, but yes it is about the path or process.


    • I like working with enamel because how easy it is manipulate the density and how the color bleeds together very beautifully. I feel like when I am focused on the path or process, the piece feels sincere. It doesn’t feel forced.


  4. First, thank you for liking my piece Flowing.
    Second, I can relate wholly with your painting approach, and this is what I also teach others to do as well.
    I found your paintings “Pollackian” and haunting. Do you write about them after completion? Or meditate with them?
    In my case, that is where the greatest spiritual growth occurs. What is COBRA?


    • Your welcome. Thank you for the kind words. I have thought about writing about them, but I don’t want destroy the spectator’s interpretation. I like the idea of a painting have multiple interpretations and being subjective as opposed to there being an objective reading. When I finish a painting, I feel a sense of catharsis wash over me. It’s this sense of being drained as I have given myself “wholly” to the execution. It has seeped me of my emotion and memory. COBRA was the European equivalent to the Abstract Expressionists. It was comprised of painters and artists from Copenhagen, Brussels and Amersterdam. They took the first few letters from their locations and combined them to come up with the name COBRA. They were different from the Abstract Expressionists in that they painted more abstract, figurative forms and were influenced by mythology and children’s stories. It’s really an underappreciated movement.


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