Matthew Schlagbaum focuses his attention on our cultural obsession with happiness, and the unstable specifics of how it is depicted and obtained.
His work takes as its starting point the genuine desire to exist within spaces of positivity and exuberance, but illustrates what happens when these yearnings don’t fully synchronize with the lived experience. Through various techniques that alter the view of images and materials, Schlagbaum creates a longing within the viewer, allowing them to know what it is they are looking at while simultaneously denying them the full visual satisfaction.
Exhibitions include the Contemporary Art Center, Las Vegas, Nevada; DePaul Art Museum, Chicago, IL; Atlantic Center For The Arts, New Smyrna Beach, FL; Beige, Memphis, TN; Glass Curtain Gallery, Chicago, IL; and Brevard Art Museum, Melbourne, Florida.
Schlagbaum earned his MFA in fiber and material studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and his BFA in sculpture and extended media from the University of South Florida. He also holds a BA in psychology from the University of South Florida.