In Blackwell’s inspired vision of America, he works within a variety methods, at times raw and spontaneous, and at others analytical, but always delivered with driving authority a touch of absurdity. Rather than reflecting a forlorn and nostalgic condition his participants are depicted as free spirits who not only persevere but also often prevail. His highly expressive and lavishly imaginative paintings are infused with irreverent humor, their cheerfulness often offset by dark elements lurking in the background a skull, a devilish figure. Some of the works have an uncanny, fairy-tale quality.
Matt Blackwell holds a BFA from the Portland School of Art in 1977. In 1980, he studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and received his MFA from the University of North Carolina in 1988. In 2013, he was selected to participate in Piece Work, Maine the Biennial Exhibit at the Portland Museum of Art. Following the biennial Blackwell’s sculpture was purchased by the museum.