Mathew Cerletty

Mathew Cerletty, Welcome Wagon, Main Squeeze, Poison Apple, An Honor and A Privilege, Side Piece, Today’s Man, and Charmed, I’m Sure, 2017 (set of 7)
Four plate aquatint etchings with spit bite
Plate size: 16 x 12 inches
Paper size: 21.5 x 17 inches
Edition of 15
Published by Wingate Studio

Known for his hyperrealistic depictions of objects, people and surrealistic scenes, the artist describes his subject matter with uncanny accuracy. He has taken this opportunity to remove a favorite theme—a wavy sheet of paper—from the singular context of painting to create a premeditated system of color combinations that produces multiple unique works from one image.

The result is a hypnotic array of brightly colored sheets that gently rest on their equally colorful, undefined surfaces. It is this lack of context combined with startling realism that evokes a feeling of otherworldliness in much of the artist’s work, often likened to that of Belgian master Rene Magritte. The artist has said, “paintings talk slowly, so humor inevitably gets warped and transformed, often exposing underlying feelings.” The evolution of humor and honesty is evident here: the anthropomorphic titles of these etchings are funny and enticing, elevating the sheets to seductive figures that are equally quiet and performative.

In the studio

About the artist

Photography by Alyssa Robb for Wingate Studio

Mathew Cerletty (b 1980, Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is an American artist known for his hyperrealistic paintings that skillfully depict ordinary and unexpected subjects. His work has been compared to surrealists like René Magritte, particularly in the way that he presents the familiar as peculiar. Cerletty has had recent solo exhibitions at Office Baroque (Brussels, Belgium), Blum and Poe (Los Angeles, CA), Algus Greenspon (New York, NY), and Team Gallery (New York, NY), and has recently been included in two-person and group exhibitions at Standard (Oslo, Normway), Museo Madre (Naples, Italy), Metro Pictures (New York, NY), Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY), Anton Kern Gallery (New York, NY), and Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. He received his BFA from Boston University and lives and works in NYC.