Gone To Soon: Final Works By Matt Doust @ Thinkspace Gallery

Matt Doust  with a painting in progress. Courtesy of  Thinkspace Gallery

Matt Doust with a painting in progress. Courtesy of Thinkspace Gallery

Just one week ago, the buzz surrounding an upcoming show at Thinkspace Gallery was interrupted by tragic news. The artist to be featured, Matt Doust, had died due to an epileptic seizure. He was 29.

Matt Doust was on a meteoric rise and carried himself with a beautiful sort of bravado appropriately matched by his talent. His portraits are simple, sensual and painfully intimate. The hyper realism style reveals a painterly obsession with capturing and conveying emotion. The subjects in his paintings beg you to read their minds, infer their emotions and jump to conclusions. Doust managed to pique the elusive interest of the art world in 2011 when he followed being an Archibald Prize finalist with a wildly successful and critically acclaimed solo show, Recollections and Obsessions at Venn Galleryin Australia. Riding the wave of his success, he found himself back on the shores of Los Angeles (Although considered an Australian artist, Doust was actually born in Santa Monica). He settled into the artist enclave of Echo Park wherein he began a new body of work. On display from September 7th -28th, Thinkspace Gallery will host what was once a stateside debut solo show entitled, New Works: Matt Doust. The title has since been changed to Final Works and is considered a tribute to the short lived but powerful life of the young artist.

Matt Doust captures the fleeting and intangible impressions of identity, those we read from the body, and immortalizes them in portraiture. The artist’s ability to arrest the beautiful and the strange simultaneously, and his appreciation of imperfect perfection, results in portraits that are as much about absentia as they are about what is manifest. Upon seeing Doust’s paintings, we are strangely cognizant of the failure of our own holistic impressions, and of our inability to capture the “truth” of the other. Perhaps the work’s subtle melancholy comes from this realization of our own covetous disappointment: the subject is always slightly beyond our grasp. These portraits provide us with a rare opportunity to slowly excavate the intimacies of the body: searching for some sense of “truth”, communion, or revelation in the flesh. Doust captures what stirs beneath the skins of his subjects. With great technical facility, and a genuinely unparalleled refinement and detail, he is able to animate an inanimate surface with an evasive internal life.

Thinkspace Gallery Final Works: Matt Doust September 7 - September 28, 2013 6009 Washington Blvd Culver City, CA


Collette McGruder