Matthew Bourbon creates non-linear narrative paintings whose interpretive clues are “rudely” yet strategically inter- rupted by abstract elements. Source material for his scenarios derives from found print images that depict mundane or innocuous tasks and scenes.

Bourbon converts clues like facial expressions and critical objects that we would normally use to read a narrative into abstracted areas of colorful stripes and blocks. These abstract distortions verge on overcoming all that the viewer considers comfortable and familiar much like an unwanted virus overtaking its host or digital glitches that distort an image. The results are paintings that create tension within the viewer as they strive to inter- pret the artist’s ambiguous yet intriguing vignettes.

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Matthew Bourbon earned separate undergraduate degrees in Studio Art and Art History from the University of California at Davis. Relocating to New York City, he earned his Masters of Fine Arts degree from the School of Visual Arts in 1999. Since then, his art has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Bourbon is a Professor of Art at the University of North Texas' College of Visual Arts and Design. He is also an active art critic and has contributed to Artforum OnlineFlash ArtArtNewsNew York Arts Magazineand KERA Art and Seek.


Image credit: MATTHEW BOURBON, Reconstruction Days, 2017, acrylic on canvas and wood slats,  46 x 36 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Image credit: MATTHEW BOURBON, Reconstruction Days, 2017, acrylic on canvas and wood slats,

46 x 36 in. Courtesy of the artist.